Monday Nov, 28 2022 12:17:29 PM

Thousands displaced by Basilan MILF-Army clashes 

TIMRA Reports • 11:30 AM Thu Nov 10, 2022
269
By: 
John M. Unson
Four members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and three soldiers perished in the two-day hostilities. (From Karl Ignacio) 

COTABATO CITY - Local officials and line agencies are relocating to safe areas thousands of residents affected by the cashes since Tuesday between soldiers and Moro Islamic Liberation Front members in Ungkaya Pukan, Basilan

Local executives and senior police officials in the province said Thursday four MILF members and three soldiers have since been killed in the skirmishes, first in Barangay Ulitan in Ungkaya Pukan that subsequently spilled over to Mebak and Bato areas in the same town.

The Army fatalities, Cpl. Alberto Dal, Jr., Pfc. Nelson Bantoc and Pfc. Junry Vega, died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Seven soldiers, Sgt. Marlon Entorum, Cpl. Balvestro Roxas, Cpl. Ronaldo Gampoan, Cpl. Alvien Zamoras, Pfc. Rixon Bucog, Pvt. Alfie Java and 1Lt. Aurelio Torres, were wounded in the ensuing clashes.

The showdown had, as of Wednesday afternoon, displaced 2,078 families from three barangays in the municipality --- Ulitan, Mebak and Bato and nearby farming enclaves in a neighboring town.

The administrator of the Southern Philippines Development Authority, Gerry Salapuddin, who hails from Tuburan town in Basilan, urged for a ceasefire to pave the way for a peaceful resolution of the violence in Ungkaya Pukan by local executives, MILF leaders, the Western Mindanao Command and the provincial police.

“The use of guns to seek redress, to ventilate sentiments will bring us nowhere,” Salapuddin said.

Basilan Gov. Jim Salliman said Thursday he had told senior leaders of the MILF in the Bangsamoro government that he is trying to secure the disengagement of both sides to pave the way for relief works for thousands affected by the hostilities.

“It’s the plight of the displaced residents in Ungkaya Pukan that bothers us most. We want this conflict to end immediately,” he told reporters.

The MILF-Army clashes first started in Barangay Ulitan, Ungkaya Pukan Tuesday.

Brig. Gen. Domingo Gobway, commander of the 101st Brigade covering all of the 11 towns and two cities in Basilan, said it was the MILF forces in Barangay Ulitan that provoked the gunfights.

“It was them who attacked our troops. Our men are just on defensive position. It’s the MILF forces attacking them,” Gobway said.

Basilan is a component-province of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, whose appointed chief minister, Ahod Balawag Ebrahim, is chairman of the MILF’s central committee.

Ungkaya Pukan, one of 11 towns in Basilan that also covers the cities of Lamitan and Isabela.

Villagers, who requested anonymity, said the hostilities in Barangay Ulitan reportedly erupted when MILF members fired at soldiers for intruding into their enclave without prior notification.

The government and the MILF are bound by bilateral security compacts obliging both sides to cooperate in addressing security problems in areas where the group has enclaves.

 

Unknown to him, man sells carnapped motorbike to its owner

NABULAGA ANG DALAWANG mga suspek matapos na malamang ang pinagbentahan nila ng kanilang nakaw na motorsiklo ay ang mismong may-ari nito. Una nito...

P102,000 worth shabu seized from 3 drug den operators

COTABATO CITY – Anti-narcotics agents seized P102,000 worth of shabu from three operators of a clandestine drug den entrapped in Datu Odin Sinsuat,...

3 CAFGU slain, 2 others hurt in gun attack in Maguindanao del Norte

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao  – Three militiamen were slain and two others were injured in a gun attack at about 1:20 a.m. Monday in Buldon,...

2 suspects in bus bombing killed in shootout

COTABATO CITY - The couple tagged in the November 6 bombing of a bus in Tacurong City who resisted arrest when policemen tried to arrest them...

Cotabato Light announces NGCP initiated power service interruption Nov. 27

What: NOTICE OF NGCP POWER INTERRUPTION When: Sunday, November 27, 2022 Time: 6:30 - 7:00 AM | 3:00 - 3:30 PM Affected areas: Whole Cotabato...