MIAGAO, Iloilo – Students here from the University of the Philippines (UP) joined the nation in mourning and demanded truth and accountability over the Mamasapano encounter last January 25 that claimed the lives of state police and members of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) forces.
Student activists of Sandigan para sa Mag-aaral at Sambayanan (SAMASA) Party Alliance together with the UP Visayas University Student Council held a protest earlier today to demand justice and peace for Mindanao.
“We express our sympathy to the families of all those who were killed including civilian casualties in the bloody clash atMamasapano,” UPV College of Arts and Sciences Student Council chairperson Raoul Daniel Manuel said.
Reports said at least 44 members of the elite special action force of the police (PNP-SAF), 18 MILF members, and 5 BIFF members were killed in the incident. An independent report from Suara Bangsamoro said five civilians were killed including a 5-year old, and three others wounded.
“The apparent lack of intention of the government side for coordination in the operation makes it clear that the administration is not really serious in respecting the peace process with the MILF,” Manuel said.
“President Aquino sacrificed its own police forces for his interest- the seven million dollar bounty offered by the U.S. government,” Manuel continued.
Meanwhile League of Filipino Students (LFS) – Panay asserted of US involvement in the Mamasapano clash.
“It is evident that the US government through the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) are directly involved in handling the entire operations,” LFS spokesperson Karlyn Subaldo said.
American soldiers were seen in the recovery of bodies in the area. The FBI was also believed to have provided intelligence information for the operations.
“We call on the resignation of BS Aquino for his direct responsibility and deliberate neglect to the lives of the police forces killed. His subservience to the US is already a count of treason against the Filipino people thus he should be indicted,” Subaldo added.