MANILA, Sept. 23, 2015— Let justice prevail, two Mindanao Catholic bishops said on Wednesday as authorities filed charges against 90 individuals over the Mamasapano bloodbath.
“Let justice prevail and there should be no sacred cows,” said Bishop Martin Jumoad of Isabela diocese in Basilan.
A government fact-finding team yesterday filed criminal cases against elements of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and People’s Armed Groups.
The Justice department said those charged include 26 MILF members, 12 BIFF, and 52 PAGs who were allegedly involved in the encounter in Mamasapano town Maguindanao that resulted in the deaths of 44 elite cops last Jan. 25.
The Special Action Force (SAF) commandos were on a mission to arrest Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan,” Filipino bomb maker Abdul Basit Usman, and Amin Baco alias “Johan”.
The MILF, which had signed a peace agreement with the government, claimed its members just acted in self-defense.
President Benigno Aquino III said he is confident the MILF “will not hamper the procedure” and will let the government pursue justice for the slain SAF troopers.
Jumoad said if both parties want to attain peace in Mindanao, sincerity from both parties is needed to get to the bottom of the incident.
“If we want peace, sincerity is a must. We should not be coddlers of criminals,” Jumoad added.
For his part, Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez said: “I pray that the government would work until the truth and justice is achieved.” (R. Lagarde / CBCPNews)