Gov't, MILF forge ceasefire pact ending Basilan gunfight
ZAMBOANGA CITY ? The Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) agreed to a ceasefire on Thursday afternoon ending fighting between soldiers and MILF forces in Barangay Ulitan, Ungkaya Pukan, Basilan.
The ceasefire pact came two days after a firefight ensued between forces of the 101st Infantry Brigade and members of the MILF-Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces’ 114 Base Command.
The firefight began at 12:30 pm Tuesday when a soldier stationed at a detachment in Barangay Ulitan, Ungkaya Pukan was slightly bruised by sniper fire from an area occupied by MILF members and lawless elements.
The gun battle resulted in the death of seven combatants -- three soldiers and four on the MILF and lawless elements -- while 12 were wounded.
Brig. Gen. Arturo Rojas, acting commander of the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom), said all three slain soldiers belonged to the Army’s 18th Infantry Battalion.
In a statement Friday, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU), said the ceasefire agreement, which was signed around 4 pm Thursday, was facilitated by the GPH and MILF’s Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) and Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG), and the Non-Violent Peace Force (NVFP). DMS