Uncategorized

NPAs, Maute Group, MILF splinter, forge an alliance

By MASIDING NOOR YAHYA

August 11, 2019


Contrary to a government announcement that Dawlah Islamiya (DI) is losing grip on the Bangsamoro region after remnants of the DI-inspired Maute group have been surrendering successively to the government or are being neutralized, reports reaching this writer revealed otherwise.
A highly placed source who has close contact with the rebel group and requested anonymity said the Maute group has been recruiting young Muslims after it lost the battle in the Marawi Siege of 2017.
“It has even forged a tactical alliance with the Communist New People’s Army and some breakaway faction of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF),” said the source who is an ustadj (Islamic clergy).
The breakaway faction allegedly belonged to the Northeastern Mindanao Command under Abdullah Macapaar aka Commander Bravo, now a member of the Bangsamoro Parliament.
There were several students and youth reportedly missing and mostly believed kidnapped since last year. “It was found out that 35 boys and 25 girls of the missing are now with the Maute group,” said the source.
A young girl was about to go to Manila before school opening this year to pursue her studies but suddenly disappeared. Lately, however, she got a chance to call by phone her parents and told them not to worry for she w. as in good hand.
The girl who hailed from Unayan, the western region of Lanao del Sur, said 35 boys and 25 girls including her who were new recruits are undergoing religious studies and guerilla training with the Maute group. She did not tell her location and who are with her.
The reported encounter in July between the military and the NPAs in the outskirts of Lumba Bayabao might give truth to the alliance but local executives denied there was a tactical alliance between the communist and DI group.

A retired police officer told this writer he believed there are about 300 NPAs now operating in Lanao del Sur crossing the hinterlands of Lumba Bayabao, Poona Bayabao, and Maguing. (MNY/RSP)

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