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Confidence shaker

  • Written by People's Journal
  • Published in Newsdesk
  • Read: 844

How can one party to a settlement still talk peace while virtually justifying a violent and unprovoked act?
The small contingent of Police Special Action Force that went to Maguindanao to arrest two terror suspects were on a regular police operation, not to attack what Muslim rebels purport to be their “territory”.
The operation was simply the equivalent – in a concededly smaller scale -- of a police raid on a squatter shanty where authorities believe a criminal suspect(s) is/are in hiding. 
Why would local residents give them a rather bloody reception, when the lawmen were simply trying to rid the community of bad elements?
The bloodbath – the SAF contingent were vastly outnumbered and apparently outgunned – violated all conventions of civilized armed engagement. And why even savagely go to the extent of mutilation, as some reports have indicated?
When an “enemy” combatant is injured and already down and is not even fighting back, why finish him off?
When lawmen and security forces suffer treacherous deaths at the hands of lawless armed minority, how should the rest of society respond?
Promptly demand that the perpetrators be brought to justice.
While a “leader” of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front  involved in the killing of 44 SAF commandos lamented the “unfortunate and saddening development”, he faulted the elite police unit for its supposed failure to  coordinate its activities with the rebel group.
MILF chief peace negotiator Mohaquer Iqbal said  fighting erupted before dawn Sunday when three SAF platoons intruded into a supposedly government-recognized guerilla enclave in Barangay Tukanalipao, supposedly to arrest Malaysian explosives expert Zulkifli Bin Hir and his Maguindanaon cohort, the long wanted Basit Usman.
He said the policemen should have coordinated their operations to arrest suspected terrorists in the area with the joint ceasefire committee and the International Monitoring Team.
“It was a misencounter that happened due to lack of coordination based on agreed security protocols,” Iqbal, concurrent presiding chair of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, said.
Five MILF rebels were killed and a dozen others were reportedly injured in the encounter.
“It is unfortunate that some people died. It cannot be undone. Next time, it is important to have coordination so that these things won’t happen again,” he added.
Is this the kind of statement that builds confidence?
Local officials said members of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters reportedly joined the battle when a group of retreating policemen entered its stronghold in Barangay Mangapang.
BIFF spokesman Abu Misry Mama boasted Sunday night that its fighters surrounded about a dozen retreating policemen who had run out of ammunition.
Mama had also bragged about the BIFF’s killing more than a dozen SAF commandos.
He said BIFF members appropriated the firearms of the dead policemen as the bandits took new battle positions by dusk Sunday.