Never Forget! The Crimes of Mamasapano

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It has been one year since the brutal encounter between government forces and rogue Muslims in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. Elite commandos from the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force were ambushed by members of the terrorist Moro Islamic Liberation Front, along with members of another terrorist (and now ISIS-affiliated) organization Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. The firefight (called ‘misencounter’ by presidential aspirant Mar Roxas) left 44 members of the PNP-SAF dead. With the Senate reopening its investigations on the encounter today, I found it as a great time to reflect on the incident and the so-called “peace process.”

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One year after, justice remains elusive. It’s safe to assume that it will remain that way for as long as President BS Aquino is in power. Apparently for BS Aquino, the selling of a portion of national territory so-called “peace process” with the MILF is more important than the lives of 44 elite government troops.

It has been previously posted on this blog that dealing with a single Muslim group will not bring peace in Mindanao. Apparently, we have more rogue Muslim groups like the BIFF, Abu Sayyaf, Awliya Group of Freedom Fighters, and likely several ISIS-affiliated groups. But the thing is, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front showed us that they were not a worthy group to deal with after killing 44 policemen (not that we should have been dealing with them in the first place).

The membership of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front has shown to be just what people think they are: bandits and Muslim extremists. The government had already shown willingness to grant them self-governance and hand over a single region of the country. Then, the MILF betrayed that trust by killing 19 soldiers in 2011 and 44 policemen just last year. But what’s even more painful about it is that BS Aquino, the president, has been willing to keep on dealing with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front has the audacity to demand the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law without any amendments, despite the entire country knowing that their members are a bunch of loose cannons. The executive’s response has been to adhere to the MILF’s wishes. Thankfully, the Senate Committee on Local Government junked the Malacanang version of the BBL.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front makes a demand, and the Palace submits. Should it not be the other way around? If the MILF wants to live in peace, it should submit to the law and the power of the Philippine Republic or face complete annihilation.

[Photo courtesy Interaksyon.com.]
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10 Comments on “Never Forget! The Crimes of Mamasapano”

  1. Manny Pacquaio and Pia Wurtzback winning boxing matches and beauty pageants, respectively, will long be remembered and celebrated by Failipinos, than giving justice to the victims of the Maguindanao and Mamasapano massacres.

    Events that do not make the Failippines (and Failipinos) shine in the limelight are all swept under the carpet and forgotten. This is the legacy of a failed nation with a corrupt culture and values that all of us Failipinos should be ashamed of.

      1. Thank you, mrericx. It goes to show we Failipinos are a bunch of starstruck SOBs. We care more about how good we appear to the world as individuals, instead of what makes us tick as a nation.

  2. I had always been very vocal about my objection and condemnation of the BBL in its entirety. My position on the matter, today, has not changed; if it has, at all, it is towards a more vigorous rejection of this blatantly cowardly expedient. I would say again..” the President, Mesdames Quintos-Deles and Coronel-Ferrer are dilettantes, who are poised to cavalierly piss away roughly 10% of Philippine territory at the behest of a poorly masked terror group, under a thinly veiled threat of more deadly barbarity in our southern extremities.. if they waver”. On the BBL,I am in full agreement with the author.

    Now..’Mamasapano and the gallant 44′: Mamasapano was a military operation to capture and/or neutralize two ‘terrorist-bomb-makers’ who were holed up among, and protected by, the MILF, (for whom BBL talks were initiated), in territory covered by the ARMM mandate. The operation, being a raid, was done stealthily, under cover of darkness, and unbeknownst to the MILF. The MILF’s reaction..to fight and push back.. should have been anticipated. In the firefight, there were casualties.. as is to be expected in any shooting encounter. Unfortunately, the body count, 17 to 44 was lopsided in the MILF’s favor. To my mind, it was a military operation where the casualty was inordinately high. But that’s as far as I would go. I should expect, though, that should there be another… that encounter would turn out differently.

    All that being said, the matter of the planning, the execution and, the handling of the Mamasapano operation, not only leaves a lot to be desired.. it leaves a lot of unanswered questions. Why was a suspended General assigned to call the shots.. (and),from Camp Crame? (General Purisima had never been posted anywhere in Mindanao. His knowledge of battlefield conditions..terrain, available cover and relative distances.. was as good or as bad the President’s). Was the President who was conveniently and strategically in Zamboanga.. as the firefight was ongoing.. actively engaged in the conduct of the raid? What was General Napenas, who was on the other side of the shallow creek and away from his troopers, allowed to decide on.. without being countermanded from ‘Crame’ or Zamboanga? There are many more questions that an ordinary layman could not see. However, just these three questions, if truthfully answered, would put most of us at ease.

