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Bisaya Bloggers » Maj.Gen. Mohammad Dolorfino

Jun 26 2007

Manila Sends 3 Emmisaries To Find Bossi Kidnappers

ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY (Mindanao Examiner / 26 Jun) – The Philippine military on Tuesday said three government emissaries were sent to negotiate with gunmen holding an Italian missionary Giancarlo Bossi in the troubled southern region of Mindanao.

Marine Major General Ben Dolorfino, chairman of the government’s ad hoc joint action group, said the government wants a proof of life before it could start negotiating with the kidnappers. «They were sent to there to produce proof of life,» he said.

Bossi was kidnapped on June 10 after celebrating mass in the village of Bulawan in Payao town in Zamboanga Sibugay province.

Police tagged rogue members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) headed by Akiddin Abdusallam as behind the kidnapping of the 57-year old priest from Milan.

The MILF, which is currently negotiating peace with Manila, is also helping authorities track down the kidnappers. MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu said the gunmen allegedly demanded “tens of millions of pesos” in exchange for Bossi’s freedom. (With a report from Juley Reyes)

Jun 20 2007

11 Days Passed, Kidnapped Priest Still Far From Freedom

ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY (Mindanao Examiner / 21 Jun) – Philippine troops continue searching for an Italian Catholic missioner, eleven days after he was seized by rebels in the restive region of Mindanao.Rebels have reportedly demanded one million dollars in exchange for the safe release of Rome-based Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions priest Giancarlo Bossi.“Soldiers are tracking down the kidnappers and the priest and right now, we do not their exact location, although there were reports that Bossi is taken to Lanao del Norte province,” Major General Nehemias Pajarito, commander of the Army’s First Infantry Division, told the regional Mindanao Examiner newspaper.Bossi, 57, was kidnapped June 10 after celebrating mass in the coastal town of Payao in Zamboanga Sibugay province, 300 kms from Lanao del Norte.Police tagged Akiddin Abdusallam, a rogue leader of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), as mastermind of the kidnapping.Pajarito said the search for the priest has been hampered by bad weather and rugged terrain in the province. Torrential rains the past days, he said, slowed down the search for Bossi, a native of Milan.“Despite the rain, the search is still going on,” he said.The MILF, which is negotiating peace with Manila, is also helping in the search for the kidnapped priest. Mohagher Iqbal, chief MILF peace negotiator, said Abdusallam is a not a member of his group, but Abu Sayyaf, blamed by Manila for the terrorism and kidnappings for ransom in the troubled region.Philippine military chief General Hermogenes Esperon said troops have located the hideout of the kidnappers and that Bossi may soon be freed, but obviously it was far from truth.Dolorfino said the safety of the hostage is the primary concern of the military and that there is an ongoing negotiation to secure Bossi’s freedom without paying ransom.»Our primary consideration is Bossi’s safety. We will exert all peaceful means to resolve the matter,” he said.The Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions has expressed concern over the fate of Bossi, who is said to be suffering from hypertension.“As far as we know the captors and their masterminds have not yet been clearly identified, however the evidence points to a well-organized group who could make use of a pump boat, they were fully armed and well equipped and the capture of Fr. Giancarlo was carefully planned.”“Who are these Captors and Masterminds? Who is behind this drama? Why don’t they declare their purpose? Why are they playing with the life of a person and religious leader serving the people in a remote area? Are they threatening everybody, even the whole Nation and the International Community? They must have a purpose. Some people must know about this plan,” it said in a statement on Thursday.It also appealed for any information about the priest.“We pray that persons of good will may dare to bring out the truth and free the nation from those disgraceful acts of tensions Fr. Giancarlo may feel abandoned like Jesus on the cross, may we share with him and with all our people the joy of resurrection,” it said.On Wednesday, Italian missionaries in the Philippines have put up a virtual diary on the Internet to keep track of developments of a kidnapped prelate.“It’s raining in Zamboanga City. Reports, rather than bringing relief, bring only sad confusion. Days ago the military said that Giancarlo would have been released by the days end, then in 24 hours, then 48 and now in 72.”

