WE, Former Senior Government Officials, express our sympathy for all those who died in Mamasapano. We pray for justice with mercy and compassion.
We pray that the recent incidents of violence should not deter the government, the various armed groups, the media, and the general public from pursuing all avenues to achieve peace in Mindanao. There have been far too many deaths, too many displaced families, too many communities held hostage by fear. Unless peace is achieved, there will be more of those.
A good step toward renewing the path to peace is for all those responsible for the deaths of both the members of the Special Action Forces of the Philippine National Police and the members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to immediately admit their guilt and face the consequences of their actions.
We need to know the whole truth about what happened, but we should not wait for the results of a necessary, credible, but long investigation to agree on the next steps to take to achieve lasting peace.
We believe that peace cannot be built in a day. The country as a whole – not just our government, not just the people of Mindanao, not just media, not just everyone on social media – must maintain its composure in the face of such overwhelming challenges to the peace process. We must not be disheartened. We must remain hopeful. We must work towards fulfilling our dream of a peaceful and prosperous Mindanao.
Signed February 5, 2015
for the FSGO Membership by
Department of Education
Fulgencio Factoran, Jr.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources