BANGSAMORO Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Chief Minister Ahod "Murad" Ebrahim on Friday said the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has joined the manhunt for the suspects behind the ambush-slay of two police officers in Maguindanao last Tuesday.
"We are helping in hunting down the BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters) men who were tagged, as per our investigation, to be behind the ambush," Ebrahim said.
The MILF, whose central committee is led by Ebrahim, earlier signed separate peace pacts with the government — the 2012 Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro and the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro.
The peace agreements led to the legislation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which was to become the charter of the BARMM that started operation in 2019.
The BIFF, however, is a breakaway faction of the MILF operating in Maguindanao.
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The group was blamed for the ambush-slay of Lt. Reynaldo Samson, Ampatuan town police chief, and his aide-driver, Cpl. Salihudin Endab last Tuesday.
"Our information showed that the BIFF, who are allies of the wanted person the police were to arrest, was behind the bloody ambush. We are hunting them," Ebrahim said.
Samson's group was about to arrest Kamir Kambal, allegedly a BIFF member who has warrants of arrest for frustrated murder, when the authorities were ambushed in the remote village of Kapinpilan.
"We can only help, we cannot arrest these wanted persons in our areas because we have no police power," Ebrahim said.
"Coordination mechanism is part of the peace process. If there are wanted persons in MILF identified areas, a joint government forces-MILF operation can be done," he added.
The coordination mechanism, he said, was to prevent misencounters between MILF and government forces.