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Religious call for creation of Mamasapano ‘truth commission’

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MANILA, Feb. 5, 2015 – An umbrella organization of men and women religious calls for the creation of an independent fact-finding commission to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of 44 Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) and 18 members of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in what many are calling Mamasapano Black Sunday.

44 PNP-SAF members were killed in a bloody clash with MILF and BIFF elements on Jan. 25, 2015 in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. (Photo: Joan Archimedes)

“We…call for the establishment of a Truth Commission to conduct an independent investigation on the incident resulting to an unnecessary loss of lives and to determine accountability as well as command responsibility,” said the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP) in a recent statement.

The group, comprising 268 women religious congregations and 88 men religious congregations in the country, said that such a move is based on the belief that peace “is founded on justice and mutual trust.”

“The restoration of the Filipino people’s trust is vital in any peace-building effort and mature governance of our nation,” the group explained, noting, as well the urgency of continuing peace talks between the government and the MILF.

According to the AMRSP, shifting the blame from one institution or personality to another should stop.

“We must stop endlessly blaming one another and instead heed the cries of the people crying for peace and justice,” reads the statement.

The group also warned against letting a desire for vengeance color the resolution to the issues regarding the Mamasapano incident.

“…(W)e must not allow vengeance to reign in our hearts. Vengeance will never restore whatever is lost,” it added, stressing that “an all-out war” against the MILF and the BIFF would not only be futile, but would lead to more conflict and deaths. (CBCPNews)

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