Report on ceasefire violations probe out by mid-March

An adhoc committee set to submit a report next month is investigating allegations of ceasefire violations committed by both the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the chief of the government’s ceasefire committee said.

Brig. Gen. Edgardo Gurrea said the adhoc committee has zeroed in on
the alleged violations by both partiers in Midsayap, North Cotabato in
a series of clashes last month.

He said the findings could be out around March 15.

The fact-finding mission, an adhoc committee led by the International
Monitoring Team (IMT), will collect and validate data in the field to
see “who started who” in the clashes, Gurrea told MindaNews in an
interview Monday.

The mission is composed of representatives from the government and the
Moro rebels, civil-society organizations like the grassroots-based
Bantay Ceasefire.

Gurrea assured whatever the outcome of the investigation of the
incidents he identified as “isolated cases” would be properly carried
out.

He said they are counting on the local government in Midsayap and
North Cotabato to address the problem of land conflict, which is
reported to be the cause of the clashes.

Bantay Ceasefire, a civilian ceasefire monitoring group, said in a
report on January 29 there is consensus the root cause of the clashes
was land dispute.

“But not everybody knows it is a deep-seated and very complicated
problem that involves a lot of individuals, some of them economically
and politically powerful,” the report said.

Gurrea said there is substantial reduction of the number of violations
— from 15 violent incidents in 2005 to eight in 2006. He predicted it
will be cut further this year.

About mindanaw

A Journalist from Mindanao

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