The Daily Manila Shimbun


Participation of MNLF in fight vs Maute not doable yet  mechanism to be discussed: military spokesman  

June 5, 2017

The 2,000 fighters of the former secessionist Moro National Liberation Front may not be allowed to join in fighting the Islamic State-inspired Maute Terror Group in Marawi City as mechanisms for their participation are to be discussed, a military spokesman said on Monday. Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr. said the Armed Forces of the Philippines has no "appropriate protocols" that would allow MNLF combatants to be part of the government forces. "The mechanisms for any kind of this arrangement needs to be discussed thoroughly prior to its implementation," he said in the "Mindanao Hour" press briefing in Malacanang on Monday. President Rodrigo Duterte said on Sunday he accepted the offer of MNLF founding chairman Nur Misuari some of his 2,000 men be allowed to fight with the government troopers against the Maute militants. "So right now we don’t have the appropriate protocols. We don’t have the appropriate coordinative elements on the ground to make this happen. So this may come later after the resolution of the Marawi incident but not during this time," Padilla said. Duterte has also urged the communist New People's Army to surrender and if they want they could be integrated into the military. In the 1996 Final Peace Agreement between the government and the MNLF, thousands of former rebel combatants were integrated to the Armed Forces of the Philippines. (Celerina Monte/DMS)