“Days ago, various agents of the shadowy yet trustworthy secret service told us that Giancarlo was being held in the area of Sibuguey. Then he was no longer there, but near Lanao del Norte (300 kilometres east); then reports placed him on Basilan island (300 kilometres West). It’s like shooting at the breeze. The truth is lost on the face of the map,” part of the entry on the diary said. (Mindanao Examiner)

Jun 01 2007

Muslim Rebels Praised For Rescue Of German National, 3 Others In South RP




GRP-MILF AHJAG team lawyer Abdul Dataya turns-over kidnapped victims to Philippine Marines Maj.Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino at the International Monitoring Team Headquarters in Cotabato City in Maguindanao province. The four kidnapped victims — Thomas Wallraf, from Cologne, Germany and his wife, May Sharon and two others — Diego Daniel, their driver; and Consuelo San Juan, a family friend – have been handed by the Moro Islamic Liberations rebels to Malaysian truce observers and the Philippine military in Cotabato City in Maguindanao province on Friday, 01 June 2007. Also in the photos are Philippine Army’s 7th Infantry Battalion commander Lt.Col.Dickson Hermoso, Police Region 12 Director, Chief Supt.Felizardo Serapio Jr.and Head of Mission International Monitoring Team Maj.Gen.Dato Ismail Bin Abbas. (Mindanao Examiner Photos/Mark Navales)

COTABATO CITY (Mindanao Examiner / 01 June) – Philippine Muslim rebels handed over Friday a rescued German national and three other Filipinos kidnapped by bandits in the southern province of North Cotabato, security officials said.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which is negotiating peace with Manila, rescued the four hours after they were seized while traveling in Pikit town on Thursday.

The four — Thomas Wallraf, from Cologne, Germany and his wife, May Sharon and two others — Diego Daniel, their driver; and Consuelo San Juan, a family friend – have been handed to Malaysian truce observers and the Philippine military in Cotabato City in Maguindanao province.

Marine Maj. Gen. Mohammad Dolorfino, chairman of the government Ad hoc Joint Action Group, said the four were on their to Manila. “The release of the four is the result of a good coordination between the MILF and the Philippine military,” he told the independent regional newspaper, the Mindanao Examiner.

“The MILF is able to react immediately and rebel forces sealed off the area where the abductors are holding the four victims and recovered them safely,” he said.

Gunmen were forced to release the four to the MILF in the village of Balongis in Pikit town after rebel forces surrounded their hideout and threatened to kill the kidnappers.

The release of the hostages previously reported as all Caucasians came hours after the rebel group, backed by security forces, mounted a massive rescue operation.

The four were heading to North Cotabato from Davao City onboard a van when gunmen flagged down their vehicle. The MILF has in the past helped the government rescue kidnapped foreigners and Filipinos in Mindanao.

The abductions coincided with the start of the ten-day joint amphibious war games between the Philippines and the United States. But security officials said it was not connected with the ongoing war games off the southern region. (Juley Reyes and Mark Navales)

May 31 2007

Kidnappers Free Hostages To Muslim Rebels In South RP

NORTH COTABATO (Mindanao Examiner / 31 May) – Kidnappers have freed on Thursday four people they earlier seized in the southern Philippines, officials said.Gunmen released the four to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels in the village of Balongis in North Cotabato’s Pikit town, said Col. Pedro Soria, commander of the Army’s 602nd Infantry Brigade in the province.The release of the hostages previously reported as Caucasians came hours after the rebel group, backed by security forces, mounted a massive rescue operation.But it turned out that only one hostage is foreigner, Thomas Wallart, a German national. Other reports identified the German as Wallraf, from Cologne. The others are Filipinos – May Sharon, the German’s wife; and Diego Daniel, the van driver; and Consuelo San Juan, a friend of the German couple.»The victims were released to the MILF and they will be turned over to us,» Soria told the independent regional newspaper, the Mindanao Examiner.The four were heading to North Cotabato from Davao City onboard a van when gunmen flagged down their vehicle.Major General Raymundo Ferrer, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said the four hostages were not harmed by the gunmen. “They are all alright,” he said.Ferrer said the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the country’s largest Muslim rebel group negotiating peace with Manila, offered to help track down the kidnappers.The MILF has in the past helped the government rescue kidnapped foreigners and Filipinos in Mindanao.A rebel spokesman, Eid Kabalu, said the four would be handed over to the Philippine authorities and the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team. “We are glad it’s over,” he said in a separate interview.One of the hostage, May Sharon Wallart, said they were not harmed by the kidnappers, but shaken by the ordeal. «We are really thankful that they did not harm any of us. We are so tired and probably fly back to Manila to get some rest,» she told reporters in Pikit town.She said the gunmen, clad in military uniform, flagged down their vehicle at a checkpoint and seized them. «We did not think it was a kidnap because they were all wearing uniform like those of the soldiers. They took our belongings and tied our hands and took us away,» she said.The woman said she and her husband were in Pikit on a business trip. «We are into metal trading,» she said.Other reports said the German national is a treasure hunter.The abductions coincided with the start of the ten-day joint amphibious war games between the Philippines and the United States.Marine Major General Mohammad Dolorfino, chairman of the government Ad hoc Joint Action Group, said the abductors were bandits operating in North Cotabato.“The MILF is able to react immediately and rebel forces sealed off the area where the abductors are holding the four victims and recovered them safely,” he said.

