Alleged MNLF members in Cadiz to leave after Ramadan

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD CITY – Some individuals claiming to be alleged members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), will leave Barangay Tinampa-an, Cadiz City, Negros Occidental after Ramadan.

Captain Dan Carlo Samoza, civil military operations (CMO) officer of the Army’s 79th Infantry Battalion (IB), said that Ramadan will end on April 10.

Samoza said that those who came from Mindanao will return to their hometown, while those who are from Negros will remain, but will also go back to their respective places.

On March 23, Lieutenant Colonel Arnel Calaoagan, 79th IB commander, met with the alleged MNLF members in a dialogue at the 79th IB headquarters in Barangay Bato, Sagay City.

The discussion focused on the result of a series of engagements of the 79th IB with the city government of Cadiz, the city police force, and other government agencies for the group “to seize their alleged recruitment and construction of facilities in their illegally occupied parcel of land in Barangay Tinampa-an.”

Samoza said that the group was also reminded not to bear weapons which may impede a suitable resolution to the current situation.

He said that the dialogue was to ensure that the agreement between the alleged MNLF members and the city government would be implemented with sincerity.

He said the Army’s function is to secure the area and the people, which is in support of the police’s role, adding that they are also validating their numbers.

The discussion ended expressing the group’s commitment to work together towards a lasting peace and development in northern Negros.

The news about the alleged presence of MNLF in the city broke out last month, when police received information from a concerned citizen about the alleged presence of some individuals, wearing old U.S. fatigue military uniforms in Barangay Tinampa-an.

Upon verification, police said that these persons are occupying a lot in a subdivision that was pawned to a bank years ago. They put up a structure without the permission of the land owner, according to the police.

Some residents felt uncomfortable with their presence in the area. But, police maintained that the area is very peaceful and everything is in order.

Police have already conducted bio-profiling on 17 persons to get their basic personal information as part of the procedure, in response to the call of Mayor Salvador Escalante for validation of their alleged presence. Police said that these personalities have been cooperative with them.

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