The Army said it is offering its station hospital in Maguindanao to Ameril Umbra Kato after the Moro rebel leader reportedly suffered a stroke.

Major Gen. Rey Ardo, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, made the offer after recieving “A1 information” that Kato suffered a “mild stroke” two or three days ago, said Col. Prudencio Asto, 6th ID public affairs office chief.

“The commanding general of the 6ID is offering the hospital… ‘yung Camp Siongco puwedeng maging hospital ni Kato habang siya ay nagpapagaling. Kahit meron siyang 82 warrants (of arrest), ready daw si General Ardo na kupkupin siya para dito magpagamot sa kampo,” Asto said in a phone interview.

Ardo learned of Kato’s supposed illness through intelligence reports from soldiers in the field and in talks with the ulamas or Muslim teachers, Asto said.

“It’s an A1 information in the area na confirmed, it’s a mild stroke… kausap niya ‘yung ulamas diyan sa area ng Camp Omar, plus yung tropa natin, thru intelligence naman na-confirm ‘yan,” he said.

Kato, a former commander of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s 105th Base Command, is said to be in his 70s.

He is facing various charges, ranging from murder to arson, for leading MILF troops in attacking communities in Central Mindanao in late 2008. The government is offering P10 million for information leading to his capture.

After being relieved by the MILF leadership as head of the 105th Base Command, Kato formed another armed group, now known as the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement. (John Roson)

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