I read in one of broadsheets that there was a 3-minute video where civilian hostages were pleading with government troops to stop firing in their direction. They waved flags and even asked their MNLF captors to help them relay their shouts to soldiers to stop firing. In the news, the soldiers were depicted as the ones who indiscriminately fired at the civilians. Bu to my mind, and to others who followed closely the hostage crisis, the cellphone video might only be a product from the hostage-takers themselves, and probably forced the hostages to shout. We saw from pictures, footages and interviews that government troops had encountered difficulties going after the MNLF rebels as they used civilians as human shields and intermingled in their houses and communities making it harder for soldiers to fire at the enemy. So this disproves the video claim.
I hope that we will not be misled by the video. Many young officers and their men had died in this recent caper of Mr. Nur Misuari and his men, and that alone should not make us have second thoughts on how our soldiers and police conducted themselves during the crisis.
Becca B. Justo
Lanang, Davao City