Friday, February 20, 2015

Mamasapano, here we go again

I started talking about the Mamasapano massacre/misencounter two weeks ago, but I did not write my solutions completely. Here are the three steps I gave that time to give justice to the fallen police officers and citizens:

1. Find the truth.
2. Correct the wrongs.
3. Work towards peace.

First, find the truth. The boards of inquiry at the Senate and the House of Representatives have done much to inform the public and show the biases of our leaders. Maybe we should focus on asking questions instead of lecturing people, though they may deserve it.

However, we still need to know who are responsible for creating and authorizing the mission and hold them accountable.  We need to find and arrest the people who killed the police officers and other Filipino citizens at Mamasapano. We also have to know how the United States is involved and stop their interference in our affairs.

Second, correct the wrongs. We can never return to life the fallen 44 Special Action Force (SAF) police officers, but we can help their families and friends. The president has awarded posthumously Medals of Valor to the fallen 44, and the mayor of Makati City has given Php 100,000 and scholarships for each family.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has returned some of the firearms used by the SAF, but many still remain at large and some parts were changed. We still need to find these firearms and arrest the killers. 

Third, work towards peace. The government and the MILF have lost trust in each other. It would be wise to suspend the peace process until both parties can fully trust one another.  Then, we can move towards peace again.

We may also need to amend the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to include more terms and conditions about peace and security. How would arrests be made? How can we catch terrorists in the area? Who can carry firearms? What laws will apply in encounters? And so on and so forth.

In line with peace and security is the development of Muslim Mindanao. We saw that the land in Mamasapano is rich and fertile, but its bridges are meager and its institutions are weak. We have to build bridges, roads, schools, clinics, and centers in Mamasapano and other municipalities in Muslim Mindanao. We ought to give them better opportunities. Peace and development go hand in hand.

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