Oct 212014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/03/07MANILA828.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA828 2007-03-14 00:46 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO4414
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #0828/01 0730046
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 140046Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5655
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 000828

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/14/2017
TAGS: PINS KISL RP
SUBJECT: ARROYO DIRECTS MILITARY TO ADVANCE MILF PEACE PROCESS

REF: MANILA 782

Classified By: Pol/C Scott Bellard for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (C) Summary. President Arroyo on March 12 directed
closer cooperation between the Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP) and established peace process mechanisms
with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). This new
directive, which followed months of sporadic skirmishing
between AFP and MILF units in central Mindanao, as well as a
March 10 statement by the MILF leadership that the cease-fire
with the Philippine Government was on the verge of collapse,
further highlighted the importance of better interagency
cooperation/coordination and more carefully calibrated
tactical operations. The President’s directive also
helpfully underscored again the Philippine Government’s
strong commitment to the peace process in Mindanao. End
Summary.

————————–
MILF Issues Strong Warning
————————–

¶2. (U) In a March 10 press statement, Moro Islamic
Liberation Front (MILF) Central Committee Member/Chief
Information Officer/Chief Peace Negotiator Mohagher Iqbal
warned that the Philippine Government-MILF cease-fire was in
danger of collapsing from repeated violations of the
cease-fire by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
MILF leaders alleged that OV-10 planes dropped at least 22
bombs during the March 5-7 fighting in Midsayap, North
Cotabato (reftel), that elements of the AFP 64th Infantry
Battalion shot two civilians in Datu Saudi Ampatuan,
Maguindanao on March 8, and that the AFP fired 21 artillery
barrages at MILF positions during fighting in Dapiawan, Datu
Piang, Maguindanao on March 9.

¶3. (U) MILF Coordinating Committee for the Cessation of
Hostilities (CCCH) Chairman Von Al-Haq presented the MILF’s
view of the sporadic outbreaks of fighting during a March 12
peace forum at Southern Christian College in Midsayap
organized by the Mindanao Peoples’ Peace Movement and the
Mindanao PeaceWeavers. GRP/CCCH Chairman Brig-Gen Edgardo
Gurrea, International Monitoring Team (IMT) Deputy Head of
Mission Brig-Gen Dato Zainal bin Abdurahman, and AFP 6th
Infantry Division Commander Maj-Gen Nehemias Pajarito also
attended the forum. In his statement, Maj-Gen Pajarito
expressed full support for the peace process, and said that
AFP troops in Midsayap would be repositioned.

—————————
GRP Security Officials Meet
—————————

¶4. (C) According to Executive Director of the Philippine
Government’s Peace Negotiations Panel Ryan Sullivan,
Philippine security officials met on March 12 to discuss
issues affecting the peace process. Following this meeting,
President Arroyo issued a press release containing directives
to the Department of National Defense (DND) and the AFP to:
work closely with established peace process mechanisms (Joint
CCCH, Ad Hoc Joint Action Group, and the Malaysian-led
International Monitoring Team); review and amend current AFP
Guidelines on the peace process and strictly enforce the
amended guidelines; adhere to the 1997 Agreement on the
Cessation of Hostilities and its Implementing Guidelines;
conduct a comprehensive study of all doctrines, standards,
and criteria of operational performance to identify and
resolve inconsistencies; and, exercise restraint in the use
of artillery and aerial bombing.

¶5. (U) President Arroyo also emphasized in her directive
that “without impairing the operational flexibility and quick
response of the AFP in countering threats of terrorism,
insurgency and criminality, all commanders in the field are
enjoined to be constantly aware of the strategic implications
of tactical actions in the proximity of MILF areas.”

——-
Comment
——-

¶6. (C) Inadequate interagency cooperation/coordination by
some elements of the AFP, as well as actions by some elements
of the MILF and some Local Government Units, remain
impediments to the peace process and continue to put some
lives at risk and create internally displaced persons.
President Arroyo’s new directive underscored in no uncertain

MANILA 00000828 002 OF 002

terms the Philippine Government’s strong commitment toward
advancing the peace process in Mindanao and reining in any
wayward or overly aggressive elements of the security forces.

Visit Embassy Manila’s Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm

You can also access this site through the State Department’s
Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/

KENNEY

   

 

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