Pi?ol overall commander of Ilagas, MILF says

By
September 10 2008

To the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the equation Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit
(CAFGU), Civilian Volunteers Organization (CVO) plus North Cotabato vice governor Emmauel Pi?ol and other ultra-rightist settlers’ politicians in Mindanao equals to Ilaga.

There can be no other equation, because, Ilaga stands for Ilonggo Landgrabbers Association and Pi?ol is the worst grabber of the lands of the Moros and indigenous peoples especially in his hometown of Mlang, but also in Magpet, and Kidapawan, in North Cotabato, and Columbio in Sultan Kudarat.

This was the statement of Khaled Musa, deputy chairman of the MILF committee on information, in response to Pinol’s comment, saying through a provincial resolution of North Cotabato that he would use his influence to prevent the Ilagas from reorganizing and arming to kill ten Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters for every settler killed.

I urge you to restrain from reviving the group because it would just worsen the already volatile situation, Pi?ol was quoted as saying during his radio program over Notre Dame Broadcasting Corp. in Cotabato City.

Pi?ol said the provincial board would investigate attempts to revive the group, which became notorious for dismembering its victims.

Of course, he can restrain the Ilagas if he wants to, because he is the overall commander, Musa retorted, even as he puts the blame entirely to the Philippine government for crimes this fanatic group would commit.

In separate provocative statements, his brother, North Cotabato representative Bernardo Piol said in a phone interview that former local officials were supporting the Ilaga and they are capable of arming (the group). He said he could not divulge their names as he had no clearance from them to do so.

Civilians are arming only to defend themselves. The Ilagas are going on the offensive, Piol said.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International, a human rights watchdog, said the country could slip back to the dark period of martial law when vigilantes attacked civilians with impunity. It reminded the Philippine government that protecting civilians was a duty of its security forces, not of untrained civilian militias.

Civil society and non-government organizations (NGOs) based in Mindanao also reminded the government of its responsibility to protect its minorities. (luwaran.com)

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IMPORTANT NOTICE

INBOX is an archive of press releases, statements, announcements, letters to the editors, and manifestos sent to Davao Today for publication. Please email your materials to davaotoday@gmail.com. Davao Today is not responsible for the content of these materials. The opinion expressed in these items does not reflect those of Davao Today and its staff. Please refer to our terms of use/disclaimer.
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