Fight Back If Attacked, MILF Leaders Tell Rebels; Punitive Actions against Terrorists Continue - Ermita

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Byline: : MALU CADELINA MANAR

COTABATO CITY The central leadership of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has ordered its men to fight back resolutely if attacked by their enemies.

This order was issued despite the extension for another 10 days of the ceasefire it had declared.

MILF military chief Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said their men will remain in their defensive stance unless harassed by government forces.

Murad said the MILF has declared an extension of the suspension of offensive military actions (SOMA) as a response to the request of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad and to the growing clamor of Church and Muslim groups, peace advocates and civil society.

Malaysia has agreed to look into the request for the hosting of the next Philippine government-MILF peace talks.

We want to help pave the way for the normal course of the peace negotiations, said Murad in a statement.

He said that the voices of the people in which sovereignty resides must be heard.

The MILF has recognized the role of civil-society groups in the formulation of government or even international policies and in the resolution of conflicts. …