Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Troops linked to Sulu ‘massacre’ restricted not suspended

By Joel Guinto

Fifty soldiers facing investigation for the deaths of eight civilians in Sulu province that has been called a “massacre” have been "restricted" not suspended, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public information officer said Monday.

Lieutenant Colonel Bartolome Bacarro clarified that the word "suspended" is not part of military jargon.

Nonetheless, he said "restricted" meant the 50 troopers are "restrained from participating in combat operations" and will be made to stay inside their respective camps.

"We'd like to clarify that the Secretary of National Defense did not use the word suspension during his visit to Sulu and his instruction was to restrain, restrain these soldiers from participating in other operations," Bacarro said.

"Suspend and restrain, they are synonymous but if you will qualify the statement, the memo given by the Secretary of National Defense [said] 'restrained from conducting operations'. So it should be taken at the context of the memo and not the [meaning of the] word itself," Bacarro said.

Teodoro went to Maimbung on Saturday to speak with the survivors and victims of the incident that the military described as an encounter with Abu Sayyaf rebels. The defense chief pledged a deeper investigation into the incident.

The military has begun its investigation into the incident, where two children and a pregnant woman were among those killed.

Relatives of the victims as well as local officials branded it a "massacre."

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