It was unknown whether the MILF arrested any of the gunmen. (With reports from Juley Reyes, Mark Navales and Juan Magtanggol)

May 30 2007

Tropa, Ibabalik Na Sa Metro-Manila!

QUEZON CITY (Mindanao Examiner / 30 May) – Inirekomenda ni Armed Forces of the Philippines-National Capital Region Command (AFP-NCR) Chief Major General Mohammad Dolorfino ang pagbabalik ng tropa sa kalakhang Maynila.

Sa kanyang isinumiteng ulat kay AFP Chief of Staff General Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., ipinunto nito ang pangangailangan ng presensya ng militar sa Metro Manila bunga na rin ng nananatiling banta ng insurhensya at terorismo sa rehiyon.

Mandato aniya ng militar ang protektahan ang lipunan bukod pa sa naging epektibo ang pakikipag-ugnayan nito sa mga barangay para magsakatuparan ng mga proyektong makakatulong upang masugpo ang insureksyon at kriminalidad na bumubulabog sa National Capital Region.

«The National Capital Region is not spared from the threats of insurgency, the terrorism so we have to do something in order to be proactive in confronting the threats,» ani Dolorfino.

«As far as we concerned, we see to it that we will continue or CMO (civil-military operation) activities. Our view is we should continue our peacetime role as an active partner of local government units,» dagdag nito.

Una nang na-pull out dahil sa eleksyon ang tinatayang 260 sundalong kabilang sa civil military operations sa 19 na barangay sa Manila, Quezon City at Caloocan City matapos ang anim na buwan na pananatili ng presensya nito.

Binanggit rin ni Dolorfino sa after operations report nito kay Esperon ang sinasabing accomplishment tulad ng pagsuko ng walong miyembro ng terorista sa Tondo, Maynila.

Natapos na ang refresher training ng mga sundalo at naghihintay na lamang ng go-signal buhat sa AFP Chief kung babalik ang mga ito sa komunidad. (Juley Reyes)

Apr 30 2007

Malinis Na Eleksyon, Sigaw Ng Militar Sa Metro!

QUEZON CITY (Mindanao Examiner / 30 Apr) — Tuloy pa rin si Armed Forces National Capital Region Command Chief Major General Mohammad Dolorfino sa kampanya nito para sa malinis na halalan bagamat pinagsabihan na ng liderato ng militar na maghinay-hinay.Inaangkin ni Dolorfino na may basbas ni AFP Chief of Staff General Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. ang kanyang media advocacy laban sa dayaan sa eleksyon at responsableng pagboto.Sa isang pulong balitaan, hinamon pa ni Dolorfino ang publiko na gamitin ang karapatan ng mga botante sa matalinong pagpili ng mga kandidato.Noong nakaraang linggo ay inihayag ni Esperon, sa pamamagitan ng tagapagsalita nito, ang babala kay Dolorfino na magdahan-dahan sa media campaign at sa halip ay tumutok sa paghahanda sa posibleng deployment ng mga sundalo bilang deputy arm ng Commission on Elections (Comelec) sa May 14.Gayunman, nakakuha aniya siya ng go-signal kay Esperon matapos tiyaking hindi ito makakaapekto sa operasyon ng NCR Command.»It will not affect their [troops’] operational activities and preparedness. I took this up with the Chief of Staff… It will be just me to include other heads of organizations tha are parties to this covenant,» ani Dolorfino.Una nang umani ng pagbatikos ang nasabing kampanya ni Dolorfino sa paniniwalang magiging daan lamang ito upang mapulitika ang militar.Ngunit, giit ni Dolorfino, walang masa sa kanyang hangarin dahil hindi naman ito nag-eendorso ng ispesipikong kandidato kundi naglalatag lamang ng mga kuwalipikasyong dapat iboto ng taumbayan.

