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PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

NEW INFO ON MAMASAPANO MAY BE MEANT TO MUDDLE ISSUE - NOY
[Aquino said: “It is important to know the truth so we can learn lessons from what happened in Mamasapano… As far as the executive (department) is concerned, there is an allegation that the narrative (PNP-SAF report) is incorrect.]


SEPTEMBER 15 -President Aquino said that it is necessary to look into this “alternative truth” if the public really wants to know the whole truth. File photo President Aquino yesterday clarified that the executive department is trying to find out who really killed Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, in Mamasapano to know the whole truth about the operation last January that resulted in the death of 44 members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF). Aquino admitted that the new information may be meant to muddle the issue. “We are also considering that perhaps this alternative is muddling the issue. So to know the truth, we need to have testimony and evidence and these are being gathered,” he said in Filipino during a chance interview in Iloilo City where he led the inauguration of the Iloilo Convention Center. “It is important to know the truth so we can learn lessons from what happened in Mamasapano… As far as the executive (department) is concerned, there is an allegation that the narrative is incorrect. So our job is to know the truth. Is it the first version, the alternative version, or a combination of both versions? “We are not saying that we are sure that this alternative version is true. We are not discounting the possibility that the alternative version is totally false,” he clarified. Aquino said that it is necessary to look into this “alternative truth” if the public really wants to know the whole truth. READ MORE...

ALSO: PNoy now clarified and confirms that SAF killed Marwan, Mamasapano 'alternative version' not true
[Aquino said-- "This also means: All the other accounts about the alternative narrative are baseless, and consequently have no relevance," ]


SEPTEMBER 17--SYMPATHY & JUSTICE: President Aquino offers prayers for the slain SAF commandos at Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan in January. STAR President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday presented the newest findings of the investigation into the Mamasapano clash which debunked the alternative version of the incident. During his televised address in Malacañang, Aquino showed photos of slain Malaysian terror suspect Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, the subject of the Special Action Force (SAF) operation on January 25. In one of the photos, a SAF trooper was seen holding the left hand of Marwan and in the act of severing a finger from his left hand. Another photo showed the same SAF trooper before cutting off Marwan's finger, while one more photo showed the terrorist missing a finger. Aquino said these photos disproved the alternative version of the incident that it was not the SAF troopers who neutralized the terrorist. "What does the alternative narrative say? It was posited that one of Marwan’s companions killed him—the same one who cut off his finger and gave it to the SAF. But it is clear from the presentation today: the SAF were there; we can no longer doubt that it was the SAF who took Marwan's finger," Aquino said. "This also means: All the other accounts about the alternative narrative are baseless, and consequently have no relevance," he added. READ MORE...RELATED, Napeñas: MILF wants to discredit truth

ALSO Alternative truth: PNP smells AFP, DND hand


SEPTEMBER 16 -A copy of the report on the Mamasapano incident. STAR/Boy Santos
Sources in the Philippine National Police (PNP) claimed yesterday that the Armed Forces of the Philippines fed President Aquino the so-called alternative version of the Mamasapano clash because the military was embarrassed that a top terrorist was found in its jurisdiction. Other police officials said they believed the so-called “alternative truth” was “cooked up” by some quarters in the AFP and supported by Mohagher Iqbal, chief peace negotiator of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). “Because the AFP was embarrassed that Marwan was in their area and maybe they did not get a reward, is this the reason why they are floating this story? Why only now?” one police official said, referring to Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir or Marwan. Despite widespread demoralization in the PNP ranks, Malacañang said yesterday the investigation into the “alternative truth” or version of the Mamasapano carnage will push through. Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. reiterated the statement of the President that it is important to know everything about the Mamasapano operation to arrive at the truth that will guide future actions and decisions. Coloma said this latest development should be treated with more caution as details of the inquiry as to who really killed Marwan in Mamasapano would definitely have a negative impact on the PNP hierarchy. “Perhaps we should be careful in considering information like this because of the important role of our police force,” Coloma said in Filipino. Members of the PNP Special Action Force (SAF) were sent on a mission to arrest Marwan and his Filipino cohort Basit Usman in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25. Fighters of the MILF and its alleged splinter group the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters attacked the SAF raiders, killing 44 of them. READ MORE...

