- Posted September 10, 2013 by
Worst scenario in southern Phl feared
Elements from the Philippine Army, police and Marines are now securing the 10-hectare ARMM compound in Cotabato City to prevent entry of renegade Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) similar to Zamboanga City attacks.
While MNLF members belonging to other factions have vowed not sympathize with their comrades in Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, ARMM officials said the steps were meant to prevent "sympathy attacks."
Abdulrashid Ladayo, chief security officer of the Office of the Regional Governor, said the presence of soldiers and policemen was part of the preventive measures taken by the government while the Zamboanga City siege remained unsolved.
MNLF forces in mainland Mindanao and under the leadership of Chairman Muslimin Sema have publicly declared they still support and respect the 1976 Tripoli Agreement that took effect in 1996 under the Ramos administration.
Ladayo said the ARMM was appeased with the assurance by the group of Sema that its forces in mainland Mindanao will not participate in the activities in Zamboanga City of Nur Misuari’s followers.
“However, we’re not taking chances because any `third party’ can just do something to either embarrass our local security forces, or put the `Sema group’ in bad light,” Ladayo told reporters.
The group of Sema is the largest and most politically active MNLF faction in southern Philippines.
The government forces are backed by three V-300 combat vehicles securing the entry and exit points of the ARMM compound.