«I call on our country men, the responsibility of promoting good governance starts in each one of us. Let us exercise our right to suffrage wisely. Let us not be part of efforts to influence the outcome of the election, let’s not get involved in violence,» dagdag ng heneral. (Juley Reyes)

Apr 26 2007

MALIK, SALI, SUGATAN SA ENGKUWENTRO SA SULU

MANILA — NASUGATAN sa huling pakikipagsagupa sa militar si Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) breakaway group leader Ustadz Haber Malik kung kayat pansamantalang nanahimik ngayon sa mga pagsalakay sa Mindanao.Nabatid kay AFP National Capital Region Command Chief Major General Mohammad Dolorfino na nagtamo ng sugat sa paa si Malik, base na rin sa impormasyon sa kanya ng isa ring MNLF member.Mahigpit na tinutugis ngayon si Malik matapos ang inilunsad na terorismo sa ilang komunidad sa Sulu.Isa pang lider ng MNLF ang malubhang nasugatan rin sa hiwalay na engkuwentro ng militar sa Parang, Sulu na nakilalang si Tahil Sali, vice chairman for military affairs ng rebeldeng grupo.Samantala, hinamon ni Dolorfino si Malik na mapayapang resolbahin ang anumang hinanakit nito sa gobyerno kung kayat nagsagawa ng mga pag-atake.Hindi naman aniya kailangang daanin sa dahas ang solusyon na lalo lamang makapagpapalala ng sitwasyon. “I think kung may peaceful way, why resort to force? Kung may hinanakit man siya sa gobyerno kung ano man ang dahilan n kanyang ginagawa ngayon, the best way to resolve that is to do it peacefully,» ani Dolorfino.Inamin ni Dolorfino na sinubok nitong makausap si Malik at ang iba pang lider ng MNLF subalit nabigo siya. Ayaw naman umanong makialam ni MNLF chairman Nur Misuari sa pakikipagpagnegosasyon kay Malik upang makumbinsing sumuko dahil maaaring makaapekto ito sa kanyang kinakaharap na kaso.

Sa halip, ayon kay Dolorfino, sinabi ni Misuari na may kinakausap na itong opisyal ng gobyerno at sa Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) upang pumagitna sa usapin. (Juley Reyes)

Apr 26 2007

AFP, Magdadagdag Ng Puwersa Sa Metro!

MANILA — NAKAKASA na ang labing-dalawang team ng AFP National Capital Region Command upang ipakalat sa Metro Manila.Paliwanag ni AFP NCR Command Chief Major General Ben Dolorfino, ito’y bahagi pa rin ng pagsasanay na inilulunsad ng militar sa Kalakhang Maynila para sa civil military operations (CMO).Gayunman, nilinaw ni Dolorfino na ipalalaganap ang tropa nito pagkatapos na ng halalan.Kasabay nito, sinabi ng heneral na may mga barangay official sa Metro ang humihirit ng karagdagang deployment ng mga sundalo sa paniniwalaang nagiging epektibo ito sa serbisyong pangkomunidad at pagsugpo ng krimen.Samantala, makikisali na rin ang Philippine National Police PNP) sa operasyon ng AFP sa Metro Manila.Ayon kay Dolorfino, binabalangkas na ang isang memorandum of agreement (MOA) sa PNP upang pag-isahin ang puwersa nito sa pagbibigay ng community service at pagpapanatili ng peace and order sa National Capital Region.

Alinsunod na rin ito sa umiiral na Executive Order 546 na nag-aatas sa PNP na suportahan ang AFP sa internal security operations. Maaaring dalawang pulis aniya ang sasama sa isang grupo ng mga sundalo na kikilos sa mga barangay sa Kalakhang Maynila. (Juley Reyes)

Mar 31 2007

“Good Work!” Ani PGMA Sa Metro Troops!

