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PMA ’67 members sympathize with SAF comrades, wear black armbands

/ 05:27 PM February 21, 2015
Some members of the PMA Class of 1967 wore black armbands at the alumni homecoming held at Fort del Pilar on Saturday. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)

Some members of the PMA Class of 1967 wore black armbands at the alumni homecoming held at Fort del Pilar on Saturday. Photo by Armed Forces of the Philippines

BAGUIO CITY—Some members of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1967 wore black armbands at the alumni homecoming held here on Saturday in sympathy for the fallen members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF).

“This is in sympathy for what happened in Mamasapano because they were our comrade in arms,” said retired Brig. Gen. Pert Molato, who used to be with the Southern Philippines Development Authority.

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He said during his time, they were able to pacify the leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front.

A bungled police operation aimed to get two known terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and Basit Usman on Jan. 25 turned out to be the bloodiest in the history of SAF, with 44 police officers killed.

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The policemen figured with members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and its breakaway group, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters

Divine intervention

For Molato, the incident was a “divine intervention” of sorts.

“If it did not happen, the [Bangsamoro Basic Law] would have passed [easily] through Congress,” he said.

The government is working on a peace deal with the MILF for the BBL, which would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

He said that he was praying that the Congress would look at who the government was dealing with.

Even if they were able to pacify the MNLF then, he said the MILF sprouted after the Tripoli Agreement.

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“The MNLF was claiming MILF was not part of them, this was a splinter group. We haven’t even signed the BBL but the BIFF is already there so it’s going to be an endless cycle,” he said.

Thousands of alumni of PMA have gathered at the Borromeo Field at Fort del Pilar for the homecoming.

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TAGS: Mamasapano, Pert Molato, Philippine Military Academy, Philippine National Police, PMA Class of 1967, PMA homecoming, Special Action Force
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