“If they will surrender the suspects in these heinous acts and help arrest [Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters commander Basit] Usman, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front will show that they are one with the government in the pursuit of genuine and lasting peace, and that the government has made the right decision in negotiating a peace pact with them, because they are and will always be on the side of justice and harmony,” Senate President Franklin M. Drilon said in a statement to press.
“This is a test of sincerity on the part of the MILF on the one hand, and a test of faith in the peace process on the part of the government and the Filipino people, on the other hand,” the senate chief said.
“The January 25 police operation was a chance to finally arrest Usman and Zulkipli Hir also known as Marwan, but our policemen had been foiled, and lost their lives in a tragic and deadly event,” Drilon added.
However, Drilon noted that the condemnable bloody clash should not weaken the resolve of each and every Filipino to aspire and work for genuine and lasting peace for their brothers and sisters in Mindanao.
“Peace is never easy. Let us not give up.”