MILF joins Philippines in condemning terror attacks in France

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - First Page - (MindanaoExaminer)

COTABATO CITY – The Moro Islamic Liberation Front has joined the Philippines in condemning the deadly terrorist attacks by ISIS across civilian targets in France that had killed and wounded over 300 people in Paris.

The MILF, which signed a peace accord with Manila in 2014, said it was saddened by the tragic events in Paris.

“These blind, indiscriminate acts of violence deserve nothing but condemnation. This is unacceptable. The MILF rejects such acts of terror against humanity and all peace- loving peoples.”

“Our thoughts are with the victims and their families. May we all find our way through these troubled times and emerge with a stronger resolve to pursue peace for all peoples in all parts of the world,” the MILF said as it also condemned the violence against civilians in Palestine, Myanmar and elsewhere in the world.

“We take this opportunity also to condemn in same strong terms the violence against civilians in Palestine, in Myanmar, and elsewhere in the world,” it said, obviously referring to Israel’s aggression against innocent Palestinians and the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

The MILF - which was previously accused by authorities as behind many terror attacks in the southern Philippines and harbored al- Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiya militants – is seeking Muslim autonomy in the troubled region. President Aquino President Benigno Aquino has condemned the Friday attacks in Paris. “Terror and brutality have plunged the City of Light, Paris, into the darkness of horror and grief. The Philippines and its people stand in solidarity with the people of Paris and all of France, in this time of deepest sorrow and the gravest outrage against the perpetrators of these crimes.”

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman, of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, also condemned the Paris attacks, and the suicide bombings in Lebanon perpetrated by ISIS.

“We condemn the separate terror attacks that killed over a hundred in Paris and Beirut - acts that are designed to sow terrorism, implant hatred, and test humanity. We offer our sympathy and prayers to the families of the victims and to the people of France and Lebanon as we call for unity in the face of this horrendous adversity,” Hataman said.

While many nations and people offered prayers for Paris, Mayor Samier Tan, of Sulu’s Maimbung town, said citizens should also offer prayers to the Philippines where the culture of violence had killed many innocent victims. Pray for Philippines Tan, who survived a suicide bombing in Zamboanga City in August 5, 2010, cited bombings in Basilan province, Zamboanga city and elsewhere in southern Philippines with latest attacks wounding at least 10 people in North Cotabato and Cotabato City.

“I am just annoyed by this Pray for Paris posts (in social media), sorry hindi ako agaw-trip pero recently many (people) were also killed in Basilan bombing at isang buong tricycle ang pinasabog, but nobody prayed for Basilan.”

“Sa Zamboanga City, lintek ang mga bomba sumasabog and many Filipinos were also killed, nobody prayed for Zamboanga! I am also a victim of a suicide bomber in Zamboanga (International) Airport, first in Asia daw na may suicide bomber at sa akin pa tumalsik ang ulo, but until now nobody even posted to pray for our country,” he said.

Tan was with his father, then Sulu Governor Sakur Tan, when the backpack carried by the bomber detonated outside the arrival area of the airport. The bomber, Reynaldo Apilado, and Hatimil Haron, one of his cohorts, were killed in the blast that also wounded dozens of people, inclduing the governor.

Police had implicated the governor’s political foes as behind the bombing. The elder Tan also survived a roadside bombing in 2009 in Sulu province, but ten of his companions, including him and a town mayor, were wounded in the attack also blamed by the police to Tan’s political opponents who have links with the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf.

The aftermath of the 2010 suicide bombing outside the Zamboanga International Airport in southern Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

A little girl closely follows hand washing instructions from Mayor Beng Climaco during the orientation on WASH in day care centers and schools organized by the City Social Welfare and Development Office and other government agencies in Zamboanga City. (Joey Bautista)

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