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MILF insists it won’t surrender combatants who killed SAF 44

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Moro Islamic Liberation Front peace panel chair Mohagher Iqbal joined the third leg of the Senate inquiry on the Mamasapano operation on Thursday. Senate PRIB/Romy Bugante

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on Tuesday insisted that they will not surrender the combatants who were involved in the killings of the 44 Special Action Force on January 25.

MILF chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said in a radio interview that surrendering the combatants is not part of the ceasefire agreement between the government and MILF.

“May namatay sa kanila, may namatay sa amin, bakit po nila ipipilit sa ‘min na wala naman po sa kasunduan namin, na kung ganun ang mangyari, isu-surrender namin ang pwersa namin?” Iqbal said.

Iqbal said that the MILF should not be blamed for the deaths of the 44 police commandos who went to Mamasapano, Maguindanao to get two wanted terrorists.

“Hindi ho kami ang may kasalanan. Pumasok sila walang coordination, full-battle gear, nagkaroon ng engkwentro… and then after that, kami po ang sisisihin?” the MILF chief peace negotiator added.

Iqbal also called on the public to look at the “big picture” regarding the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

He also insisted that the BBL is the key to attaining peace in Mindanao.

“Itong BBL, susi po ito sa kapayapaan, susi po ito sa development and progress sa Mindanao,” Iqbal said.

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