QUEZON CITY (Mindanao Examiner / 31 Mar) – Pinaboran diumano ng Pangulong Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ang operasyon ng militar sa Metro Manila sa harap ng lumalaking batikos ng mga residente at militanteng grupo kontra Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).Nabatid ito kay AFP National Capital Region Command Chief Major General Mohammad Dolorfino kasunod ng pagbisita sa detachment ng militar sa Baseco, Tondo, Maynila kaninang umaga. «Congratulations and keep up the good work,» ayon kay Dolorfino na sinabi umano ng Pangulong Arroyo sa kanila.Wala rin umanong nabanggit ang Pangulo hinggil sa pag-alis ng tropa ng mga sundalo sa Kalakhang Maynila.Sinamahan pa ang Pangulo nina Defense Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr., Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Hermogenes Esperon at Army Chief Lieutenant General Romeo Tolentino sa pag-ikot sa mga proyekto ng militar sa Metro.Matapos lumisan ang Pangulo ay pinasinayaan sina Ebdane, Esperon, at Tolentino ang itinayong palikuran ng mga sundalo sa Isla Puting Bato.Sa kanyang talumpati, sinabi ni Dolorfino na nilalayon ng militar na tuluyang mapilayan ang mga komunista sa pamamamagitan ng pagtulong para mapagaan ang buhay ng mga mahihirap.»Using military force is not enough. The real solution is at the root of the problem – poverty,» punto ni Dolorfino.»What we are doing is to make the CPP-NPA irrelevant. If there are no problems in the communities, they will die a natural death,» dagdag pa nito. Subali’t muntik nang mapahamak ang isang babae matapos na ito’y mapagkamalang miyembro ng hit squad ng New People’s Army sa Tondo, Maynila kanina rin.Inakala ng mga nagpapatrulyang sundalo na tattoo ang tuldok ng bolpen sa pisngi ng isang 42 anyos na babae, isang palatandaan ng mga komunista noong 1980s.Katwiran ng babaeng tumangging magpatukoy ng pangalan, nakuha na ang tinta ng bolpen sa mukha habang nakikipaglaro sa kanyang mga pinsan.Nang lumabas siya ng bahay ay tinanong ito ng mga sundalo hinggil sa pagkakaroon ng marka sa mukha. Hindi na aniya nagpumilit ang militar nang kanyang ipaliwanag ang pinagmulan ng tuldok sa mukha.»Hindi ko alam kung ano ang ibig nilang sabihin pero sinabi ko sa kanila (mga sundalo) na mga pinsan ko ang naglagay nito nung naglalaro kami,» sumbong pa ng babae sa pahayagang Mindanao Examiner.

Bagamat nasita ng mga sundalo, pabor pa rin ang babae sa deployment ng militar sa kanilang lugar. «Mas matahimik nga ngayon dito. Wala ng magnanakaw at adik,» dagdag nito. (Juley Reyes)

Mar 27 2007

Gov’t Policy Statement To Boost Peace Talks With Mindanao Rebels

ILIGAN CITY (Mindanao Examiner / 27 Mar) – Top Philippine military officials are expected to issue a policy statement that will further strengthen the ongoing peace process in Mindanao.Major General Mohammad Dolorfino, chairman of the government’s Ad hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG), said that the Armed Forces’ Chief of Staff, General Hermogenes Esperon, will himself issue the statement that upholds the primacy of the peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).Dolorfino revealed this during a joint peace advocacy forum here at the weekend with the International Monitoring Team and the Coordinating Committees on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) of the Philippine government and MILF. Local government and village officials also attended the forum.»General Esperon will issue new guidelines on the primacy of the peace process that must be observed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines», Dolorfino said. «Our Chief of Staff has always upheld the supremacy of the peace process,» he told the Mindanao Examiner.The Philippine Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade and the Philippine National Police in Northern Mindanao organized the advocacy drive in line with the efforts of the AHJAG, CCCH and IMT to keep abreast the respective armed forces with the developments on the ongoing peace talks with the MILF and observance of the cease-fire agreement.Dolorfino did not give additional details about the policy statement, saying, the final draft of the new guidelines will be reviewed and discussed with Secy. Jesus Dureza, of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).But he pointed out that it will be a holistic approach framed towards the realization of a comprehensive, just, enduring peace resolution of the conflicts in Southern Philippines.He said the AFP had been conducting military operations for many years but the problem still remains, adding, that «using security force cannot solve or end the conflict in Mindanao. We cannot allow achievement of tactical objectives at the expense of the demise of the peace process.»”Military action and success must be equated with its coherence to the strategic policy and objective of the national government that is putting a just end to the peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF),» Dolorfino said.Appealing to all parties to collaborate efforts in attaining peace in the Bangsamoro region, Dolorfino reiterated the commitment of the government for the successful peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. “Instead of cursing the darkness, let us as well light a candle for peace and development,» he said.Dolorfino said it was the first time that the MILF joined the peace advocacy drive.”We are happy with the result of the peace advocacy drive because it is the first time that the MILF chairman, Murad Ibrahim, allowed our MILF counterpart to join us in this important endeavor. From now on, we will conduct peace advocacy together with the MILF and the IMT, the AHHAG and the CCCH,” he said.

