No BIFF, MILF in Cebu Province
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Freeman) - March 7, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Authorities have assured that no member of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and Moro Islamic Liberation Front has fled to Cebu following the controversial Mamasapano carnage in January.

“We have an active intelligence network doing something about it. So far, wala tayong report na nakatakbo sila dito,” Lt. Gen. Nicanor Vibar of the Philippine Air Force told Governor Hilario Davide III during yesterday’s Provincial Peace and Order Council meeting at the Capitol.

Vibar made the assurance after Davide said he heard talks about a possible escape of members of the two groups to Cebu and other areas in the Visayas.

Vibar said they have strengthened efforts to keep the province free of these rebel groups. Updates from Negros and Tacloban also proved negative as far as this information is concerned, he said.

“Haka-haka lang ang mga yan. Tinutuloy namin ang pagtiti-yak na walang makakapasok dito,” Vibar said.

Vibar also assured Davide that the Muslims in Cebu are “peace-loving”, that they themselves would not want to be involved in any rebel group as they have businesses here to protect.

“Peace-loving ang Muslim community dito. Di sila papayag na magkagulo, maapektuhan mga negosyo nila,” he said.

Yesterday’s meeting was parti-cipated in by representatives from the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines, League of Municipalities of the Philippines, among others.

MASS

Yesterday afternoon, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma led a Mass at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral to commemorate the 40th day of the death of the 44 SAF members.

Palma said the Mass was not solely for the SAF members but also for the 18 Muslim fighters and five civilians who were killed in the clash.

“Ang atong pag-ampo sa tanang nangamatay niadtong higayuna. Our prayers, we lift them up to God. Since that happened, life will never be the same again. Inig mata sa asawa, anak sa mga namatay, wala na sila,” Palma said in his homily.

Palma urged the faithful to treasure and value the legacy of those who offered their lives in the name of peace. He shared that he, too, lost a family member when his younger brother, a captain at the Philippine Marine Corps, was ambushed and killed in Jolo, Sulu.

The widows of Cebuano SAF troopers PO1 Windel Candano and PO1 Romeo Cempron did not make it to the Mass but Palma said, “We have no control over their reasons. To us, the event itself is special.” Aside from personnel of the PNP, also present at the Mass were Senator Teofisto Guingona III, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, and Santander Vice Mayor Wilson Wenceslao.

Police Regional Office-7 Police Community Relations chief, Supt. Clarito Baja, led the uniformed and non-uniformed PNP officers and personnel at the Mass. Some policemen wore white shirts printed with the faces of the 44 fallen troopers.

PRO-7 Director, Police Chief Supt. Prudencio Bañas; Cebu Provincial Police Office Director, Police Senior Supt. Noel Gillamac; and Cebu City Police OIC, Senior Supt. Conrad Capa, were not able to make it to the Mass.

The Freeman learned that the Mass coincided with the Performance Governance System activity of the police forces.—  Liv G. Campo and Jessa J. Agua/JMO (FREEMAN)

 

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES BANGSAMORO ISLAMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS AND MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT CAMPO AND JESSA J CEBU CEBU ARCHBISHOP JOSE PALMA CEBU CITY MAYOR MICHAEL RAMA CEBU CITY POLICE CEBU METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL MASS VIBAR
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