Solon to govt: Step up security in Lanao Norte

THE REGION
By GERRY LEE GORIT
September 4, 2017

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CAGAYAN de Oro City--With the discussion of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) at the House of Representatives, a Lanao del Norte lawmaker has appealed to his colleagues in Congress to ask the military to augment its troops in the province.

Fearing a recurrence of the attacks carried out by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in his home province in 2008, Lanao del Norte 1st District Rep. Mohamad Khalid Dimaporo said he has asked legislators at the Lower House to request the Armed Forces of the Philippines to deploy additional soldiers to secure the area.

Dimaporo said it is important to deploy at least five battalions of soldiers so what happened in 2008 in Lanao del Norte where the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) attacked some of its towns will not be repeated.

“With that in mind, I ask that the security of Lanao del Norte be ensured to prevent another recurrence of an MILF attack while the 17th Congress deliberates the [BBL]. For this purpose, I have filed three house resolutions in an attempt to ensure the safety and security of my constituents,” he said in a statement.

BBL was drafted to establish the new Bangsamoro political entity and provide for its basic structure of government, in recognition of the aspirations of the Bangsamoro people.

The MILF initiated the attacks in Lanao del Norte following the failure of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD), which the Moro separatist rebels and the government of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed, but was met with massive opposition from other sectors in Mindanao, in 2008.

Aside from his proposal to increase the military presence in his province, Dimaporo also filed resolutions in Congress directing the Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Philippine Air Force, to convert the Balo-i airport to an Air Force base to augment the security forces in the area.

Another resolution was filed to direct the Department of Justice to submit to the appropriate committee a copy of the case filed against Commander Bravo and his warrant of arrest in relation to the 2008 MILF attack in Lanao del Norte.

“We should not forget that they [MILF] cunningly misinformed their AFP counterparts regarding their conduct of training exercises, yet in actuality they were amassing their forces for a planned attack on Kauswagan and Kolambugan. We should not forget that although their fight is with the government they came down from the mountains with the objective to harm innocent civilians,” the congressman added.


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