  3. People should read and study the Islamic Koran and the Islamic Hadith. From here, you can understand the thinking of the Islamic Radicals.

    Peace in their term, is what they want. Aquino has the tendency to collaborate with the enemies of the Republic. By appeasing them; Aquino thinks, he can win over them. This is not in the Islamic Radicals’ thinking. Just look at the Islamic Caliphate of Iraq and Syria. Murder of non believers; Sexual Slavery of Infidel women; confiscation of properties; public executions; etc…

    Peace at any price? Aquino’s mentally retarded and lousy thinking…Mar Roxas , who is Aquino’s sidekick, also thinks that way..

    1. ‘…Hayden…’
      If Roxas shares the President’s views vis-a-vis the BBL… he’s sitting on his brains. His candidacy should be should be ‘dead in the water’.

  4. @vagoneto rieles:

    Unless, You and the people will elect him. Or, if the HCOS PCOS will do the “trick” to elect him…anything can happen in the uncharted territory of Philippine politics.

    We or the HCOS PCOS elected a mentally elected and Psychiatric case President. Lightning could strike twice. We would sink further, as the Basket Case of Asia…

  5. Before my father died, he said the worst thing about growing old was that other men stop seeing you as dangerous…I’ve always remember that how being dangerous was sacred, a badge of honor. You live your life by a code. An ethos, every man does. It’s your shoreline. It’s what guides you home and trust me, you’re always trying to get home.

    Your father was a reader, Churchill of course, but also Faulkner and books about Tecumseh. He loved artists who painted people with bodies that looked like boxes. I’d give him hell about that. He’d just say you gotta look harder. Look harder, your father would say, I always knew he wasn’t just talking about those boxy abstract paintings.

    There’s threats everywhere in a world that’s draped in camouflage. Your father’s grandfather gave up his life flying a B24 in World War II. He kept the liberator aloft just long enough for everyone to jump, and then he went down with the plane. That’s the blood coursing in your veins. Your father was my boss and I was his chief. What we knew about each other’s traits and our bond as operators. There’s a brotherhood between us and we depended on each other more than a family. Tecumseh said although a single twig may break, a bundle of twigs is strong.

    Our platoon was headed downrange. We had Weimy, our sniper, he grew up in the middle of the Mojave desert, most excitement he had as a kid was bowling frozen turkeys down the aisle at the grocery store.

    Ray, our comms guy, our radio man. He grew up in east LA gangland. He had a silver star for pulling a wounded teammate out of a freight.

    Sonny, he was made of granite, this guy didn’t even do push ups because he was afraid his chest was gonna get too big.

    Ajay joined the teams late in his 30’s. He had been a Muay Thai fighter all his life, before that he grew up dirt poor in Trinidad.

    Mikey had 20 years in the teams, as humble as he was. You never even know him. He kept a picture of his wife in his helmet, and a lock of her hair in his pocket, quiet as the breeze.

    And finally, senior chief Miller. Couldn’t really tell you much about him other than I’d rather take a knife to a gun fight than have to be interrogated by him.

    That last night at home you think about how you coulda been a better dad, a better husband, that bedtime story you shoulda read or that anniversary you forgot. You don’t expect your family to understand what your doing, You just hope they accept it. When you get home, you hope you can pickup right where you left off.

    War is a country of will, there’s no room for sympathy. If you’re not willing to give up everything…You’ve already lost.

    Your father was a good man. Growing up without him is going be hard. It’s going to hurt. You’ll feel alone, out to sea with no shore in sight. You’ll wonder why me, why him. Remember you have warrior’s blood in your veins, the code that made your father who he was is the same code that’ll make you a man he would admire, respect. Put your pain in a box. Lock it down, like those people in the paintings your father liked. We are men made up of boxes, chambers of loss, triumph, of hurt and hope and love. No one is stronger or more dangerous than a man who can harness his emotions, his past. Use it as fuel, as ammunition, as ink to write the most important letter of YOUR life. Before your father died, he asked me to give you this poem by Tecumseh, I told him I’d fold it into a paper aeroplane, and in a way…I guess that’s what I’m doing, sailing it from him to you.

    So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.

    Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

    When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

    When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.

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