Aquino said the MILF, together with its supposed breakaway faction the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and a “private armed group” were responsible for the carnage in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao. He fell short of condemning the MILF as he urged the nation to wait for the results of parallel probes by both the secessionist group and the Philippine National Police. But he emphasized that the SAF men were “heroes” on a legitimate law enforcement operation, with standing orders to enforce several arrest warrants for the two wanted terrorists.
armed-and-dangerousThe attack has raised questions about the sincerity of the MILF and shaken confidence in the fragile peace process. With President Aquino insisting that the process has come too far to be aborted, his administration must at least make sure that the MILF will commit to laying down its weapons and renouncing violence.
The massacre of the SAF men is being seen as an indication of the brand of justice that may be applied in the proposed Bangsamoro entity if it is governed by armed men with a weak sense of public accountability. The attack was so vicious, with the SAF men finished off with gunshots to the head as they lay wounded or dying, that some quarters are saying it is a crime against humanity that deserves to be tackled by an international tribunal. The corpses were mutilated, looted and stripped of boots and clothing apart from weapons.
Last night the President urged the MILF to demonstrate sincerity in the peace process. If this peace initiative is to be saved, among the most significant gestures of sincerity that the MILF can make is to lay down its weapons. (This editorial was from Phil Star)