Following the arrest of a comrade: MILF: ‘Govt sincerity doubtful’

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—The Moro Islamic Liberation Fron (MILF) has expressed doubts on the Aquino administration’s sincerity to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao following the arrest of one of its officials, whose immediate release they are now vehemently demanding.

Muhammad Ameen, chief of the MILF Secretariat, said the arrest of Eduard Guerra was “a grave violation of the ceasefire agreement and the spirit of the peace process between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the MILF.”

“More seriously,” Ameen continued in a report posted on MILF’s website, “it puts into doubt the sincerity of the Aquino administration and exposes its own so-called policy of the primacy of the peace process as empty words.”

Ameen said Guerra’s arrest has exposed “that the real policy of the government in Mindanao is not the ‘primacy of the peace process’ but to crush the MILF through counter-insurgency measures, including the arrests of its top officials.”

Guerra was arrested on Sept. 22 at the Davao International Airport on his way to Switzerland to attend the United Nations Human Rights Council Meeting scheduled on Sept. 27.

He is being held at a military base in Manila. His arrest, according to Ameen, runs counter to the GRP-MILF agreement that provides “safety and security guarantee” to MILF members who are directly involved in the peace process.

But chief GRP peace negotiator, lawyer Marvic Leonen, said there was no such violation because Guerra was not directly involved in the negotiations.

Leonen said Guerra was arrested on the basis of a court warrant issued Sept. 1, 2010. Also, Guerra’s name was never submitted as a direct negotiator of the MILF.

But Ameen insisted that Guerra was a member of the MILF Technical Committee during the peace negotiations in Tripoli, Libya in June 2001 and in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2002 and 2003.

He said Guerra was chief of the MILF’s Foreign Affairs Committee when he was arrested.

“As member of the MILF central committee, which is the principal of the MILF peace panel and the ceasefire committee, Eduard (Guerra) is covered by this guarantee,” Ameen said.

The MILF, in a resolution signed by Ameen and attested by MILF vice chair for political affairs Ghazali Jaafar on Oct. 11, considers the arrest “as a direct blow to the early resumption of the negotiation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.” Bong Fabe

loading...

About Gwenn

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply