Press Release
February 5, 2015


"You are not at war with each other, so shut up and stop fighting in public. "

This was the message of Senator Chiz Escudero to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the face of the debacle over the deaths of 44 members of the elite police force who were on a mission to get an international terrorist in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last week.

Instead of bickering in public, the leadership of the AFP and the PNP should take their cases to the Board of Inquiry (BOI) and other probe panels that will investigate the Mamasapano carnage, Escudero said.

"If they have so much to say, they can do so within the walls of the Board of Inquiry and before the probing panels. If they want to fight, go lock themselves in a room and do not drag the public into it," Escudero reminded the AFP and the PNP.

The senator said the ongoing word war between the police and the military over responsibility and liability in the PNP Special Action Force operation "is not only unhealthy but unprofessional, as well. It goes to the path of using the incident to turn against each other when they are brothers in uniform."

He added: "If they want respect, they better start by deserving it."

According to Escudero, President Aquino should intervene as commander-in-chief to order both the AFP and the PNP to refrain from further issuing statements that would only stoke the fire.

"Our military and police forces should rally as one in support of law enforcement, justice and peace, and not be at war with each other," Escudero said.

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