Cadets want no repeat of Mamasapano massacre

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FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City – Graduating cadets of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) here believe the tactical lapses and lack of coordination which caused the celebrated Mamasapano massacre that resulted to the untimely demise of 44 Philippine National Police – Special Action force (PNP-SAF) commandos should not be repeated in their military career, saying that all-out war will not solve the problem of peace in Mindanao.

Cadet first-class Arwi Chiday Martinez, the valedictorian of the Sundalong Isinilang na may Angking Galing at Lakas Handang Ipaglaban ang Bayan (Sinag Lahi) Class of 2015 of the premier military institution in Asia, said although the victims are from the PNP, they are saddened over the outcome of what was supposed to be a high profile commando operation that resulted in the neutralization of Malaysian bomb expert Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan but proved to be too costly on the part of the government troops after the loss of the 44 heroes.

“We have to use the lessons learned from the operation to bolster our future operation against high profile targets so that the Mamasapano incident will not be repeated in our midst.” Martinez stressed.

Martinez underscored the importance of waiting the results of the Board of Inquiry (BOI) report in order to allow them to come out with definite conclusions that would serve as the basis on how to improve tactical operations and enhance coordination among all forces involved in future operations.

For his part, cadet first-class Genesis Salvador Dizon of Sta. Maria, Zamboanga City, who is the class salutatorian, said all-out war which is being advocated by some disgruntled groups is not the ultimate solution to achieving lasting peace in Mindanao because of the huge number of individuals and families to be affected and displaced from their current sources of livelihood.

He said government will end up addressing more problems to be created with the displacement of the people following the conduct of all-out war to wipe out the insurgents and bandits seeking haven in the different parts of Mindanao.

“We have to seriously consider the intricacies of the all-out war vis-à-vis its serious negative effects to the economy of the country and the displacement of people living in communities. We have to strike a balance between our calibrated military operations and its effect to the living condition of the people in the affected communities,” Dizon said.

Dizon explained the best way towards achieving lasting peace is through continuous negotiations with the different groups without compromising the country’s freedom and internal and external security.

Cadet Caroline Jhoy Ramirez Nacional of Maltum, Sarangani Province, who placed fifth in the honor roll, said she wants to actively participate in tactical operations to show the prowess of women in the profession of arms so that they will not be only confined to administrative works in the different headquarters.

“We want to join tactical operations against the enemies of the State. We do not want to be confined in purely administrative work because we also have our own insights on how to conduct such operations,” Nacional said.

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