Military action vs MILF leaders gets needed boost
By Jaime Laude Updated December 13, 2008 12:00 AM
The ongoing military operations against three notorious (MILF) commanders in Mindanao got a much-needed boost after President Arroyo recently approved an additional funding to bankroll the costly military campaign against the renegade group in the region.
(AFP) chief Gen. bared this latest development in an interview over government-run NBN television Thursday night.
“We have requested for additional funding for these (operations) and lately the President granted an additional, supplemental budget for the conduct of operations,” Yano said.
Without disclosing the exact amount, the AFP top brass said the additional budget will help sustain the ongoingin Mindanao for the next two to three months.
Budget SecretaryJr., on the other hand, confirmed the approval of the logistical and budgetary requirement although he did not say how much additional funding was released.
At present there are about five military brigades involved in the hunt for MILF renegade commanders Ameril Umbra Kato in Central Mindanao; Abdurahman Macapaar alias Bravo and Aleem Sulaiman Pangalian in the two Lanao provinces and in Sarangani province.
On top of this, the military had also deployed several companies of elite units in the region not only to go after the MILF renegades but also against the communist New People’s Army (NPA).
The three renegade commanders were tagged as the brains behind the series of attacks against civilian and military targets in their respective areas from August onward following the non-signing of the controversial Kuala Lumpur between the MILF and GRP Peace Panel.(MOA-AD) in
Yano pointed out that the AFP has the resources to sustain the fight in Mindanao , but also admitted that the operation has been costly because the three MILF commanders and their followers are operating in a big area.
He said inalone, the military is having difficulty securing the entire Liguasan marsh, an area known to be the bailiwick of Kato’s 105th Base Command.
The rugged terrain in Lanao is also hampering military actions against Bravo, Pangalian and their followers.
Yano said the military has been conducting intelligence- driven actions aimed at downgrading the capabilities of the MILF renegades to conduct atrocities or major offensives like what they did last August inand in . – Paolo Romero, John Unson, Christina Mendez Philstar)