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MILF beset with ‘severe credibility problem’– DND chief

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By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 15:49:00 08/25/2008

MANILA, Philippines — By “coddling” its commanders who have been charged over the Central Mindanao attacks, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is beset with a “severe credibility problem,” Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said Monday.

At the same time, Teodoro appealed to the “sensibility” of members of the MILF organization to “break away from the strangle hold” of their comrades who have condoned Commanders Ombra Kato and Bravo.

“They want to stop the law enforcement activities, but at the same time, they continue to coddle and harbor those who committed atrocities, not condemning it outright, and this adds to the severe credibility problem which already faces the MILF,” the defense chief told a news conference in Camp Aguinaldo.

The MILF has refused to surrender the two commanders, prompting military strikes that have caused the Moro rebel group 15 of its camps and battle positions over the weekend.

“I still do not want to stereotype each and every person of the MILF as a coddler of atrocities or what not. There is still some hope however, be that as it may, the unbargainable condition is that we will number one, run after the perpetrators of the atrocities, and second, we will prevent a recurrence of these atrocities,” Teodoro said.

Asked about worries that the peace process would suffer in the face of the military offensives, Teodoro stood pat on the operations.

“Nandito tayo sa tama. Ginagawa natin ito dahil gusto natin ilagay sa hustisya ang mga lumabag sa batas ng Pilipinas… As a Republic, tayo ba ay yuyuko o titiklop sa harapan ng mga banta na ganyan na walang kredibilidad? Palagay ko obvious po ang sagot doon [We are on the
right side. We are doing this because we want to bring those who broke Philippine laws to the bar of justice… As a Republic, will we be cowed by these threats? I think the answer is obvious],” he said.

Asked if the MILF could be branded as terrorists under the Human Security Act, Teodoro reiterated that this would be subject to a “meticulous and tedious process.”

“We’ll cross the bridge when we get there,” he said.

View article as posted on INQUIRER.net

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Written by joelguinto

MonUTC2008-08-25T08:15:43+00:00UTC08bUTCMon, 25 Aug 2008 08:15:43 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am08

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