Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) vice chairman for military affairs Aleem Abdul Azis Mimbantas died Thursday night after suffering a stroke, an official of the rebel group said.

Ghadzali Jaafar, the MILF’s vice chairman for political affairs, said Mimbantas expired in a hospital around 10:25.

The rebel group’s central committee will issue an official declaration on Mimbantas’ demise, Jaafar told reporters by phone.

Colonel Arnulfo Burgos, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman, said the military believes that the ongoing ceasefire with the MILF will continue after Mimbantas is replaced.

“We are confident and we’re highly optimistic that the ongoing peace agreement will progress and move on,” Burgos said.

“We will continue to honor and support the peace initiatives of the government with the MILF,” he added. (John Roson)

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