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.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Moro group to take 'massacre' complaint to UN

A militant Moro group said it will bring to the attention of the United Nations the case of eight civilians killed by soldiers last Feb. 4 in a remote island village in Maimbung, Sulu.

Two children and a pregnant woman were among those killed in what the military said was an encounter with Abu Sayyaf rebels. Town officials, however, branded it a "massacre." Amira Lidasan, national president of Suara Bangsamoro (Voice of the Moro People), a militant party-list group representing Filipino Muslims, described as "one-sided" the military's investigation into the alleged massacre that quickly cleared soldiers involved in the raid.

The military report was upheld by the military’s Judge Advocate General's Office (JAGO), which said that the soldiers were tracking down members of the Abu Sayyaf terror group that had engaged them in a fire fight earlier.

"How can it be a legitimate operation when four of the eight fatalities were women and children and they were not Abu Sayyaf combatants?" Lidasan asked.

She said the victims were trying to evade the military attack on their village by taking a banca to a nearby islet when they were fired on by soldiers aboard a rubber boat.

The soldiers also killed Ibs Nowahib, a Moro National Liberation Front member who had been integrated into the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

"We expected this kind of findings under the Arroyo administration. That's why we will bring the case before the United Nations," Lidasan said.

Lidasan, however, was elated to find an ally in the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). Jose Mamauag, CHR director for Western Mindanao, had rejected the JAGO findings, saying not one of those killed was an Abu Sayyaf member

Lone GenSan blast fatality not suicide bomber, says sister

The man who died in an explosion at the height of festivities here Wednesday night is not a suicide bomber, a relative of the suspect said Friday.

Kris Octaviano, younger sister of 27-year-old Glenn Octaviano, told reporters that her brother was a street vendor and not a terrorist contrary to the police's suspicion.

Octaviano’s sister narrated between sobs how her brother worked doubly hard to save enough money needed in buying a motorcycle.

"He really wanted to buy a motorcycle. This is the reason why he traveled to other places during special occasions just to earn money and save enough to buy what he wanted," the younger sister said.

Her statement statement was supported by some street vendors who knew the victim.
Based on the results of the crime laboratory test, the explosion was caused by a fragmentation grenade.

The police are still investigating where Octaviano got the grenade.

No comments: