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MILF submits Mamasapano report, justifies fighting back

Patricia Lourdes Viray (The Philippine Star) - March 24, 2015 - 2:59pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on Tuesday submitted to the Senate committee on good government and urban development a 35-page report of the Mamasapano incident.

The report concluded that the retaliation of MILF's Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) was justified as they were being fired upon by members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

The bloody encounter between the SAF and Moro rebels led to the death of 44 elite police commandos last January 25.

"Without prior coordination, the BIAF did not know that the forces in Sitio Amilil were government forces with whom there is a holding ceasefire agreement.

The report noted that the BIAF had to fire back as two of their men were killed on the spot during the assault of the SAF.

The MILF insisted that there is a liability on the part of the government troops for violating the ceasefire agreement.

"The MILF should file a protest regarding the violation of the ceasefire by the PNP SAF," the report said, adding that the gunfight was inevitable due to the lack of coordination.

The report further claimed that the SAF, particularly PO2 Christopher Lalan, committed human rights violations for killing four MILF men who were asleep and were in no position to defend themselves.

READ: SAF survivor evaded rebels for 11 hours

The MILF Special Investigative Commission based its report on interviews with members of the MILF, the military, relatives of the slain troopers and civilians. The team also conducted its own ocular inspection of the clash site.

"We trust that this report is treated with fairness, and we hope that all the information provided therein will be helpful in your evaluation of the incident," MILF chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said in his letter attached to the report.

BANGSAMORO ISLAMIC ARMED FORCES CHRISTOPHER LALAN MAMASAPANO MILF MOHAGHER IQBAL MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE-SPECIAL ACTION FORCE REPORT SAF SITIO AMILIL
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