Philippine Army Confirms Alliance Between Muslim And Communist Rebels In Mindanao
Wednesday, August 27, 2008 04:03:49 PM
MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / August 27, 2008) – The Philippine Army on Wednesday confirmed government reports that Muslim rebels and have forged an alliance with communist insurgents in Mindanao, where security forces are battling the guerillas.
Colonel Daniel Lucero, commander of the Army’s Civil-Military Operations, said the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the outlawed New People’s Army have forged a formal alliance as early as in 1999.
“In fact, an informal agreement has been in existence since the late 1980’s. The formal link between the NDF, represented by the Mindanao Commission, and the MILF was forged in 1999. The written agreement covers, among others, exchange of information, sharing of training, manufacture of arms and ammunition - particularly rocket-propelled grenades,” Lucero said, referring to the National Democratic Front, the political wing of the NPA and the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Lucero said this explains why the Mindanao-based NPA rebels were reported to have used anti-tank rockets, loaned by the MILF, in battling government soldiers. He said there were many occasions that MILF forces had disrupted military operations against the NPA in the past.
“Government troops had monitored, in many occasions that MILF forces had been utilized to act as blocking force to NPA’s terror offensives, particularly in the provinces of Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato and South Cotabato,” he said.
He said the MILF, which authorities also linked to the Indonesian terror group Jemaah Islamiya, also provided sanctuary and refuge to communist insurgents who were fleeing government offensives in Mindanao.
“What is more revealing in this alliance is the deafening silence and refusal of the CPP-NPA-NDF and its allied organizations to condemn the terror acts perpetrated by the MILF rebels (in recent attacks in Mindanao),” he said.
The MILF, which is fighting for a separate Muslim homeland, admitted forging an alliance with the NPA, which has been waging a secessionist war for decades for the establishment of a Maoist state in the Philippines. Manila has said the two rebel groups have forged an alliance and that the communist rebels were financing and proving arms and automatic weapons to the MILF.
Communist rebels broke off peace talks with the Arroyo government in 2004 after accusing Manila of reneging on its commitments to free all political prisoners and to put a stop to political killings, among others.
The United States and the European Union on Manila's prodding listed the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA, including its political arm, the National Democratic Front, as foreign terrorist organizations and froze their assets abroad. (Mindanao Examiner)