MILF to gov’t: Show results, then let’s talk

By , on February 3, 2015


On the morning of January 29, 2015, the remains of the members of the PNP Special Action Force slain in Mamasapano arrived at the Villamor Air Base. The fallen PNP SAF were accorded arrival honors, led by the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Mar Roxas, PNP Deputy Dir. Gen. Leonardo Espina, and AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Catapang. (Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office)
On the morning of January 29, 2015, the remains of the members of the PNP Special Action Force slain in Mamasapano arrived at the Villamor Air Base. The fallen PNP SAF were accorded arrival honors, led by the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Mar Roxas, PNP Deputy Dir. Gen. Leonardo Espina, and AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Catapang. (Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office)

MANILA – The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is adamant in answering President Aquino’s demand for them to surrender the persons responsible for the killing of the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos last January 25 in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

The group is also hesitating in helping the government seize the stolen firearms.

MILF vice chairman for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar said that they would like to see the results of the investigation on the killings first.

“When we receive the results, you can call us and we can tell you something,” he said.

However, he did not disclose any date on when the investigation will be completed.

According to an editorial posted on luwaran.com, the MILF said that “only the wounded feelings of the families of SAFs are featured, recognized and pursued. How about those of the fallen MILF combatants who just defended themselves from the night intruders who were armed to the teeth?”

It added, “Are they not also human beings whose feelings must also be respected? Is the application of justice one-sided in this country?”

Meanwhile, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada thinks terrorists are hiding behind a malicious claim of religious ideals.

“Many would refer to this as religious extremism,” he said during the Asian Summit 2015 of Universal Peace Federation which was held over the weekend. “Police officers who are killed in the line of duty, in a merciless and beastly manner, can never be justified by religious ideals.”

He added that what happened in the country is not isolated given that there are terrorists like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“Therefore, your theme – toward peace, security and human development – is more than a continuing reminder for mayors and other government officials,” he said.

However, the MILF believes that the peace talk will still continue.

During an interview, MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said that while the peace talks were stopped, what happened between SAF and the terrorists should not discourage the public to push for peace in Mindanao.

“Actually, the peace process is already affected,” he said. “But I don’t think the effects are strong enough to stop the government and the MILF and our entire country that the way of peace would be the final casualty of the current unfortunate incident in Mamasapano. I think the issue of peace is (more) important than any other consideration.”