The MILF is the country’s largest Muslim rebel group fighting for a separate Islamic state. (Hassan Hatab, with reports from Merlyn Manos and Mark Navales)

Mar 12 2007

Metro Soldiers, Abswelto Sa Akusasasyon Ng Party Lists!

MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / 12 Mar) – Inabswelto ngayon ng Armed Forces of the Philippines-National Capital Region Command (AFP-NCR Command) ang sariling mga tauhan nito sa alegasyon ng mga militanteng partylist group hinggil sa pangangampanya ng mga sundalo sa Kalakhang Maynila.

Isinumite na ni NCR Command Chief Major General Mohammad Dolorfino kay Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Benjamin Abalos ang resulta ng panloob na imbestigasyon nito kaugnay sa pagkakasangkot umano ng ilang sundalo sa pangangampanya para huwag iboto ang mga party list group na iniuugnay sa Communist party of the Philippines.

Katwiran ni Dolorfino, walang indikasyon na nadadawit sa electioneering ang mga sundalo batay na rin sa pahayag ng mga testigo.

«We did not see any indication, based on the words of these witnesses, that there was electioneering,» ani Dolorfino sa Mindanao Examiner.

Pinangunahan ni NCR Command staff judge advocate, Lieutenant Colonel Feliciano Loy, ang isang linggo pag-iimbestiga at pagtatanong sa may 100 residente sa ilang slum areas sa Metro.

Samantala, naniniwala si Dolorfino na maaari pang maging daan ang kanilang community program upang masakote ang mga miyembro ng Abu Sayyaf Group at Rajah Solaiman Movement na nagtatago sa Metro Manila.

Malaking bagay rin aniya ang visibility ng mga sundalo sa Kalakhang Maynila upang magdalawang-isip ang mga terorista na maglunsad ng pananabotahe.

Itinanggi naman ng heneral na may deployment ito sa Muslim communities sa harap ng kanilang kampanya laban sa insureksyon at terorismo. (Juley Reyes)

Mar 11 2007

Rebels Free Military Hostages In Southern Philippines

ILIGAN CITY (Mindanao Examiner / 11 Mar) – Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels freed late Sunday about two dozen soldiers they earlier held in the southern Philippine province of Lanao del Sur, officials said.The MILF freed their hostages in Lumba Bayabao town after the Philippine Army also released seven members of the rebel group earlier arrested for illegal possession of firearms.“All the hostages are freed. Everything is alright now. We have resolved the problem and it only shows that the cease-fire mechanism between the military and the MILF is really working. The rebels and the soldiers even shook hands after their release,” Marine Maj. Gen. Mohammad Dolorfino, a member of the government peace panel, told the Mindanao Examiner.

Rebels seized the soldiers at around 4 p.m. in the town of Lumba Bayabao town in retaliation for the arrest of their comrades. The MILF said it would only free the hostages if the military released the seven prisoners.

The MILF said the seven rebels were on their way to a police headquarters to hand over a bandit they earlier arrested, when troops intercepted them. In retaliation, the MILF seized a military detachment and held more than 20 soldiers, Dolorfino said.

He said the MILF, which is currently negotiating peace with Manila, has been working closely with the government through the ad-hoc joint action group to track down criminals and terrorists.

Last year, the MILF rescued a kidnapped nine-year old girl, Donna May Ramos, in Basilan island after rebels stormed the hideout of kidnappers in the hinterlands and arrested two men.

