Police: Breakaway group no threat to Aquino visit to MILF turf

Police in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao on Monday belittled any threat from breakaway groups on the visit of President Benigno Aquino III to the turf of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the region.

ARMM police head Chief Superintendent Noel delos Reyes said they have prepared for all possible contingencies, including dealing with splinter groups like that of Ameril Umbra Kato.

"Wala kaming nakitang magiging problema. Pero si Presidente darating, we should always be prepared for all contingencies. Alam natin may taong hindi sangayon sa usapang pangkapayapaan between the government and the MILF, although kakaunti lang ang mga ito," delos Reyes said in an interview on dzBB radio.

In 2008, Kato led a series of attacks in Mindanao after the Supreme Court junked a memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain (MOA-AD) between the Arroyo administration and the MILF.

But Delos Reyes said that since they have anticipated all possible contingencies, there will be no problem security-wise.

"Ang grupo ni Kato hindi ganyan kalaki. Umaasa kami [na] iisipin din nila [ang] kapakanan ng nakararami," he added.

Aquino is due to preside over the launch of socio-economic programs for the Bangsamoro in Maguindanao at 11 a.m., deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte tweeted. Several layers

Delos Reyes said there will be several layers of security for Aquino, with the Presidential Security Group in charge overall of security for him.

The PNP ARMM will focus on road security and civil disturbances, though he said they do not expect protests to mar the occasion.

On the other hand, he said MILF fighters will help secure the area but are not to be part of the close-in security of Aquino. — RSJ, GMA News

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