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Country ‘not at war’ in Mindanao — Yano

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 13:34:00 08/15/2008

MANILA, Philippines — The country is “not at war” in Mindanao, Armed Forces Chief Alexander Yano said Friday, but admitted that the security situation in the region was “volatile and fluid.”

Earlier this week, military operations dislodged some 500 Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels from 15 villages in North Cotabato.

“We are not at war in Mindanao,” Yano said in a speech during the alumni homecoming of the National Defense College of the Philippines.

Yano said that the events in North Cotabato were “far” from the definition of war, which is two states fighting each other. He described the fighting as a “preventable confrontation,” caused by the MILF occupation of the villages.

“While we are not at war, the security situation in Mindanao is volatile and fluid,” Yano said.

On Thursday, alleged MILF rebels fired at an Army patrol base in Pigkawayan, North Cotabato, one of the towns reportedly cleared from the MILF.

They were no casualties in the five-minute shooting, said Major Armand Rico, Eastern Mindanao Command spokesman.

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Written by joelguinto

FriUTC2008-08-15T08:07:30+00:00UTC08bUTCFri, 15 Aug 2008 08:07:30 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am08

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