• ‘MILF combatants did no wrong’

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    Muslim rebels maintained that they acted purely in “self-defense” in a clash that killed 44 police commandos in Maguindanao last month, despite police claims that they were ambushed.

    The botched anti-terror operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province saw the single biggest loss of life of government forces in recent memory and has cast doubt over the peace process, sparking calls for the resignation of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

    The commandos were hunting for one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, Bali bomber and Jemaah Islamiyah militant Zulkifli bin Hir, who initial DNA tests show was killed during the fighting.

    While authorities claim police came under ambush by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) —who occupy the area where Zulkifli is believed to have been hiding—the MILF vice chairman gave a different version of events.

    “They (rebels) did not ambush the PNP-SAF (commandos),” Ghazali Jaafar said in an interview with ANC. He said the unannounced police presence gave the rebels the impression that they were under attack.

    “The combatants did it in self-defense…. On that basis, they did no wrong,” he said.
    Civilians who were awakened from their sleep also joined in the fighting, thinking they too were under attack, Jaafar said.

    “When a stranger enters your house, and you think your life is in danger, you have to defend yourself,” he added.

    Eighteen rebels were also killed during the chaotic 12-hour gun battle.

    A finger that police cut from what was believed to be Zulkifli’s body was sent to the FBI where a preliminary DNA test showed a “possible relationship” with one of the militant’s relatives.

    The US had offered a $5-million bounty for Zulkifli, a Malaysian bomb-maker who had been hiding in the southern Philippines for over a decade.

    Jaafar said the MILF were still conducting an internal probe into the incident.
    The police, military, human rights commission and justice department are also carrying out their own investigations.

    AFP

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    6 Comments

    1. There is only one winner in the Mamasapano tragic inciden t- the one who want Marwan killed. The rest are all losers.

    2. self defense? and did not do wrong? after they allowed terrorists in their communities and not police their own communities, fired upon and killed 44 Police Officers then mutilated their bodies. MILFs are and been acting like they are now an independent state. government forces and police are required to coordinate in their territories?, and be killed if not coordinated? and why do they call their areas territories? sound like an independent state for me. government is stupid.

    3. so… the PNP (as a constitutional peacekeeping body and in pursuit of an international terrorist) was trespassing… is that it? you’ve claimed that territory as your group’s own? MRS. DELES-IQBAL… go figure!!!

    4. Im sure these rebels are liars. The news the other night apparently showed a completely open field where the saf were surrounded. Now if they had ambushed the rebels, 1st of all how many rebels were there & wouldnt the saf have been hiding in the undergrowth or in the trees , instead they were out in the open in a corn field with no cover whatsoever. 2nd, when the saf were on the ground wounded why wernt they taken prisoner. Their uniforms told them they were government policemen.
      If they think they did nothing wrong then give yourselves up & face justice & lket the law decide on the evidence if you are innocent or guilty. But i would bet they will not give themselves up as they know full well how guilty they are.
      & it shows how you cant do a deal with the milf as there soldiers took action on their own backs. So if their leaders cant control them they will be free to do whatever they wish in the future.

    5. In the eyes of MILF, they did not commit anything wrong. In the eyes of the law, they killed the SAF soldiers, therefore, there should be corresponding punishment. Because they are a revolutionary organization and there’s a ceasefire agreement, that does not exempt them from getting punished for the crime they have committed. Not even the president of the Philippines can unilaterally declare, “Okey, you killed my SAF men, I grant presidential pardon, okey Congress, pass the BBL and let’s the peace in Mindanao begin!”

      In other countries, a bad guy shoot a one cop, and the whole police organization will be hunting whoever killed or wound their fellow cop. Only in the Philippines where a president tie the hands of the military and police to go after these culprit.

      Filipinos, its time to grow up in electing the next president of the Philippines. Kahit di gaanong kilala, basta subok na ang kakayahan sa pagiging lider, kahit walang pera basta matino at maganda ang tract record, mataas hindi lang IQ kundi pati EQ, kapag may krisis, magaling dumiskarte para mapunuan agad ang pangangailangan ng na apektuhan ng matinding unos o krisis. …..hindi dahil anak o kamag anak ng dating presidente o may PhD sa economics, okey na siyang maging presidente….kahit graduate sa UP or may doctorate, di tayo nakakaseguro sa kanyang executive at leadership capabilities. Itaas natin ang standard para sa qualification ng pagka presidente. Maging mapanuri tayo at hindi nagpapabola.

    6. Many of the MILF first removed the bullet-proof vests, then shot dead (and also made taga-taga) PNP-SAF. This is an atrocity by all standards of the United Nations and the Geneva Conventions. Jaafar/Murad has no control over their troops and the Mamapasano murders is enough reason to postpone holding talks with the MILF.
      Kongreso-Pilipinas also needs more time to understand the many details of the BBL as it is written. Will the murderers of the SAF-PNP get amnesty? Is it true that gobyerno-Pilipinas will give billions-of-pesos a month to Murad and Jaffar? Why? And is it true that gobyerno-PIlipipinas COA will NOT have any authority to audit how the billions of pesos are spent? Kalokohang ubod ng laki.
      Kongreso-Pilipinas should get more details and if this needs 18 months or longer delay, then so be it.