COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 29, 2010) – The United Nations on Monday condemned the killing of a Filipino driver delivering food aid in the southern Philippines.
Gunmen killed the driver contracted by the World Food Programme to deliver rice and mung beans in Lanao del Sur province in the restive region of Mindanao after he resisted attempt to hijack the cargo.
Police and military suggested that Moro rebels were behind the killing, but the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which is fighting for self-determination in Mindanao, said it was unaware of the attack and rejected reports that it was responsible for the attack.
“We have no reports about it and MILF members are surely not involved in the attack,” said Von Al-Haq, a spokesman for the rebel group which has been trying to forge a peace deal with Manila.
The World Food Programme had condemned the killing. “The WFP strongly deplores this act of wanton violence that has led to the tragic and senseless loss of life of an individual who was assisting in the delivery of humanitarian assistance,” it said.
The organization has been providing food assistance – as much as 2,000 tons of food a month - to villagers displaced by fighting between security forces and rebels in Mindanao since 2006.
The World Food Programme said it is closely working with all concerned government authorities investigating the attack. “WFP is treating this incident as an isolated case and will do everything possible to ensure that operations in Central Mindanao will not be hampered,” it said.
It was the second attack on UN food aid truck in Mindanao since 2008 where gunmen also killed a local aid worker and stole his cargo. (Mindanao Examiner)