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MILF refuses land transfer to Zambo

Posted on November 23, 2014 09:24:00 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

THE MORO Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is opposing the handover of the Cabatangan Government Complex from the custody of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to the Zamboanga City government.

On Sunday, the MILF opposed the transfer of ownership of 96-hectare compound, citing that the property should become a part of the proposed Bangsamoro region as stated in the peace agreement the group has inked with the national government.

“Being the prospective lead entity once the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) is established in 2015, the MILF is opposed to this sale, because all the assets and properties of the ARMM will eventually be transferred to the BTA, as provided for in the GPH-MILF Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB),” the MILF said in an editorial posted on its Web site Luwaran.

The MILF also scored Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar and Zamboanga Rep. Celso L. Lobregat for wanting to start the process of transferring the ownership immediately.

“The city officials, with one or two expressing strong reservations, want to buy the property up to the extent of threatening to file a case of mandamus to force the national government to agree to the sale,” the MILF also said.

The Cabatangan complex is located inside the Cabatangan Village in Zamboanga City, which has been a place of a major armed conflict between government and rebel forces in the past.

In 2001, the complex was seized by former members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to protest the ouster of its Chairman Nur Misuari as head of the ARMM during the time of former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The Philippine military then conducted air strikes on the area before agreeing to an agreement with the MNLF that ended the conflict.

The complex currently houses several government offices which include the Commission on Audit and the Civil Service Commission as well as other government regional offices.
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