NO NEWS ON MINDANAO WAR?

Posted on November 20, 2008

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It has been months since the non-signing of the Memo of Agreement on Ancestral Domain between the Gorvernment of the Republic of the Philppines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The uproar against it led by a Christian settler in Mindanao (Pinol) , one Ilonggo senator (Roxas) and one Ilonggo former senator and Senate President (Drilon) became so great that President Arroyo backed out of the agreement and the Supreme Court declared it illegal.

Piqued by the government’s refusal to sign the agreement after almost four years of negotiations, two commanders of the MILF, Commanders Bravo and Kato allegedly went down from the hills and attacked a couple of Christian villages . The government answered with all the might and fury it could muster.

To promote the protest against the MOA-AD, the media bombarded the people with reports of the fighting in Mindanao, putting the blame on the two commanders who the government and the media called “rogue” elements of the MILF.

Funny thing is, while the MILF did not disown the two commanders, they announced that they would not join the fighting since they were still hoping for peace.

Was this another moro-moro (farcical stage play)? The government had a heyday of blowing away Moro villages and people while they claimed to hunt for the two commanders.

Now that the Supreme Court had declared the MOA unconstitutional, the media had stopped reporting on the clashes in Mindanao.

So what’s going on there now?

Here’s what the MILF website luwaran.com says:

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Government terroristic aerial bombings kill civilian, farm animals

The Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) unleashed again the brunt of her terrorism against the aggrieved and oppressed Bangsamoro people. Four innocent civilians were brutally wounded and one was killed by the indiscriminate air strikes of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in some barangays of Datu Saudi Ampatuan and Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
Killed by this inhuman state terrorism was Sindak Ismael, 30 years old. The wounded civilians were identified as Haja Bai Masla Zangkala, 45 years old, Haja Apisa Ibrahim, 47 years old, Rudy Kamsa, 23 years old and Fatima Kamsa, 12 years old elementary pupil.

Seven (7) farm animals were also killed by the government air strikes using three (3) war planes.

There was no actual ground forces encounter when the government aircrafts came to fire their bombs which killed and wounded innocent civilians.

“This government is killing us,” said Abdul Kamsa, relative of the victims.
“We are calling on the authorities and international communities to look into these government atrocities against civilians and to give justice to the victims,” he said.

Workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were witness to the brutal indiscriminate air strikes being unleashed by the government war planes against innocent civilians.

The ICRC people were distributing claim stubs for their relief assistance for the affected persons when the bombs fell at nearby village.

“Even ICRC people had been actually experiencing the deliberate violation of International Humanitarian Laws and human rights by the government,” conveyed a human rights expert to Luwaran.

“Certainly, no amount of development and relief assistance from the donor countries and agencies can make up for the deliberate killings, sufferings and devastations inflicted on more than half a million innocent civilians by the indiscriminate military actions of the government,” he said.

The aerial bombing stopped after five (5) in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, Moro civilians in Barangay Rangeban, Midsayap, Cotabato are being fired upon by the Bantay Bayan or armed civilians of Midsayap everytime they go to their farms.

Accordingly, these Muslim civilians had been complaining to authorities but no action had been made to stop the Bantay Bayan, an act construed as condoning the criminal acts against the oppressed Muslim civilians.

In Basilan, the AFP war planes bombarded the MILF forces in some barangays of Maluso. This again had proven that the military actions of the government are not only against the forces of Commander Umbra Kato and Commander Bravo but against the entire MILF.