Archive for the ‘MILF’ Category

Top Philippine court rejects Muslim autonomy deal

October 16, 2008

Top Philippine court rejects Muslim autonomy deal
By OLIVER TEVES – 1 day ago

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine Supreme Court threw out on Tuesday a proposed accord to grant minority Muslims expanded autonomy after Christian protests and renewed fighting convinced the government to abandon the deal.

The court had already blocked the planned Aug. 5 signing of the agreement after Christian politicians in the main southern region of Mindanao, scene of a decades-long Muslim rebellion, claimed it violated the constitution and could lead to the partition of the Philippines.

The move angered Moro Islamic Liberation Front guerrillas, who went on a rampage Aug. 18, shooting or hacking to death at least 37 people in several southern towns. The violence prompted President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to suspend the autonomy talks.

A spokeswoman for the court, Gleo Guerra, said eight of the 15 justices voted Tuesday to declare the deal unconstitutional.

Government forces have launched air and ground assaults targeting three rebel commanders who allegedly led hundreds of their men in the brutal August raids.

The rebel attacks and subsequent military assaults killed nearly 100 civilians and displaced about half a million in about 10 Mindanao provinces at the height of the fighting, the government said.

The rebel group — with an estimated 11,000 fighters — has been battling for self-rule in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation’s volatile south for decades.

Christian politicians protesting the accord have warned that an enlarged Muslim homeland could spark renewed sectarian violence.

Rebel leaders have criticized Arroyo’s government for backing out of the deal after 11 years of negotiations.

The accord would have expanded an existing six-province Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao, subject to the agreement of local residents.

U.S. and Philippine officials had hoped a peace accord would transform the resource-rich southern Philippines into a bustling economic hub instead of a breeding ground for terrorists.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5j_MyE1LBQaFm9vBtAphxTCTWkdWQD93Q61A01

8 killed in new Islamic Bombing in the Philippines

September 1, 2008

8 Killed In New Bombing In Southern Philippines
Monday, September 01, 2008 04:11:12 PM

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 1, 2008) – A homemade bomb explosion Monday ripped through a commuter bus, killing at least 8 people in the southern Philippines, where security forces are battling Moro rebels, officials said.

Officials said the bombing targeted the bus owned by Metro Shuttle in Digos City in Davao del Sur province. At least seven people were seriously wounded in the attack.

The bombing occurred at a bus depot shortly before 3 p.m., according to Army Col. Roland Bautista, of the 10th Infantry Division. “We still don’t know the motive of the bombing,” he told the Mindanao Examiner.

Metro Shuttle bus owner Mayor Rey Uy, of Tagum City, has blamed extortionists as behind the bombing and urged authorities to put an end to the attacks. It was the second Metro Shuttle bus bombed in three months, he said.

He said four people were instantly killed in the blast, but other reports claimed four more others had perished in the bombing and the number of casualties may still increase because more people had been rushed to hospitals. Radio network dzRH also reported that 8 people were killed in the blast.

Army Maj. Armand Rico, a spokesman for the Eastern Mindanao Command, said the blast was so powerful that it decapitated the head of a still unidentified civilian. “It was powerful that the blast decapitated the head of a civilian,” he said.

Witnesses said they saw human body parts scattered inside the bus. The blast tore the roof and sides of the bus.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but a bombing in July of another Metro Shuttle bus in Digos City had been largely blamed to the Al-Khobar gang.

One passenger was killed and 35 others were wounded in the July bombing, which authorities claimed had been carried out by a woman, who left a bag containing the explosive inside the bus.

Three days before the bombing, Uy said unidentified men demanded P500,000 from his firm and P50,000 every month as protection money. Uy said the men threatened to bomb his buses if he will not pay up.

The Al-Khobar gang is composed mostly of Filipino terrorists and some of them were former Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels trained by the Indonesian militant Jemaah Islamiya.

The latest bombing coincided with government offensive against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels who launched a series of attacks last month in the provinces that killed dozens of civilians. It was not immediately known whether the rebels had anything to do with the bombing, officials said. (With a report from Romy Bwaga)

http://www.mindanaoexaminer.com/news.php?news_id=20080901031112


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