Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

AFP scales down offensive in Moro areas due to Ramadan

The Philippines has ordered troops to scale down an offensive to flush out rogue Muslim rebels in the south to allow Islamic communities to observe the holy month of Ramadan, the military chief said on Tuesday.

General Alexander Yano said the military would minimise the use of artillery and air strikes on positions occupied by renegade members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on the southern island of Mindanao.

"We're adjusting our law enforcement operations to allow Muslims to peacefully observe Ramadan," Yano said in a statement.

However, he added: "Field commanders are not prevented from proportionately employing such firepower when extremely necessary in addressing imminent threats from overwhelming lawless MILF forces."

The government rejected calls last week to suspend operations against the guerrillas during Ramadan.

Close to 200 people, including 17 soldiers, have been killed in two weeks of fighting between troops and two MILF factions blamed for attacking Christian-majority towns in Mindanao after a peace deal with the government fell apart.

The government of the Catholic nation has been in on-off talks with the MILF since 1997 to end a rebellion that has stunted growth in an impoverished region believed to be sitting on huge deposits of metals and hydrocarbons.

There has been no major engagement between troops and MILF renegades during the last 72 hours, an army spokesman said. (MANNY MOGATO; Reuters)

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