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Defense chief to Moro rebels: Show a bit of humility

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 17:07:00 09/02/2008

PALAYAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, Philippines—Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. dared the secessionist rebels to show “a bit of humility” and drop their “arrogance” as troops continue to advance toward positions of two rebel commanders wanted over the Central Mindanao attacks.

But Teodoro, during a meeting of the Cabinet’s National Security Cluster here Tuesday, said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo instructed security forces to be “sensitive” to civilian communities observing Islamic holy month of Ramadan as they run after Moro Islamic Liberation Front commanders Ameril Ombra Kato and Abdulrahman Macapaar alias Commander Bravo.

“The operations during Ramadan will be tailored to afford great respect to communities, but law enforcement will continue against Kato and Bravo,” he said.

Kato was charged for occupying villages in North Cotabato, while Bravo was charged over attacks in Lanao del Norte last month.

Asked about the MILF’s continued refusal to surrender the two commanders, Teodoro said: “By saying such a thing, the MILF makes itself more irrelevant because its credibility is put to the test.”

Teodoro said the way the secessionist rebels “try to increase their leverage is by puffing themselves up. Once again, it is a counter-productive tactic of theirs.”

“Perhaps a bit of humility, arrogance doesn’t bring you anywhere, a heady dose of that should serve a better purpose than puffing yourself up,” he said.

Moro rebels seized 15 villages in Lanao del Norte early August, burning houses and displacing thousands of civilians. Military operations dislodged them from the areas. The fighting left two soldiers and an estimated 31 MILF rebels killed.

The government has filed 50 different cases that included 22 cases of arson, robbery, murder, and kidnapping against Kato and his men for the atrocities they committed in Mindanao.

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Written by joelguinto

TueUTC2008-09-02T09:30:43+00:00UTC09bUTCTue, 02 Sep 2008 09:30:43 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am09

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