ALSO PNoy on Mamasapano: 90 to face charges but no conviction in my term


SEPTEMBER 17 -Members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force carry caskets bearing the bodies of slain SAF men at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City. Ernie Peñaredondo
President Benigno Aquino III said Thursday that 90 people will be indicted in the killing of Special Action Force (SAF) troopers in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. In a press conference in Malacañang where he presented new probe findings, Aquino said the 90 people to be charged were direct participants in the murder of of 35 commandos of the 55th Special Action Company that was part of the SAF. Aquino answered in the affirmative when asked if these people were members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and private armed groups. While the government is trying to hold into account the suspects, Aquino conceded that the Mamasapano case may not be resolved during his term. Aquino cited the 2009 Maguindanao massacre case which has more than 100 suspects still undergoing trial. "Nasa preliminary investigation pa lang tayo. Siyempre, may karapatan silang malaman 'yung akusasyon, mayroon silang mga karapatan na harapin 'yung nag-aakusa," said Aquino, referring to the 90 people to face charges. "Mahaba-haba pa 'yung proseso, baka hindi natin magawa sa loob ng natitira naming 287 days at 'yon ang realistic doon," the president added. READ MORE...

ALSO PNoy: Foreign troops not involved in Mamasapano operation


SEPTEMBER 17 -Members of the police Special Action Force weep at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig in February 2015. STAR/Edd Gumban
President Benigno Aquino III said Thursday that no foreign troops were involved in the January 25 anti-terror operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. Aquino made the statement after a newspaper report claimed that a Caucasian-looking man was among the fatalities in the Mamasapano operation that left 44 Special Action Force (SAF) troopers dead. The president said the Constitution prohibits the participation of foreign troops in local operations. "Walang ni-report sa akin ang ating mga ahensya. Ang SAF walang kasamang foreigners. Bawal sa Saligang Batas natin na mag-o-operate ang foreign troops in our soil," Aquino said in a press conference in Malacañang. "Kung ang SAF na mga pulis ay may nagpilit na sumama sa kanila doon, baka obligasyon nilang arestuhin dahil bawal 'yon sa Saligang Batas," he added. Aquino said the involvement of foreign troops may be another version of the alternative narrative of the Mamasapano incident that had floated. He said this version has yet to be proven. "'Yung alternative version, marami pang versions 'yung alternative na 'yon. Ito siguro ganoon na rin 'yon. So, ang dulo, pruwebahan ninyo," he said. During the press conference, Aquino presented newly gathered photos of slain Malaysian terror suspect Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, the target of the SAF operation. Aquino said the photos showing a SAF trooper cutting off Marwan's finger disproved the alternative narrative that it was not the police commandos who killed the terrorist.READ MORE...

ALSO by Fr. Joel Tabora: Pressing the peace legislation
[Enacting the BBL is not ordinary legislation, it is peace legislation. It is wiser to base this on negotiated concrete agreements with the former belligerants, rather than on ideal theory. Unfortunately, terrorist bombs, which Muslims as well as non-Muslims abhor, do not kill in mere theory.]


SEPTEMBER 20 -y FR. JOEL TABORA, S.J. THE peace negotiations between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Government of the Philippines (GPH) emerged out of a situation of war. It had become clear: the military solution was a non-solution. Some 120,000 Filipinos were killed killing Filipinos, huge amounts of money were pulverized in vicious actions of war, opportunities for education, development and prosperity were lost forever. Instead of this senseless killing for ongoing war, why not negotiate for peace? That question was raised 17 years ago; the peace process began. The negotiations involved the principals in the armed conflict, the MILF, and the GPH, and therefore not every interest group in the Muslim or Philippine world. The negotiations had to advance and evaluate the reasons why the MILF had been driven to war. Ultimately, they jointly sought to right the long history of injustices brought on the Filipino Muslim communities in the past: the illegitimate sale of the sovereign sultanates by Spain to America while they were not Spain’s to sell (1898) since Spain had never conquered the Muslims, the massacre and conquest of the Muslim communities by American troops with the help of Filipinos in such as the battles of Bud Dajo (1904) and Bud Bagsak (1913), the deep and hurtful (and ongoing) discrimination against them because of their fidelity to their Islamic faith by a nation that practically defines itself as “Christian,” their exclusion from the benefits of the mainstream economic and political development of the Philippines, their loss of lands and local political influence due to the Colonization Act (1935) and land registration policies of the north, their local government and traditional authority undermined by central government its own system of law, deaths and killings due to such as the Jabidah massacre (1968), the Manili massacre, the battle of Buldon (1986), the Marcos manipulation of the barbaric Ilagas to weaken the Muslims, the failure of government to deliver on promises and commitments such as the Tripoli Agreement (1976) and the mandate of the Philippine Constitution (1987) to establish an autonomous region for Filipino Muslims. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

