Cordillera officials want review of Mindanao peace process

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BAGUIO CITY – Majority of Cordillera officials want the national government to immediately review the Mindanao peace process and the non-passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) as an offshoot of the treacherous murder of 44 members of the Philippine National Police – Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) by Muslim bandits in the celebrated Mamasapano massacre in Maguindanao last Sunday.

Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said the Mamasapano massacre should serve as an eye opener to the national leaders in order to look back and review the contents of the BBL so that it will not grant to the Muslims close to independence which would be prone to abuse.

“While we condole with the families of our fallen heroes, we want the government to review the contents of the BBL and the peace process so that it will not be prone to abuse in the future and prevent the repeat of similar incidents in the future which might lead to loss of lives and damage to property,” Domogan stressed.

La Trinidad Mayor Edna C. Tabanda cited the BBL will not be an ultimate solution to lasting peace in Mindanao because it will lead to abuses in terms of the utilization of resources among others.

“Instead of promoting peace and order, the BBL might spur conflicts between the feuding Muslim groups that will continue to result to loss of lives and damage to property in the future,” Tabanda said.

Baguio City Rep. Nicasio M. Aliping, Jr. informed Cordillerans during the necrological services for fallen heroes that traced their origin from the Cordillera last Saturday that he stands to oppose the passage of the BBL in the House until such time that the result of the ongoing investigation on the Mamasapano massacre shall have been finalized to pinpoint who was really responsible for the untoward incident that cost the lives of 44 SAF troopers.

Benguet Gov. Nestor B. Fongwan called on the national government to abandon the support it has thrown to the BBL because the law tends to bestow upon the Muslims close to independence which would be detrimental to the country’s independence.

“Why does the government allow the Muslims to have their own hymn and flag which contradicts the Philippine Constitution?” Fongwan asked.

Ifugao Rep. Teodoro Baguilat, Jr. cited despite the Mamasapano massacre, he is inclined to support the Mindanao peace process and the passage of the BBL because it is the ultimate towards achieving lasting peace in Mindanao and would chart its development in the future.

For his part, Benguet Rep. Ronald M. Cosalan asserted the Mamasapano massacre will serve as a lesson for lawmakers to look into the BBL and introduce refinements in order to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents in the future that would lead to loss of lives and damage to properties in the future.

Superintendent Jonathan Calixto, commander of the Benguet Public Safety Management Company, and who was once the youngest battalion commander of the SAF, pushed for the conduct of all-out war against the terrorists who are being coddled by some Muslim groups, saying that the ultimate solution to violence in Mindanao is by wiping out the terrorists through armed action.

“The ultimate product of bloodshed is peace that is why we need to pursue an aggressive police and military operation to curb the presence of terrorists in the Mindanao region,” Calixto stressed.

He accused the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) of coddling the terrorists and by tolerating their acts will mean added problems of the government in terms of terroristic activities that would continue to dampen the gains of the government in terms of economic growth in the future.

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