Alan Cayetano: MILF sanction to erring commanders just a slap on the wrist

President Benigno S. Aquino III honors the fallen Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) Troopers during the Necrological Service at the NCRPO Multi-Purpose Center of Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City on Friday (January 30). (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III honors the fallen Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) Troopers during the Necrological Service at the NCRPO Multi-Purpose Center of Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City on Friday (January 30). (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday described as a “slap on the wrist” the recommendation of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to sanction their erring commanders.

“Iisa ang batas natin: Kung murder (ang ginawa, dapat) murder ang kaso. Ang penalty ng MILF sa tao nila ay slap on the wrist. Ang sabi lang nila kay Marwan, umalis ka dito. Si Umbra Kato na nagsunog ng dalawang barrio, ano ang ginawa nila? Stripped of membership lang,” Cayetano said in a news forum at the Senate.

He was referring to Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan who was residing near the community of MILF, and Kato, leader of the MILF splinter group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

In its report released Tuesday, the MILF said “that the (MILF) leadership impose appropriate disciplinary action against the erring officials” of the two base commands for failure to detect the presence of Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and Filipino bombmaker Abdul Basit Usman.

“While it is true that the houses occupied by Marwan and Usman are in Barangay Pembalkan, Mamasapano, some three (3) kilometers away from the MILF communities, a good intelligence operation should have enabled these Base Commands to detect and report the presence of Usman and Marwan to the BIAF Command,” the report stated.

It added: ”The laxity exhibited by the two Base Commands, perhaps influenced by the over confidence in the relative peace obtaining in their communities brought about by the ceasefire agreement with the government and the signing of the CAB (Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro), should not go unnoticed. This attitude should not be tolerated.”

The report also cleared its fighters of alleged overkill in the deaths of 44 Special Action Force troopers during the Mamasapano clash on Jan. 25.(MNS)

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