August 16, 2012 – The Government of the Philippines (GPH) continues its punitive actions against the so-called Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters - Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFF – BIFM) in some towns of Maguindanao.
This was prompted by the simultaneous attacks at around 11:20pm on August 5, 2012, of the BIFF – BIFM on government military installations and detachments situated along the national highway from Barangay Bagan in Talayan to Barangay Kauran in Ampatuan, Maguindanao, and in Barangay Midsayap, Midsayap, Cotabato Province.
BIFF staged the attacks barely two days prior to the resumption of the 4-Day peace negotiations between the GPH and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Government and MILF Peace Panels reached significant progress and consensus during the negotiation, proving their statements that the unprovoked but coordinated attack of the so-called BIFF would not have adverse effects to the peace process.
Sporadic clashes ensued between the government security forces against the elements of BIFF at uphill of Talayan and Shariff Aguak. Casualties were reported on both sides and thousands of innocent civilians were displaced.
Government claimed the BIFF fighters had been driven out from their lair at the uphill area of Talayan.
The BIFF had dispersed its forces but the government is bent to pursue surgical operations.
Meantime, the effective ceasefire mechanisms of the GPH – MILF Peace Process are closely working on coordination to ensure that the punitive actions will not affect the ceasefire and the peace process.