Gov. Mangudadatu to meet MILF chief of staff to help secure Teduray communities.

Maguindanao Gov. Esmail Mangudadatu will meet the Chief of Staff of the MILF’s Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces, Sammy Al-Mansour Gambar to discuss possible solutions to the security problems around Mt. Firis, a Philstar report said on January 11.

In their meeting last Tuesday, January 10 at Buluan town, the Maguindanao Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) agreed to seek the help of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front along with the military in protecting non-Muslim Tedurays in the province from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

In that meeting, the PPOC discussed the plight of thousands of indigenous Tedurays driven away from Mount Firis in Maguindanao due to deadly attacks by BIFF gunmen in the past three weeks.

Mount Firis, a sacred place for the native Tedurays is surrounded by Maguindanao’s Datu Hofer, Datu Unsay and Datu Saudi towns.

The BIFF wants to establish a camp there to supposedly protect the area against land grabs, the Philstar report also said.

“The trouble there is not about land ownership. There are no Christian outsiders grabbing lands there as alleged. All the people affected by the trouble are ethnic Tedurays, no one else,” Mangudadatu told Philstar at the end of the council meeting.

Mangudadatu said the joint ceasefire committee of the government, and the MILF can cooperate in helping secure the Tedurays in the surroundings of Mount Firis based on the Agreement on General Cessation of Hostilities both sides crafted in July 1997.

“The ongoing peace process between the government, and the MILF is an inclusive kind of peace initiative, one that will benefit Mindanao’s Muslim, Christian and Lumad communities. There is reason for both sides to work together in protecting these Teduray communities from the BIFF,” Mangudadatu said. (Source Philstar)