Press Release
April 23, 2015

Drilon urges MILF cooperation for justice on Mamasapano clash

Instead of casting doubts on the Department of Justice's report on the Mamasapano clash, Senate President Franklin M. Drilon today urged the leadership of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to respect the process and more importantly, cooperate with the government in pursuing justice for the 67 victims of the incident including 44 police commandos.

"We hope that the MILF will cooperate with the Department of Justice (DOJ) in seeking justice for what happened in Mamasapano. This is an important step for them as they enter the democratic process," said Drilon, a former executive and justice secretary.

The Senate leader said it is crucial that the MILF will be able show and prove to the Filipino people its commitment to peace and justice "in order to re-establish the people's confidence in the peace process," which eroded since the January 25 Mamasapano incident.

"Rather than express doubts on the investigation, the MILF has to move with the rest of the public on this matter. They should abide by the process in accordance with the Constitution and our laws," Drilon said.

He added that "it is to the best interest of the Mindanao peace process if the MILF will fully cooperate with government in bringing justice to the victims of the incident."

Drilon emphasized: "As our partners in the peace process, now is a good time for them to show that they are genuine in their commitment to securing peace by doing all they can to assist and participate in the legal process that will now take into action."

Drilon said the Mamasapano report completed by the DOJ was able to establish clearly the culpability of the rebels from the MILF and its breakaway group, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in the death of 44 members of the Philippine National Police' Special Action Force (PNP-SAF), who went to Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25 on an official mission.

He said "he fully supports the filing of the cases against those involved in Mamasapano," as he urged the DOJ to immediately continue with the filing of appropriate charges against the individuals involved in the incident.

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