Aftermath of attack by Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels in Kolambugan town in Lanao del Norte on Monday.
The incident in Kolambugan, Lanao del Norte and its neighboring municipalities last Monday sparked widespread anger and unease among residents there against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels.
"This (attack) is very hurting to us. We don't deserve this because if they're revolting against the government, they should not involved civilians," said a villager, displaced by fighting between soldiers and rebels in Kolambugan town.
The man, however, said he believes that "negotiation not war" can resolve the conflict in his place. "Our place will only become peaceful through negotiation and not war wherein, we, civilians are sacrificed."
Another villager expressed his sentiments, saying that they do not deserve what had happened in their peaceful community. "We have been living very well together with our Muslim brothers and sisters, but the rebels disturb this."
He called on the authorities for the increase of security measures in their village to deal the rebels. "They (rebels) are just hiding and can carry out another attack anytime," according to him.
For Kolambugan town mayor Beltran Lamague, the attack by suspected rebels on his municipality was so unfortunate and hurting because Muslims and Christians there coexist in harmony and live together in peace. He did not elaborate more.
But in the nearby area of his town, a wooden placard with markings "Christian Majority Rules No To Islamic Law' is displayed on the concrete fence.
Some non-Muslim residents in the area living near the highway denied they were behind the anti-Islam slogan.
Meanwhile, the MILF on Wednesday called for a stop in hostilities between the military and Moro rebels in Mindanao.
MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said he has ordered Abdurahman Macapaar alias Commander Bravo and Commander Ameril Umbra Kato to stop the attacks in several provinces in Mindanao.
"This is an unexpected situation. We have been very faithful in the peace process and we hold the supremacy of the peace process. We are very saddened by this situation," he said in an interview with ABS-CBN.
Murad said the attacks by Moro rebels in Lanao del Norte, Sarangani and North Cotabato provinces were the result of "frustration of MILF ground commanders."
He said the aborted signing of the MOA-AD and inflammatory statements "built up the outrage" of MILF ground commanders.