New info on Mamasapano may be meant to muddle issue – Noy


President Aquino said that it is necessary to look into this “alternative truth” if the public really wants to know the whole truth. File photo

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 21, 2015, (PHILSTAR) By Delon Porcalla - President Aquino yesterday clarified that the executive department is trying to find out who really killed Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, in Mamasapano to know the whole truth about the operation last January that resulted in the death of 44 members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF).

Aquino admitted that the new information may be meant to muddle the issue.

“We are also considering that perhaps this alternative is muddling the issue. So to know the truth, we need to have testimony and evidence and these are being gathered,” he said in Filipino during a chance interview in Iloilo City where he led the inauguration of the Iloilo Convention Center.

“It is important to know the truth so we can learn lessons from what happened in Mamasapano… As far as the executive (department) is concerned, there is an allegation that the narrative is incorrect. So our job is to know the truth. Is it the first version, the alternative version, or a combination of both versions?

“We are not saying that we are sure that this alternative version is true. We are not discounting the possibility that the alternative version is totally false,” he clarified.

Aquino said that it is necessary to look into this “alternative truth” if the public really wants to know the whole truth.

READ MORE...

The SAF was on a mission to neutralize Marwan in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Jan. 25. During the operation, however, the SAF engaged in a gun battle with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and other Moro fighters that resulted in the death of more than 60 people.

Marwan was also killed in the operation, which happened while the peace talks between the government and MILF were ongoing.

But the leadership of the MILF has refuted the claim of SAF troopers that they killed Marwan.

PNP chief: Police force hurt PNP chief Director General Ricardo Marquez admitted that the morale of the PNP has been affected by the new turn of events in the Mamasapano probe.

“A part of me feels that way. When 44 people died and then they will talk about alternative truth, it hurts,” he said in Filipino.

“It is not good for the morale of the people because 44 people died. That is why I say the people who are claiming they have other versions of the events should provide evidence that will support their allegations.”

Marquez also said he is eyeing a case review on the report submitted by the PNP Board of Inquiry to check whether there were details overlooked during the two-month probe into the Mamasapano operation.

“I have talked to Director (Benjamin) Magalong and we will likely conduct case review to see if there were details they failed to consider or questions they failed to ask. We will go back to the documents to help in the determination of the truth,” Marquez told reporters. “Case review is always an option, especially if there were other information.”

Magalong, chief of the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management, was chairman of BOI, being then the director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

P-Noy’s ‘alternative truth’ slammed Meanwhile, the camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay and other lawmakers yesterday slammed the President’s disclosure of an alleged “alternative truth” to the Mamasapano operation.

“We have a Filipino word for alternative truth: palusot (excuse),” said Rico Quicho, Binay’s spokesman for political affairs.

“There’s only a single truth, and that is the SAF engaged in a dangerous mission who until now have not yet been given justice,” he added. – With Helen Flores, Marvin Sy, Paolo Romero, Cecille Suerte Felipe


PHILSTAR

PNoy: SAF killed Marwan, Mamasapano 'alternative version' not true By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated September 17, 2015 - 1:46pm 1 55 googleplus0 0


SYMPATHY AND JUSTICE: President Aquino offers prayers for the slain SAF commandos at Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan in January. STAR

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday presented the newest findings of the investigation into the Mamasapano clash which debunked the alternative version of the incident.

During his televised address in Malacañang, Aquino showed photos of slain Malaysian terror suspect Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, the subject of the Special Action Force (SAF) operation on January 25.

In one of the photos, a SAF trooper was seen holding the left hand of Marwan and in the act of severing a finger from his left hand.

