July 12, 2012: The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has issued a statement today condemning the ambush and killing of six civilians and wounding of 22 others in Basilan last July 11.
Eight soldiers were also wounded in the ambush that happened at around 6 a.m. in the village of Sapa Bulak, Sumisip, Basilan.
Mohammad Ameen, chairperson of the MILF Secretariat, denounced the killing as an act of barbarism, unfitted for people who still claim as believers, even as he also urged the civilians not to mingle with soldiers who are natural target of their enemies.
The victims are workers of rubber plantation Tumahubong Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development Cooperative (TARBIDC) whose workers also figured in some misunderstanding with the suspected ambushers, who are said to be members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
The ambush on Wednesday was the second attack on TARBIDC this year. The first was last April 5 when the ASG killed three militiamen providing security for the rubber tappers. Seven rubber plantation workers were injured in that attack.
In 2010, the bandits abducted and later killed three workers of the rubber plantation after they failed to collect a ransom.
The Wednesday ambush also came a day after eight soldiers of the 12th Scout Ranger Company were wounded when their convoy ran over a homemade bomb fashioned as landmine in the same area near Sumisip town.
It was learned that said the soldiers were providing security to the holding of voters’ registration in this province, which is part of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Some 2,400 policemen and soldiers were deployed to guard voters who were registering for next year's elections in this province.