The Palace said it won’t tolerate the alleged looting committed by soldiers at the height of the siege in Zamboanga City against the members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
“We frown on our own soldiers harming our own civilians in this manner. Looting is not acceptable. They are there to protect the people,” Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing on Wednesday in Malacanang.
“Let me just emphasize: We—the AFP and this government—will not tolerate any looting by our own soldiers. The leadership of AFP has already imposed sanctions on these soldiers who have done those despicable acts,” he added.
It was alleged that four army personnel face accusations of looting after they allegedly ransacked a house in Zamboanga City.
There were reports saying a resident lost valuables in his family’s home when uniformed men earlier stormed the place.
The military issued immediate apologies, acknowledging that the incident was a serious breach of the organization’s ideals. It said the uniformed personnel allegedly involved in the robbery are being held at a stockade pending a military trial.
Meanwhile, reacting to reports saying that the feared Christian vigilante group Ilaga has reorganized to counter attacks by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in North Cotabato and Maguindanao, Lacierda issued an appeal to the public to let the police and the military do their security and law enforcement jobs.
“We would like to call on all these groups, whether you’re a civilian, let the military do its job. Let the law enforcement authorities do their job,” he said.
The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters had reportedly attacked Midsayap, North Cotabato, as well as some towns in Maguindanao this week. (PND)