Peace stakeholders welcome separate GPH, MILF probe on Mamasapano battle PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 January 2015 14:00

The resolution of the January 25 hostilities in Mamasapano, Maguindanao now hinges on the government’s Board of Inquiry and the Special Investigative Commission of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, officials said.

Members the provincial peace and order council (PPOC), among them Major Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division and the league of mayors in the province, on Wednesday urged the public to support both groups in seeking the truth on what had really happened in Barangay Tukanalipao in Mamasapano.

The hostilities resulted to the deaths of more than 40 members of the police’s Special Action Force and several guerillas of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

“We need to move forward, help each other address this security issue and continue with the Mindanao peace process,” Pangilinan said after the council’s emergency meeting Wednesday in the provincial capital, Buluan.

For members of the council, chaired by Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, more questions and intrigues will emerge as days come by with the incident still unresolved.

PPOC members pledged support to the MILF’s investigative body activated on Wednesday and the government board that would separately look into the circumstances surrounding the SAF-MILF encounter.

The local officials also called for the deployment of more ceasefire monitors in Maguindanao’s Mamasapano, Datu Piang, Shariff Aguak, Salibo, Sharif Saidona and Datu Saudi towns, to oversee the enforcement of the government-MILF July 1997 Agreement on General Cessation of Hostilities.

The seven towns are common havens of the MILF and the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), led by radical clerics who are known for their enforcement of a Taliban-style justice system and for interfering with the pacification programs of barangay governments based on the Local Government Code.

The BIFF does not recognize the 18-year government-MILF ceasefire accord.

“The ball is now in the hands of the investigative commission of the MILF and the Board of Inquiry of the government. We have to help both groups determine what had really happened in Mamasapano last January 25,” said Mangudadatu.

The governor had also urged Muslim, Christian and lumad residents in Maguindanao, which has 36 towns that are known bastions of the MILF, to refrain from making hostile remarks and spreading rumors about the incident to preserve the government-MILF peace initiative.

Pangilinan, meanwhile, appealed to Mamasapano villagers that managed to gather footage of the encounter using mobile phones to stop spreading them to people with access to Facebook.

Some of the footages depicted the brutal killings and execution by rebels of the slain SAF members.

“Spreading them for whatever purpose will only fan the flames of animosity and breed bad intentions such as retaliation and distrust,” said Pangilinan, who was deputy commander for the peace process of the Western Mindanao Command prior to his assumption last year as 6th ID commander.