Hearings on the Bangsamoro law halted after MILF killing of 30 cops

Hearings on the Bangsamoro law halted after MILF killing of 30 cops
Members of the Philippine National Police (PNP)

MANILA - Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos stopped on Monday all discussions and hearings on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) after the killing by MILF of 30 policemen in Mindanao on Sunday.

"I decided to suspend indefinitely all discussions related to the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law until this is clarified," said Marcos, chair of the Senate committee on local government.

He explained, "We cannot in conscience proceed with these hearings while a cloud of serious doubt hangs over the security situation in the South."

Early Sunday morning, members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front reportedly killed at least 30 members of the PNP's Special Action Force in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao.

The policemen were reportedly out to serve warrants for the arrest of two Malaysian members of the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah when they clashed with MILF members.

Reports said some of the dead policemen were mutilated.

Von Al Haq, vice chair for military affairs of the MILF, reportedly said that the SAF team did not coordinate with the proper authorities before they entered the area, which he said was a clear violation of the peace agreement between the government and the MILF.

But Marcos countered Al Haq's statement saying the SAF was given a legitimate mission and even without coordination, the MILF could have easily arranged to talk with the SAF.

"A peace agreement cannot be legislated under the threat of such extreme violence.

Violence has no room in a civilized society," Marcos said.

" I condemn the use of violence by the MILF.

They signed a peace agreement with the government, and therefore, the MILF is already a partner of government.

Hence, even without coordination, they should have exercised great patience and caution," said the senator.

"Those police officers were there to arrest a terrorist.

They were just doing their jobs.

The fact that they were not carrying loads of ammunition show that they are not there for a fight.

It was not an attack on the MILF. Lethal force was clearly not necessary," he added.

Marcos said he was "anxious" to hear from the MILF leadership how the two parties can move forward from this as he described the attack a "major obstacle to the long and lasting peace we have been working for in Muslim Mindanao."

"I am greatly saddened by this terrible event.

I pray we find a way forward," the senator added.

More about

Purchase this article for republication.

BRANDINSIDER

SPONSORED

Most Read

Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.