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MILF coddled Marwan, Cayetano tells Senate

THE Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has repeatedly violated the terms of its peace agreement with the government, including the coddling of Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said Wednesday.

In a privilege speech, Cayetano said Commander Wahid tundoc of the 118th Base Command of the MILF helped protect Marwan, even though one of the conditions of the peace agreement was that the MILF renounce terrorism.

Cayetano
Cayetano said this also proved the MILF had links to international terrorist groups.  international terrorists.

Marwan was killed in the Jan. 25 clash in Mamapasano town in Maguindano in an operation in which 44 Special Action Force police commandos were killed by Muslim rebels, including MILF fighters.  Cayetano said he received reports that Marwan was living in a hut that belonged to slain MILF commander Ustadz Bagindali, in the middle of an MILF community.

He said Marwan was a devout Muslim who prayed everyday at the mosque, so it was impossible that the MILF did not know he was there.  Police have tagged Marwan as a Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist, who made and  delivered bombs to several terrorist groups, including the Abu Sayaff. He also trained various groups how to build bombs.  A police report also tagged Marwan as a close associate of Azahari Husin, a fellow Malaysian terrorist. Both were believed to be the masterminds behind the 2002 Bali bombing that killed 202 civilians.  “But who is Commander Wahid Tundok?  Commander Wahid Tundok  s one of the most senior and excellent fighters of the MILF. He has many cases like multiple murder, arson, robbery and other crimes. Commander Wahid Tundok is the commander ng 118th Base Command of the MILF,”  Cayetano said.

He said Tundok was arrested by the police on Febr. 23, 2014 but was released three days later because of the efforts of the government peace panel.

Cayetano also pinpointed to Commander Tundok  and his men as among the initial suspects in the massacre of the 44 SAF commandos.  He said this was contrary to the claim of Secretary Teresita Deles, presidential adviser on the peace process, and chief peace negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer that Tuldok was the one who reported the Mamasapano “misencounter” and brokered the ceasefire between the SAF members and unidentified armed men.

“If indeed it was true that he helped in the ceasefire, why did he refuse to be interviewed by the board of inquiry of the Philippine National Police, which probed the incident? Why?  There are questions that Commander Tundok cannot answer like, for example, who was supporting and helping and protecting the terrorist Marwan?” said Cayetano.

Cayetano said Commander Tundok  cannot answer these questions because he was one of the MILF commanders  helping and protecting Marwan.  He said the exchange of emails between Marwan and his brother that Cayetano earlier released to the media showed the MILF’s ties with terrorists, and that Tundok was helping Marwan—telling him where to buy weapons and warning him of imminent attacks by government troops.  Cayetano said Tundok also warned Marwan that US drones were spying on their camps.

Cayetano said the MILF also failed to negotiate in good faith by building up its armory of weapons and recruiting fighters while talking peace with the government.

In the House, the leader of the independent minority bloc, Leyte Rep.  Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, said the only way the Bangsamoro Basic Law will get passed is if Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. allows Congress to resume its investigation of the Mamasapano debacle.  Romualdez, president of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa), said a constitutional and well-crafted BBL is attainable only after the joint probe of the House committees on public order and safety and on peace, reconciliation and unity on the Mamasapano incident is resumed.

Romualdez stressed the need for Congress to get into the bottom of the bloody incident which claimed the lives of 44 police commandos.

On Tuesday, at least 94 lawmakers threw their support behind a call to

the House leadership to resume the probe. – With Maricel V. Cruz

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