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What’s being done about SAF 44’s killers? — Romualdez

  • Written by Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 2706

THE House independent minority bloc on Saturday evening demanded an update from Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and government peace panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer on the possible arrest and filing of criminal charges against the killers of the 44 members of the Special Action Force (SAF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last January 25.
   
Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, the head of the House independent bloc, lamented that no clear decisions have been arrived at by authorities in connection with the delivery of justice to the victims.
   
“More than two months have passed since the massacre and yet, we have not heard anything as to what the government has been doing to arrest the killers and filing of charges against them. Can the widows or kin of the SAF 44 still expect justice for the slaughter of their husbands, sons, brothers and their loved ones?” Romualdez asked during a press conference at the Jade Hotel and Suites in Makati City.
   
Buhay Hayaang Yumabong (Buhay) party-list Rep. Lito Atienza and Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz, senior members of the Romualdez bloc, said the government should work double time now after the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) finished its own report on the Mamasapano massacre and has submitted copies of it to the government.
   
“The MILF leadership has even repeatedly declared that they will not surrender the killers. Therefore, they already know who the gunmen are. But despite this total disregard of the law, the government would not even demand the surrender of the killers. Let us not forget that the MILF and the territories they control are not exempted from the law. So it’s suspicious, to say the least, for the government to handle the massacre of the SAF 44 with kid gloves,” Atienza stressed.
   
“Therefore, the government can no longer claim that they have yet to identify the killers of the SAF 44,” de la Cruz, for his part, said.
   
Adding insult to injury, according to Romualdez, is the fact that instead of ensuring justice for the SAF 44, the government is already pushing heaven and earth for the passage of the proposed Bangsamro Basic Law (BBL) untouched.
   
“So whose side is the government on, the MILF or the Filipino people? Are we supposed to just tell the widows and kin of the SAF 44 that sorry? Is the MILF far more important than the supreme sacrifice of your loved ones? Is this the way the government should reciprocate or recognize the heroism of the SAF 44?” Romualdez stressed.