Inside out

Random musings in and outside the news

AS RAMADAN STARTS: Metro Manila on ‘normal status’ despite Mindanao fighting

Posted by Abi Kwok on September 1, 2008

By Abigail Kwok
First Posted 11:06:00 09/01/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Despite persistent skirmishes between government troops and Moro rebels in Mindanao as Ramadan begins this Monday, Metro Manila will remain on normal alert, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said.

Deputy Director General Jesus Verzosa, PNP deputy chief for administration, said that the police would maintain their “proper and normal status here” despite threats of a “communal and ethnic war” by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Fighting continued on the eve of the start of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan as troops pursued renegade groups led by Ameril Ombra Kato and Abdulla Macapaar alias Commander Bravo, who account for the 500 to 1,000 fighters of the 12,000-strong MILF.

Verzosa said that the full alert status was still raised in the entire Mindanao region and the PNP was closely conducting “defensive” operations in close coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

“This is purely for defensive and for follow-up operations, particularly in towns in North Cotabato and with forces identified with both Kato and Bravo,” he added.


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