Another photo showed the same SAF trooper before cutting off Marwan's finger, while one more photo showed the terrorist missing a finger.

Aquino said these photos disproved the alternative version of the incident that it was not the SAF troopers who neutralized the terrorist.

"What does the alternative narrative say? It was posited that one of Marwan’s companions killed him—the same one who cut off his finger and gave it to the SAF. But it is clear from the presentation today: the SAF were there; we can no longer doubt that it was the SAF who took Marwan's finger," Aquino said.

"This also means: All the other accounts about the alternative narrative are baseless, and consequently have no relevance," he added.

READ MORE...

Aquino said the new photos were analyzed by the cybercrime division of the National Bureau of Investigation.

He quoted the agency's report which said that "Our forensic examiners concluded that the pictures are authentic and unaltered."

Aquino said those who floated the alternative version of the Mamasapano incident were trying to muddle the issue and were after the bounty imposed on Marwan.

With the alternative version debunked, Aquino said the government's next step is to hold into account those responsible for the murder of 44 SAF troopers.

"Now that the conversation about this alternative matter is done, the process of justice, especially for the fallen, can continue," he said.

Aquino said 90 individuals will be indicted.

------------------------------------------------------------

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Napeñas: MILF wants to discredit truth By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated September 15, 2015 - 10:33am 2 246 googleplus0 0


Former Philippine National Police-Special Action Force Director Getulio Napeñas is facing charges of neglect of duty for the Mamasapano incident last January. Senate PRIB/Joseph Vidal, File

MANILA, Philippines - Former Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (SAF) Director Getulio Napeñas on Monday insisted that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is attempting to discredit the truth following President Benigno Aquino III's statement that the government is looking into an "alternative version" of the Mamasapano incident.

"Gusto nila i-divert kasi yung katotohanan na MILF ang pumatay doon sa 44 and yet wala pang katarungan sa kanila," Napeñas said in an interview with ABS-CBN News.

The former SAF chief stressed that the alternative version is an insult to the 44 police commandos that were killed during an encounter against Moro rebels in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last January.

"Kung pwede naman pala 'yan i-abot na (sa) silver platter bakit kailangan pumasok 'yung tropa namin for operations na ganyan. Namatayan pa kami nang marami," Napeñas added.

Napeñas pointed out that Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, was killed by the SAF.

"Ang katotohanan dito sa Mamasapano incident, isa lang... si Marwan ay pinatay ng Special Action Force troopers na nagsagawa ng legal, legitimate, lawful police operation against Marwan at may basbas 'yan sa pinakamataas na pinuno ng Pilipinas," the former SAF chief said.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 On the other hand, Aquino admitted that the alternative version on the Mamasapano incident may be meant to muddle the issue.

The executive department is still looking into the whole truth about the Mamasapano operation.

RELATED: FULL TEXT: Senate panel's report on Mamasapano clash

 DOCUMENT: PNP Board of Inquiry's Mamasapano Report

 FULL TEXT: MILF report on the Mamasapano clash


PHILSTAR

Alternative truth: PNP smells AFP, DND hand By Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 16, 2015 - 12:00am 0 2 googleplus0 0


A copy of the report on the Mamasapano incident. STAR/Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines - Sources in the Philippine National Police (PNP) claimed yesterday that the Armed Forces of the Philippines fed President Aquino the so-called alternative version of the Mamasapano clash because the military was embarrassed that a top terrorist was found in its jurisdiction.

Other police officials said they believed the so-called “alternative truth” was “cooked up” by some quarters in the AFP and supported by Mohagher Iqbal, chief peace negotiator of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“Because the AFP was embarrassed that Marwan was in their area and maybe they did not get a reward, is this the reason why they are floating this story? Why only now?” one police official said, referring to Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir or Marwan.

Despite widespread demoralization in the PNP ranks, Malacañang said yesterday the investigation into the “alternative truth” or version of the Mamasapano carnage will push through.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. reiterated the statement of the President that it is important to know everything about the Mamasapano operation to arrive at the truth that will guide future actions and decisions.

Coloma said this latest development should be treated with more caution as details of the inquiry as to who really killed Marwan in Mamasapano would definitely have a negative impact on the PNP hierarchy.

“Perhaps we should be careful in considering information like this because of the important role of our police force,” Coloma said in Filipino.

Members of the PNP Special Action Force (SAF) were sent on a mission to arrest Marwan and his Filipino cohort Basit Usman in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25.

Fighters of the MILF and its alleged splinter group the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters attacked the SAF raiders, killing 44 of them.

READ MORE...

Marwan was also killed in the operation, which happened while the peace talks between the government and MILF were ongoing.

The leadership of the MILF has refuted the claim of SAF troopers that they killed Marwan.

The President said on Monday this “alternative truth” or version of the incident should be looked into to get to the whole truth about the Mamasapano operation.

PNP chief Director General Ricardo Marquez admitted on Monday that the police force is hurt and demoralized with the alternative truth being floated, considering that 44 policemen died in Mamasapano.

‘Dancing with the enemy’ “We are sad that this was stated by no less than the President, who knew of the operation and gave his approval to launch it. But we fully understand him and his belief in the story of Iqbal, who by the way did not give his true name to the President and OPAPP (Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process),” another police official said.

“Imagine this: you go in just to get the finger of Marwan or to confirm his death and put 44 young men to death? He is our commander-in-chief and yet he believes more the story of the AFP that Iqbal supports? This just confirms that the AFP and Iqbal are dancing, that was why the operation was not coordinated to the AFP,” the official added.

Former SAF commander Getulio Napeñas also lamented yesterday that the alternative truth being floated is destroying the dignity and honor of the slain SAF members.

“It’s removing our dignity. It is destroying our honor and hurting our feelings. Four agencies investigated and not one said something like that,” Napeñas said in a television interview.

Napeñas maintained that the SAF were the ones who killed Marwan in his hut in Mamasapano.

Like Marquez, Napeñas dared people claiming there is an alternative version of the Mamasapano carnage to produce evidence to prove their claim.


The Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Board of Inquiry (BOI) chair Benjamin Magalong told lawmakers Thursday that he is willing to resign if proven that the Special Action Force (SAF) did not kill international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias “Marwan.” During the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) budget hearing at the House of Representatives, Director Magalong, former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief, said he would resign if the SAF were not those which killed Marwan. “If proven otherwise, willing ako mag-step down. Ganun ang conviction ko (If proven otherwise, I am willing to step down. That is my conviction),” Magalong told the lawmakers.  JULLIANE LOVE DE JESUS/INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

CIDG won’t reinvestigate Marquez said on Monday he is eyeing a case review on the report submitted by the PNP Board of Inquiry (BOI), which investigated the Mamasapano incident, to check whether there were details overlooked.

But the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) yesterday said it would not reinvestigate the Mamasapano operation because it would be improper since the BOI, which represented the PNP, had concluded its probe.

“It would be improper for the CIDG to conduct another investigation. I believe a re-investigation should be conducted by an independent body,” CIDG director Chief Supt. Victor Deona told reporters.

Deona’s predecessor, Director Benjamin Magalong, headed the BOI probe, which pointed out the lapses of the PNP officials in observing the chain-of-command during the Mamasapano operation.

House rejects calls to reopen probe The chairman of the House committee on public order that conducted an inquiry into the Mamasapano carnage has also rejected calls to reopen the panel’s investigation.

“I’m confused by this ‘alternative truth’. I’m not sure if there’s really any sufficient basis such as documents, witnesses or other evidence to warrant another investigation,” Negros Occidental Rep. Jeffrey Ferrer told The STAR yesterday.

“We stand by our investigation. It was very exhaustive and we also had the benefit of separate inquiries conducted by the Senate and the BOI,” he added. – With Helen Flores, Rhodina Villanueva, Paolo Romero, Cecille Suerte Felipe, Edu Punay


PHILSTAR

PNoy on Mamasapano: 90 to face charges but no conviction in my term By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated September 17, 2015 - 4:31pm 2 39 googleplus0 0


Members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force carry caskets bearing the bodies of slain SAF men at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City. Ernie Peñaredondo

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III said Thursday that 90 people will be indicted in the killing of Special Action Force (SAF) troopers in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

In a press conference in Malacañang where he presented new probe findings, Aquino said the 90 people to be charged were direct participants in the murder of of 35 commandos of the 55th Special Action Company that was part of the SAF.

