‘Are armed intruders still our friends?’ — MILF

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Thursday, 12 February 2015 - Last Updated on January 13, 2017

“Would anyone in his right mind consider armed intruders, whom they never expected, as still friends?”

This is the statement issued by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front on the continuing investigation on the botched police operation that killed 44 members of the Philippine National Police – Special Action Force, 18 MILF fighters, and civilians.

The MILF said that the “law of the hour was to shoot or be shot at or kill or to be killed,” adding that it is not a question of who fired first.

Philippine police troops were supposedly there to serve a warrant of arrest against a Jemaah Islamiya leader Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Commander Marwan, and Filipino Abdul Bassit Usman.

Both the military and the MILF confirmed Marwan’s killing during the Jan. 25 encounter. But Usman is believed to have escaped.

The death, however, of 44 government troops, the MILF said, has made them earn the ire of many people, including the media.

“Truth is that the MILF had never anticipated nor ever thought of fighting any government forces that fateful dawn of Jan. 25; more so now that BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law) is already up for passage in Congress,” the MILF said, adding that there have been zero encounters between their group and the military “thanks to the observance of the ceasefire agreement.”

Invite Aquino

Act Teachers Partylist Rep. Antonio Tinio, for his part, said in a Bulatlat.com report that President Aquino should be “respectfully invited” to the ongoing probe of the Mamasapano fiasco yesterday, Feb. 11.

This, however, was turned down by other lawmakers.

Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero said he updated Aquino of the encounter in a meeting room in Zamboanga.

“Only the president can explain what’s behind the guidance. He endangered SAF, and when they needed help, he said ‘best effort’ (for rescue),” Tinio said in a report.

Tinio was referring to a Jan. 25 6:56 p.m. text message that Guerrero sent another military officer saying: “Best effort without endangering our reinforcing troops per guidance of the president. Ensure no friendly fires since it is nighttime. If we can resupply them with ammo and food, how?”

Take down video on SAF slay

Meanwhile, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda asked the owner of the video on the brutal slay of 44 police to take it down.

“Whoever uploaded the video is a heartless fellow. If you still have humanity left in your soul, we ask you to take it down,” Lacierda said in an Interaksyon.com report.

In the video, men in military uniform could be seen being shot close range. Bloodied men in uniform could also be seen being stripped of their vests and firearms.

The said video has gone viral in social media.

Lacierda said the Aquino government is already taking steps to uncover the truth behind the botched police operation last Jan. 25.

Janess Ellao (82 Posts)


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