MILF assures GPH it won’t use force after arrest of field commander

COTABATO CITY, Feb. 24 (PNA) –The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on Monday dismissed reports their group will “rescue” by force their arrested ranking official,

Ghadzali Jaafar, MILF vice chair for political affairs, said the issue of the arrest of Wahid Tundok, MILF’s 108th base commander in Datu Piang, Maguindanao, is now being investigated by the joint ceasefire panel.

“Rescue is already out of the question, I would like to assure the government that we will not resort to violence that may affect the peace process,” Jaafar said in a radio interview.

Superintendent Jovit Culaway, regional chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (CIDG-ARMM), confirmed that police and Marine forces have arrested Tundok based on the warrants of arrest against him for multiple murder and arson charges.

Culaway said the police are only doing their job of serving the arrest warrants.

Jaafar said the MILF central committee has ordered followers of Tundok to remain sober and refrain from putting the law into their hands.

He added that Tundok, as legitimate official of the MILF has the immunity from arrest as stipulated in the GPH-MILF ceasefire agreement.

Culaway said they learned of Tundok’s route from Cam Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao to Datu Saudi Ampatuan and Datu Piang, both in Maguindanao where the MILF 108th base command is located.

The arrest of Tundok came after another MILF commander was killed in a shootout with police in Datu Paglas, Maguindanao.

Yusop Kusain alias Commander TMX was arrested due to his alleged involvement in the bombing incident in Gen. Santos City that left four people killed in 2007.

Instead of surrendering to authorities, Kusain traded shots with the arresting officers that led to his death.

Von Al-Haq, spokesman of the MILF, said the MILF will file formal protest against government forces based on the 1997 government-MILF ceasefire accord. (PNA)