Manila Bulletin – Marcos says MILF should move from symbolic to substantive turnover

By Mario Casayuran | Manila Bulletin

ManilaBulletinOnlineSen. Ferdinand ‘’Bongbong’’ R. Marcos Jr. said the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) should move from mere symbolic turnover of 75 firearms of its fighters to the national government to a substantive gesture.

Marcos, however, said the turn over of a small quantity of firearms from its reported 11,000 fighters , ‘’though a small step, is a start to disarmament.’’

The turn over by the MILF of its guns is a ‘’confidence-building measure’’ that have positive effects on the national government and the MILF, he explained.

Marcos expressed hopes that there should be a momentum in the turn over of the MILF’s firearms.

He said a turn over of some 1,000 firearms from the MILF could  be categorized as ‘’substantive’’ and ‘’we can move on from symbolic.’’

This momentum would gather further once the MILF destroys its so-called arms factory, he added.
Marcos, nevertheless, stressed that justice should be given to the families of the 44 Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) policemen who were then out to arrest two Muslim terrorists in an MILF-influenced area.

The 44 fought with fighters of the MILF, the breakaway Moro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and private armed groups.

Since the MILF and some civilians were also killed, we are stepping back from violence and that’s the important point,’’ he added.

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