The online news portal of TV5
National Police chief Gen. Nicanor Bartolome on Saturday ordered the deployment of Special Action Force (SAF) teams to Maguindanao help pursue rogue rebels belonging to the Ameril Umbrakato-led Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM), a splinter group from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
Bartolome bared the deployment following a fresh attack by the rebels early Saturday on an SAF outpost. The rebels killed one soldier in Barangay Maitumig in Datu Unsay town. The fatality was identified as Police Officer 1 Randy Dumaguing.
The rebels withdrew before reinforcements arrived.
Dumauing counts as the ninth fatality since August 5, when the BIFF started mounting a series of attacks on military outposts and installations in Maguindanao. Two soldiers killed were mutilated by the rebels.
The ensuing firefights in the province have reportedly displaced 5,000 families.
The military has regained control of the Maguindanao-General Santos Highway that was earlier captured by the rebels.
The peace panels of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have both condemned the attacks being waged by the BIFF.
"The Parties condemn the senseless attacks of the so-called Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFF-BIFM), as well as the violent acts of lawless elements in several areas in Mindanao," a joint statement released on Saturday said. "The GPH and the MILF denounce these aggressions ... by groups who will do everything to derail the peace process. The Parties will work together to ensure that these spoilers will not succeed as the Parties continue to push forward to bring a just and lasting peace to our peoples and communities."
The joint statement was signed by government chief peace negotiator Marvic Leonen, MILF panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal, and Malaysian government facilitator Tengku Dato' Ab Ghafar Tengku Mohamed.
The government and the MILF have just concluded their 30th round of formal exploratory talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Last year, the MILF leadership expelled Umbrakato from the organization. Reports said the rogue Moro rebel leader has more than 1,000 fully-armed followers. Umbrakato was facing a string of criminal cases for his involvement in the 2008 attacks against government forces and civilian communities killing more than 60 people in Central Mindanao. The attacks were launched after the Supreme Court (SC) junked the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD).