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Name minds behind Mamasapano operation—church group

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QUEZON City, Feb. 4, 2015—Even as its members condoles with families and friends of the police officers who died most recently in Mamapasano, Maguindanao, the Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR) joins the nation in the “quest for truth and accountability,” and appeals that everyone responsible for the operation be named.

A man holds up a sign decrying the bloodshed and violence of the clash between members of the PNP-SAF and MILF and BIFF elements on Jan. 25, 2015. (Photo: PCPR)

“We grieve with the kin and kith of those whose lives have been unnecessarily sacrificed. At this moment of deep agony, we offer our prayers for our nation that we will unearth the root causes of this tragedy with prudence and wisdom. We ask a most glaring question: why were government forces deployed into a MILF territory without strategic coordination and engagement through the chain of command?” the group shares in a statement issued Monday, Feb. 2.

While expressing grief over the deaths of fallen citizens, many of whom members of the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s Special Action Force (SAF), and lamenting the possible peril the “misencounter” has placed on peace initiatives, PCPR stresses that names of people in command and those who pushed for the covert operation into an MILF/BIFF-claimed territory should be revealed “to clarify who hinder the way to peace.”

The group, moreover, hits President Benigno S. Aquino III (PNoy) for allegedly trying to put closure on the case and heap all the blame on the PNP-SAF Commanding Director Getulio Napeñas.

“…we cannot accept calmly that this answers why the lives of these police officers were endangered. We believe this move intends to cover the truth and influence possible investigations to blame-shift,” it states.

PCPR asserts that by allowing a covert operation without coordination in a known MILF territory, PNoy “discreetly initiated military provocation that hampers the on-going peace process.”

The ecumenical organization laments this put its security personnel, especially the rank-and-file, on a death path. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)


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