Moro group accuses army of burning homes, mosque in Maguindanao

Mar. 21, 2015

TAGUM CITY — A Moro group on Saturday has accused the military of directly burning nine houses and two mosques in various villages in Maguindanao last March 18.

The torching incident, Suara Bangsamoro said, has transpired at Sitio Tampat, Brgy. Pamalian, Shariff Aguak in Maguindanao as army troops belonging to the 8th Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT) of the armed forces encamped in the village more than two weeks prior to the incident.

According to group’s documentation when it interviewed the victims, on March 18  at about 7 p.m. the victims’ houses were burning as seen from the evacuation center where they have temporarily sought safe shelter in Brgy. Dapiawan, Datu Saudi Ampatuan.

All four victims— Noraine Mohammad, Juharto Mohammad, Nanang Esmail , Aslamiya Adam, and Fatima Adam—pointed out that it was the military troops from the 8th Marine Battalion Landing Team who torched their houses.

Jerome Aba, spokesperson of Suara Bangsamoro, said the military’s act of burning houses and religious centers constitute an outright violation of international laws.

“Loud and clear, this is a violation of rights, this is a form of Destruction of Properties (Burning of Houses or Arson), Violation of Domicile, Desecration and Destruction of Religious Infrastructure,” Aba said.

Aba said the military has been burning houses since it launched offensives against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter more than a month already.

“The burning of the houses was one of the many strings of human rights and international humanitarian laws violations the military committed because of Aquino’s all-out war against the Bangsamoro,” said Aba.

He also accused the military of turning civilian communities into a war zone as they continue to encamp in public and private structures such as within the perimeter of a barangay hall, evacuation centers and residential houses.

They are destroying the livelihood of the people, said Aba.

Suara Bangsamoro, Aba said, calls for the immediate military pull-out in the civilian areas and put a stop on the all-out offensives and indiscriminate bombardment of the communities.

“If this won’t end and if the military won’t pull out in the area, the safety and the lives of the civilians especially the women and children will always be in peril.  Still, the numbers of individuals affected by this war will continue to escalate and we fear that human rights violations also will increase because of military’s apparent neglect to respect the rights of the Bangsamoro,” the group said. (

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