Aquino answered in the affirmative when asked if these people were members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and private armed groups.

While the government is trying to hold into account the suspects, Aquino conceded that the Mamasapano case may not be resolved during his term.

Aquino cited the 2009 Maguindanao massacre case which has more than 100 suspects still undergoing trial.

"Nasa preliminary investigation pa lang tayo. Siyempre, may karapatan silang malaman 'yung akusasyon, mayroon silang mga karapatan na harapin 'yung nag-aakusa," said Aquino, referring to the 90 people to face charges.

"Mahaba-haba pa 'yung proseso, baka hindi natin magawa sa loob ng natitira naming 287 days at 'yon ang realistic doon," the president added.

READ MORE...

The 90 individuals figured in an encounter with the SAF troopers who were conducting an operation on January 25 aimed at neutralizing Malaysian terror suspect Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan.

Aquino refused to provide details regarding the 90 individuals.

He only said that they are supposed to be located in territories that are the subject of the government's peace agreement with the MILF.

"There will be coordination so as to not prompt any untoward incident where we eventually, I think, will be servicing these people with warrants once it gets to the court, subpoenas first for the preliminary investigation," Aquino said.

"Eventually, they might not appear. If they don't appear, they waive their right to preliminary investigation; the court, in turn, will order us to execute warrants of arrest for these people," he added.


PHILSTAR

PNoy: Foreign troops not involved in Mamasapano operation By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated September 17, 2015 - 7:18pm 0 7 googleplus0 0


Members of the police Special Action Force weep at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig in February 2015. STAR/Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III said Thursday that no foreign troops were involved in the January 25 anti-terror operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

Aquino made the statement after a newspaper report claimed that a Caucasian-looking man was among the fatalities in the Mamasapano operation that left 44 Special Action Force (SAF) troopers dead.

The president said the Constitution prohibits the participation of foreign troops in local operations.

"Walang ni-report sa akin ang ating mga ahensya. Ang SAF walang kasamang foreigners. Bawal sa Saligang Batas natin na mag-o-operate ang foreign troops in our soil," Aquino said in a press conference in Malacañang.

"Kung ang SAF na mga pulis ay may nagpilit na sumama sa kanila doon, baka obligasyon nilang arestuhin dahil bawal 'yon sa Saligang Batas," he added.

Aquino said the involvement of foreign troops may be another version of the alternative narrative of the Mamasapano incident that had floated. He said this version has yet to be proven.

"'Yung alternative version, marami pang versions 'yung alternative na 'yon. Ito siguro ganoon na rin 'yon. So, ang dulo, pruwebahan ninyo," he said.

During the press conference, Aquino presented newly gathered photos of slain Malaysian terror suspect Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, the target of the SAF operation.

Aquino said the photos showing a SAF trooper cutting off Marwan's finger disproved the alternative narrative that it was not the police commandos who killed the terrorist.


Pressing peace legislation September 20, 2015 8:24 pm FR. JOEL TABORA, S.J.


by FR. JOEL TABORA, S.J.

THE peace negotiations between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Government of the Philippines (GPH) emerged out of a situation of war. It had become clear: the military solution was a non-solution. Some 120,000 Filipinos were killed killing Filipinos, huge amounts of money were pulverized in vicious actions of war, opportunities for education, development and prosperity were lost forever.

Instead of this senseless killing for ongoing war, why not negotiate for peace?

That question was raised 17 years ago; the peace process began. The negotiations involved the principals in the armed conflict, the MILF, and the GPH, and therefore not every interest group in the Muslim or Philippine world.

The negotiations had to advance and evaluate the reasons why the MILF had been driven to war.

