Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said the incident in Mamasapano, Maguindanao that caused the lives of forty-four Special Action Force troopers shows lack of sincerity and confidence of both the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the ongoing peace process in Mindanao. She added that violence like this puts into question the legitimacy of the peace process and the intentions of both sides in pursuing the peace effort.
“It becomes very difficult for both sides to pursue the peace process when clear violations of it are being committed by both sides,” the lady senator said.
“The MILF has long claimed that it has severed ties with extremist groups, but how do we know that the suspected terrorists the PNP-SAF wanted to arrest were not in the area [of MILF]?” Santiago asks. “These are unpopular questions, but they need to be asked.”
She added that the said Moro rebel group currently on peace talks with the government “should show its sincerity and utmost good faith in its peace talks with the government by sharing its intelligence on terrorists hiding in Mindanao, and working with the government in pursuing these terrorists.”