VICE President Jejomar Binay on Friday warned against a military all-out offensive against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) to avenge the brutal killing of 44 police commandos in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao province on January 25.
According to Binay, an “all-out war” policy in the aftermath of the carnage should not be entertained, stressing that the peace agreement itself can be used to ensure justice for the fallen members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF).
“I am hoping and praying that we can have lasting peace. Ang giyera, kailangan iwasan. Pagka-giyera, may namamatay [Wars should be avoided, if there is war, people get killed]. [But] it must be peace with justice. Basta’t tama lang [It should be what is right]. At saka ‘yong magiging kasunduan ay [And what is being agreed upon should be] in consonance with our laws, particularly the Constitution,” Binay said in an interview at the sidelines of the Pag-IBIG “I Do, I Do” mass wedding in Mandaue City, Cebu.
At the same time, the Vice President reiterated his call for the formation of an independent fact-finding commission to investigate the Mamasapano incident to dispel all doubts that the investigations were merely a “cover-up.”
Binay rejected calls for President Benigno Aquino 3rd to resign.
He said he prays that Aquino will overcome his problems soon.
“Ayoko naman [I don’t want the President to resign]. You know, I am the Vice President. [You know that I would run as a candidate for presidency in 2016]. Let us just wait. I am hoping and praying that the President will overcome his problems very soon,” Binay added.
He supported calls to raise the hazard pay of police officers in light of the Mamasapano incident but said the decision is up to the President.
Binay handed P20,000 cash benefits from Pag-IBIG to the families of slain SAF troops PO1 Windel Candano and PO1 Romeo Cempron, both from Cebu, after the mass wedding.
The cash benefits came from accumulated savings and dividends of the deceased in Pag-IBIG, along with their death benefits.
As chairman of the government housing sector, Binay said they are studying the possibility of providing housing and other benefits for families of the SAF members killed and injured in action.
The Makati City government has set aside P100,000 for families of the “Fallen 44” that it will start distributing next week.
Last Sunday, the Vice President joined Makati Mayor Erwin Jejomar Binay Jr. and Sen. Nancy Binay in distributing P100,000 cash assistance to 15 SAF commandos wounded in the January 25 encounter.
The dependents of the “Fallen 44” and the 15 survivors were also offered scholarships at the University of Makati.