MILF mum on Noy’s demand to yield SAF 44 killers

MILF mum on Noy’s demand to yield SAF 44 killers

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) remains silent on President Aquino’s demand for it to surrender the killers of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25 and to help recover the firearms stolen from them.

In a phone interview yesterday, MILF vice chairman for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar said the group is still awaiting the results of its investigation into the killings.

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

However, Jaafar gave no definite timetable for the completion of the investigation.

In an editorial posted on its website luwaran.com, the MILF said it appears 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?” read the editorial.

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

The MILF said the culprit behind the Mamasapano incident was “the lapse of judgment” of relieved SAF commander police Director Getulio Napeñas.

“There is no doubt the villain was the lapse of judgment on the part of the commander of the SAF-PNP by overstressing secrecy at the expense of ‘coordination’,” read the editorial.

“Yes, the mission achieved its objective to get rid of Marwan but at the cost of so many lives and the uncertainty of the BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law) passing into law.”

The MILF said peace spoilers and “political enemies” of President Aquino are “feasting on the issue.”

“They are in a shooting spree using one stone for two birds: stifling the chance of the Bangsamoro Basic Law to pass Congress and to weaken the clout of the President so that whoever he anoints in the 2016 presidential election would have little chance to win,” read the editorial.

However, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada believes terrorists and lawless elements in Mindanao hiding behind a malicious claim of religious ideals massacred the 44 SAF commandos last Jan. 25.

“Many would refer to this as religious extremism,” he said. “Police officers who are killed in the line of duty, in a merciless and beastly manner, can never be justified by religious ideals.”

Speaking before the Asian Summit 2015 of Universal Peace Federation over the weekend, the former president said the Philippine situation is not isolated as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has continued to behead hostages and captives.

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

The MILF, however, remains optimistic that the incident in Mamasapano will not derail the peace agreement with the government.

In an interview, MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said the incident had affected the peace talks, but that it should not discourage everyone to pursue 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.”

– Alexis Romero, Jose Rodel Clapano, Christina Mendez

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