Whether or not the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is still something worth considering is now beside the point. The more important fact to consider is that a crime has been committed, 44 Filipino police officers are dead, and the perpetrators of this crime are not in any of the “hearings”, “probes”, and/or “inquiries” going on in Manila. They are still at large.
So why isn’t anyone out hunting them down?
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This is not a call for “all out war”. This is a call for justice. If more than 300 men were deployed to the field to capture two of the “FBI’s most wanted”, why can’t a manhunt be mounted to capture and bring to justice the criminals responsible for the massacre of the 44 troopers of the Philippine police’s Special Action Force right now?
Does implementing such an operation depend on a decision on whether or not Philippine society will “give peace a chance” in this instance? Whatever that phrase means in the context of what has happened and where the BBL is now at, does not in any way change the fact of the heinous crime that had just happened.
There is no negotiation to be had anymore — because the other party, the MILF, are no longer in a position to negotiate. As long as the MILF leadership fail to turn over to the Philippine government the commanders and the personnel who butchered the 44 SAF officers, they and the entire organisation are party to the crime and conspire to harbour fugitives.
Whatever the outcome of the probes into where the chain of command was broken, or who in Manila is really to blame, or whether no less than Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III should be held accountable for the tragedy, criminals are at large and need to be captured.
It seems this is the only thing missing in the discussion today. Filipinos have so far been fixated on what went wrong on the Philippine government side. But there seems to be very little focus on where the enemy went wrong. Which, really, is a no brainer. The killers are not present in any of these Senate or House sessions. None of them are even in Manila.
A YouTube video that seemingly captures the summary execution of a SAF officer is making the rounds (warning: graphic content)…
Department of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima reportedly said that the video of the killing of an “already helpless, defenseless, wounded” man can be used as evidence in an investigation.
“We have to establish … who shot him and from which organization [the shooter is]: Is he [from the] MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front), BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters) or PAGs (private armed groups)?,” De Lima said.
They are out there where the 44 SAF men fell — guilty of killing unarmed helpless combatants in cold blood.
[Featured photo courtesy The Age.]
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.