Former MNLF commander urges MILF to attend congressional probe to explain their side

By , on February 10, 2015


Senate hearing on the Mamasapano clash (Photo courtesy of Sen. Grace Poe's Facebook page)
Senate hearing on the Mamasapano clash (Photo courtesy of Sen. Grace Poe’s Facebook page)

MANILA — A former commander of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) turned politician on Tuesday urged the hierarchy of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to attend the Senate hearing to explain their side and clarify things on the Jan. 25 clash with police commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

This was the message of Sulu Rep. Tupay Loong after the MILF did not show up at the Senate investigation on Monday and Tuesday and instead sent a message addressed to Senator Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on Public Order and Illegal Drugs.

“This is an opportunity for them (MILF) to explain their side to release doubt because if they will continue resisting, if they are not going to face the investigation, so the impression of the people that they are the one at fault,” Loong told reporters at the weekly forum, Ugnayan sa Batasan in Quezon City.

Loong said he was one who voted to defer the House deliberation of the BBL “because we want the truth to come out now we cannot make our own judgment until finally truth will come out.”

“We in the House of Representative just want to act on the basis of executive agreement between the executive government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. But we cannot also sacrifice the highest interest of the country because the one who is now affected is the public sentiment of the whole country. We have to accommodate that sentiment but on the part of the MILF, they must also come out to open and explain their side if they did not commit any mistake,” he said.

The MILF and the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) clashed and killed 44 Special Action Force (SAF) operatives on an anti-terrorist mission last Jan. 25 in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

“They have to justify their position. Now if they are committing something wrong — so meaning that is a violation of the agreement entered into between the government and the MILF so these are the issues we are going to erase from the public impression if we want this BBL to go forward,” he said.

According to Loong, the prolonged non-appearance of the MILF at the ongoing Senate investigation will further condition the mind of the public that they are at fault.