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Philippines May Brand MILF a Terrorist Group

The government is weighing the proposed move carefully as it would mean ending peace talks with the guerillas. After skirting the issue for a long time, the Philippine government said yesterday that it was seriously considering classifying the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as a terrorist group. The change of heart follows the alleged masterminding of the latest round of atrocities in the south by the group. Even then, Defence Secretary Angelo Reyes said Manila was weighing the proposed move carefully. ‘Because that definitely will have repercussions on the peace talks,’ he told foreign correspondents. The escalating violence in the southern region of Mindanao has put increasing pressure on the government to end peace talks with the separatist organisation. There have also been renewed calls to brand the MILF a terrorist group and lump it in the same category as the communist New People’s Army and the Abu Sayyaf group, which specialises in kidnapping and banditry and allegedly has links with Al-Qaeda. A change in status would have serious repercussions for the MILF. Full Story

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