Hataman seeks full scale, independent probe on Cotabato gun attack
MANILA, Philippines — Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman called on Tuesday for a “full-scale, independent, and exhaustive” investigation into the killing of nine civilians in a gun attack in Kabacan, Cotabato over the weekend.
Hataman said law enforcement authorities should “get to the bottom of this incident” and hold those responsible accountable.
On August 29, unidentified gunmen opened fire on motorcycle riders near the University of Southern Mindanao, killing nine individuals.
“Due to the circumstances surrounding this incident, I am calling for a full-scale, independent and exhaustive investigation into the matter, preferably undertaken by another independent law enforcement agency,” Hataman said in a statement.
“Dapat malaman natin kung ano ang tunay na nangyari, tugisin at ikulong ang mga salarin, at bigyan ng hustisya ang mga biktima at ang kanilang mga pamilya,” he added.
(We should know what really happened, track down and jail the perpetrators, and give justice to the victims and their families.)
Hataman lamented how the incident happened barely a week after the twin bombings in Jolo, Sulu that also claimed the lives of at least 14 people, including those from the military and the police.
Further, the lawmaker condemned the incident in North Cotabato, calling it “another fatal and senseless act of violence.”
“The gruesome photos of the crime scene were again posted online, and I can imagine how heartbreaking it is for the families of the victims to see their loved ones in this manner,” Hataman said.
“And this brutal crime happened near a school, which could have injured or even taken the lives of our students,” he added.
Hataman underscored that violence is not a solution to any problem and that violence does not have a place in a civilized society.
“I express my deep and solemn sympathy to the family of the victims. Tulad ng terorismo, walang lugar ang karahasan sa ating mga komunidad,” Hataman said.
(Like terrorism, violence has no place in our community.)
“Ilang buhay ang nasasayang at nawawala dahil lamang sa karahasan, ilang pamilya ang nauulila, at ilang pangarap ang nawawasak at di naaabot?” he added.
(How many lives have been lost due to violence, how many families have been left behind and how many dreams have been ruined?)
Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. has also called for sobriety and restraint in light of the North Cotabato incident as he assured that the government will “leave no stone unturned to bring the perpetrators of these dastardly acts to justice.”
Galvez said the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities and Ad Hoc Joint Action Group are “now closely coordinating with authorities” in investigating the attack.
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