Ultimately, they jointly sought to right the long history of injustices brought on the Filipino Muslim communities in the past: the illegitimate sale of the sovereign sultanates by Spain to America while they were not Spain’s to sell (1898) since Spain had never conquered the Muslims, the massacre and conquest of the Muslim communities by American troops with the help of Filipinos in such as the battles of Bud Dajo (1904) and Bud Bagsak (1913), the deep and hurtful (and ongoing) discrimination against them because of their fidelity to their Islamic faith by a nation that practically defines itself as “Christian,” their exclusion from the benefits of the mainstream economic and political development of the Philippines, their loss of lands and local political influence due to the Colonization Act (1935) and land registration policies of the north, their local government and traditional authority undermined by central government its own system of law, deaths and killings due to such as:

the Jabidah massacre (1968),
the Manili massacre,
the battle of Buldon (1986),
the Marcos manipulation of the barbaric Ilagas to weaken the Muslims,
the failure of government to deliver on promises and commitments such as the Tripoli Agreement (1976) and
the mandate of the Philippine Constitution (1987) to establish an autonomous region for Filipino Muslims.

READ MORE...

It is in this historical context that the GPH and the MILF negotiated for peace.

Clearly, both the GPH and the MILF are representatives of their constituencies.


Iqbal: MILF spokesman for BBL

Neither exercise absolute control over minds that disagree with them from among their constituencies.

The MILF is different from the traditional sultans and datus, whom they wish to reform.

They are different from the Bangsamoro Independence Freedom Fighters (BIFF), whose violent extremism and alleged commitment to the ISIS they eschew.

They are different from youthful idealists today who pledge allegiance to and organize on behalf of the Islamic State.


OPPAP Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles (right) and GPH Peace Panel Chair Miriam Coronel (left) GPH of President Noy Aquino.

The GPH directly represented the executive branch of government, quite different from the legislators and the justices of the Supreme Court, even if they are all part of one government of the Philippines.

Under the Constitution’s separation of powers, the executive does not legislate, and legislature does not implement policy, and the justices do not craft national policy.

Yet here, all, the MILF and the executive representing the GPH, seek to represent the common good.

In the peace process, the executive through the OPAPP has negotiated a peace agreement with the MILF.

This is the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB). They have agreed: follow this agreed-upon formula, and there will be peace.
The President has given this agreement to the legislature, asking the legislature to confirm its negotiations. It does not control the legislature, nor does it control the courts. But if either the lawmakers or the justices depart from the agreed-upon peace formula, which is their legal prerogative, they must take responsibility for the consequences.

Part of the consequence may be a greater fidelity to what they think the Constitution allows. But part of the consequences may be a demolition of the current MILF leadership to continue leading, and passage of Muslim leadership into other more belligerent or extreme hands.

Clearly, it is up to them.

In my view: it is best if the legislators pass a law that is faithful to the negotiated CAB.

The agreed-upon formula was the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), not the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BLBAR).

The MILF accepts the former, not the latter.

By whatever name, in our view, the law that remains faithful to the CAB, provide the following:

Recognition of the Bangsamoro identity and its peoples’ aspirations based on their right to self-determination;

Integration of the spirit of the CAB in the proposed legislation in fidelity to the 1987 Philippine Constitution and its mandate for an autonomous region for Muslim Mindanao;

Provisions that surpass, not diminish, the provisions of the Expanded Organic Act for the ARMM (RA 9054), further enhancing what Filipino Muslims already enjoy under this law;

Genuine autonomy through which the Bangsamoro Government is empowered to lead its peoples to a future they desire based on the genius of their rich culture;

Acceptance of the concept of asymmetrical political entity where the Bangsamoro Government enjoys powers greater than LGUs but fully subject to national governance;

Measures to strengthen the Shariah courts and their applicability to the Bangsamoro followers of Islam;

Bangsamoro entitlement to create its own sources of revenue and to levy taxes, fees and charges guided by the principles of devolution of powers;

A just and equitable share in the revenues generated through the exploration, development and utilization of the natural resources, consistent with the principles of environmental stewardship, within the jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro;

Full respect and protection for civil, political, economic, social and cultural human rights of all the inhabitants including the indigenous peoples, women, children and youth in the Bangsamoro territory and support for the passage of laws that promote, uphold and protect the same; and

Transitional justice and normalization clauses, reflective of the spirit and intent of the CAB.

Enacting the BBL is not ordinary legislation, it is peace legislation.

It is wiser to base this on negotiated concrete agreements with the former belligerants, rather than on ideal theory.

Unfortunately, terrorist bombs, which Muslims as well as non-Muslims abhor, do not kill in mere theory.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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