In July last year, MILF rebels also freed a kidnapped social worker, Henry de Guzman, in the southern province of Lanao del Norte barely a day after bandits seized him.

The MILF, the country’s largest Muslim separatist rebel group, forged an agreement in 2004 that paved the way for rebel forces to help government hunt down terrorists and criminal elements in areas where the rebel group is actively operating.

The rebel group also provided the government of a list of suspected Filipino and Indonesian terrorists operating in Mindanao. It previously helped Philippine authorities track down and arrest suspected Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiya militants in the troubled region. (Mindanao Examiner)

Mar 01 2007

MNLF Camps Off-Limits Sa Heneral

MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / 01 Mar) – PINAGBAWALAN NG MILITAR si Major General Mohammad Dolorfino na pumasok sa anumang kampo ng Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) kasunod ng naunang insidente ng paghostage ditto sa lalawigan ng Sulu.

Inamin kanina sa Mindanao Examienr ni Dolorfino na ayaw pa rin siyang payagan ni AFP Chief of Staff General Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. na magtungo sa kuta ni MNLF leader Udtadz Habier Malik sa Panamao, Sulu para sa panibaging peace mission.

Naninigurado lamang umano si Esperon na hindi na mauulit ang nangyaring tensyon na muntik nang maging sanhi ng pagsiklab ng panibagong giyera sa pagitan ng militar at ng rebeldeng grupo nuong nakaraang buwan.

Tatlong araw na hawak ng grupo ni Malik si Dolorfino at ibang mga opisyal at sundalo, kabilang na si Defense Undersecretary Ramon Santos.

Binihag ang grupo matapos na mabalitaanan ng MNLF na iniurong ng pamahalaang Arroyo ang nakatakdang tripartite meeting sa Saudi Arabia sa pagitan ng Pilipinas, Organization of Islamic Conference at MNLF upang pag-usapan ang September 1996 peace agreement.

Pinalaya sina Dolorfino matapos na siguraduhin ng pamahalaan na tuloy ang tripartite conference ngayon Marso.

Magugunitang sinabi ng AFP Chief na kung nais ni Malik na makipagkasundo sa gobyerno at magkaroon ng pag-uusap ay kailangang isagawa ito sa isang neutral na lugar.

Pinaninindigan pa rin ni Dolorfino na hindi matatawag na hostage ang naganap matapos mabigong palabasin ng kampo ang heneral, kasama ang mga tauhan ng GRP peace team.
«Pero sinabi ko na rin noon kay Malik na kapag ginawa na niya yun (hostage), hindi na ako makakabalik dun,» ani Dolorfino.

Gayunman, sinabi ni Dolorfino na tuloy naman ang misyon nito na makipagnegosasyon para sa kapayapaan sa iba pang rebeldeng grupo sa Mindanao tulad ng Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) kasama ang mga kinatawan ng Philippine peace panel. (Juley Reyes)

Mar 01 2007

Militar, Kalat Sa Maynila!

MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / 01 Mar) — INAMIN ng Armed Forces of the Philippines National Capital Region Command ang pagpapakalat ng mga sundalo sa Kalakhang Maynila.

Una nang tinutuligsa ng mga militanteng grupo ang military deployment sa Metro na umano’y nangangampanya laban sa ilang partylists na iniuugnay sa Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army at nagmomonitor sa galaw ng mga aktibista.

Katwiran ni AFP-NCRCOM Chief Major General Mohammad Dolorfino, walang intensyon ang militar na magdulot ng pagkapanik sa mga militanteng grupo ang kanilang community service sa mga barangay.

Ipinaliwanag nito na nakatuon ang military deployment sa pagresolba ng mga problema sa komunidad sa pakikipagtulungan ng Philippine National Police, City government, barangay leaders at non-government organizations (NGOs).

Limitado rin ang mga armadong security ng mga sundalong kumikilos sa community service.
Binigyang-diin ni Dolorfino na mahigpit ang atas ng liderato ng AFP na dumistansya sa partisan politics kung kayat malabong ikampanya nito ang pagboykot sa mga partylist group.

Hindi rin aniya magsasayang ng panahon ang militar para tiktikan ang aktibidad ng mga militanteng grupo na nangangampanya kontra pamahalaan. (Juley Reyes)

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