DAVAO CITY, Philippines—A Moro group on Tuesday condemned the government armed forces on the air strikes in Maguindanao against forces of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters last weekend, causing 300 hundred families to be displaced.
An initial investigation conducted by Suara Bangsamoro and Kawagib, a Moro human rights group, revealed that the military has dropped bombs in Barangay Andabit, Datu Saudi Ampatuan as early as 1 am on Monday, March 13.
According to the group, residents saw at least 600 soldiers in their communities with military tanks while two Simba and one hummer arrived at around 9:30 a.m.
The Moro group hit out the Army’s 6th Infantry Division stationed in Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao for its “intensive use of military power against the communities in the second district of Maguindanao” as a retaliation to the attacks of BIFF.
Citing a report, Suara Bangsamoro said the Army conducted a “preemptive and reconnaissance patrols” using
two Huey helicopters, 105-millimeter howitzers, FA-50 and MG520 fghter planes against the BIFF forces believed to be lurking in the the municipalities of Shariff Aguak, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Datu Salbo and Mamasapano.
Similar air strike incident also occurred in Compostela Valley province where “Lumad and Christian peasant families have already fled towns in Compostela Valley due to the massive airstrikes purportedly against the New People’s Army.”
Meanwhile, Suara Bangsamoro also criticized the shooting of children and the killing of Hadji Billamin Hassan and a certain Muhlis.
“With them is the wife of a mistakenly identified Abu Sayyaf member who complained on the death of his husband while in the hands of the military, dispelling initial reports that he died in an encounter,” Jerome Succor Aba, spokesperson of the Suara Bangsamoro, said in a statement.
According to Aba, on March 8, a raiding team composed of a composite of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, police and soldiers fired at residents of Barangay Tum-os, Tabuan Lasa, Basilan to arrest Abu Sayyaf members with standing warrant.
Aba said the indiscriminate firing led to the death of a one-year old baby, Nurmayda Abbi as the bullet hit on her right head. Also, an 11-year-old boy, Ashab Abuhayr, was also hit in the stomach by strayed bullet.
Aba said they hold the AFP responsible for and appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to “take back the all-out war policy that has affected civilians due to AFP and PNP’s abuse of authority, but not truly resolved terrorism nor lessen the menace of the ASG in Basilan and Sulu.”
“We hope that AFP’s abuse of authority and the resulting massive rights violations will be tackled in the resumption of the GRP-NDFP peace talks and in the ongoing meetings of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission,” Aba said. (davaotoday.com)