Suara Bangsamoro condemns massacre of 9 MILF members

Suara Bangsamoro vehemently condemns the massacre of nine (9) members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in a police and military anti-drug operation in sitio Biao, Kilada Village, Matalam, North Cotabato on May 25, 2018.

The nine (9) members of the BIAF under the 105th Base Command were massacred by state forces. According to reports, the BIAF members surrendered during the raid and were disarmed by the state operatives. After disarming them, state forces deliberately fired at them resulting to their instantaneous death.

This is not an isolated case of massacre and extra-judicial killings. On December 8, 2017, three (3) members of the MILF were killed by joint anti-drug operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) in Brgy. Koronadal Proper, Polomolok, South Cotabato.

On May 19, 2018, Mindatu Aminola, another MILF member from Brgy. Olonoling, Tupi, South Cotabato was also killed by state forces under the same pretext – anti-drug operation.

Suara Bangsamoro believes that the recent spate of killings and massacre were committed by state forces under the guise of ‘anti-drug’ operations. Clearly, the Duterte administration, through its US-influenced military lapdogs, are using the ‘anti-drug’ campaign to pursue and cloak its counter-insurgency program – the ‘Oplan Kapayapaan.’

Peace spoilers

The Duterte administration is jeopardizing the hard-earned gains of the Moro people towards just and lasting peace. While the Congress is discussing the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, the military and the police are also busy killing the primary stakeholders of its approval.

The same pattern can be observed in the efforts of the National Democratic Fronts of the Philippines in the peace negotiations. At the surface level, it appears the GRP is committed in the peace talks. But on the ground, covert military operations continue. The Martial Law in Mindanao was not lifted. Human rights defenders were killed by state forces on a weekly basis.

Like his predecessors in pursuing peace, the Duterte administration lacks sincerity in upholding peace agreements through its duplicity acts. While they talk about peace, they are also committing grave human rights violations, killings and massacres pursuant to its counter-insurgency programs.

In light with the recent massacre and spate of killings of activists and human rights defenders, Suara Bangsamoro urges the Moro people and the MILF, to demand justice to their fallen comrades under the deceptive and treacherous Duterte regime. We also urge the Filipino people to demand justice to the human rights defenders, activists, and community leaders who were killed in pursuing just and lasting peace.

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