COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / June 13 2009) - Philippine Muslim rebels branded Saturday as propaganda claims by the military that at least 10 guerrillas were killed in fresh fighting in Mindanao.
Eid kabalu, a senior Moro Islamic Liberation Front leader, called the reports "a product of military propagandists" and said the claims were false.
"Every time the 6th Infantry Division comes out with a press release, you see MILF casualties in their reports. Even activities by criminals are blamed on the MILF. That's not psychological warfare, but a propaganda to cover up for the military's human rights violations and its failure to defeat the MILF," he said.
The army said 10 rebels were killed in the fighting in Maguindanao province in the restive Muslim autonomous region.
President Gloria Arroyo said she would resume stalled peace talks with the MILF, the country's largest Muslim rebel group. Negotiations collapsed last year after Manila reneged on a Muslim homeland deal.
Other MILF commanders believe Arroyo only wanted to resume peace talks as a cover so her political allies can freely campaign in the Muslim autonomous region and other parts of Mindanao for next year's polls. (Mindanao Examiner)