MNLF: Mamasapano clash not a massacre, both sides fought valiantly
MANILA, Philippines—Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chief Abul Khayr Alonto on Monday said the bloody encounter in Mamasapano town, Maguindanao, which killed 44 elite cops of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force and 17 Moro troopers was not a massacre, as both sides fought valiantly in the line of duty.
Calling the encounter a massacre is a “disservice” to the fallen troops, Alonto said during the Senate committee hearing on the proposed Bangasamoro Basic Law (BBL).
“As a veteran of the Mindanao war, I wish to express our indignation in the use of the word massacre in describing the incident in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. Those 44 police SAF commandos who were part of 392 fully geared combatants that entered the MILF base command alongside their bounty hunter informants and civilian military guides, 17 mujaheeden were killed—all in the line of duty,” Alonto said.
“The MILF defended their community and the PNP SAF commandos were under order from their superior and both sides fought valiantly to their last breath believing that they were doing this for their country. Saying it was a massacre is a great disservice to the name of those men of valor,” he added.
During the hearing, the MNLF chief expressed hope that talks on the passage of the BBL will not be derailed as a consequence of the tragedy in Mamasapano.
“We cannot support the resumption of war in Mindanao. The incident should all the more compel the enactment of the BBL,” Alonto urged.
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