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Philippines: Nisa Ul Haqq fi Bangsamoro’s Statement on Mamasapano Incident

Published Date: 
Thursday, February 5, 2015

We at Nisa Ul Haqq fi Bangsamoro (1) are saddened by the unnecessary loss of lives in the Mamasapano incident of January 25, 2015. We are once again reminded of an incident back in October 2011 in which 19 members of the  Army’s Special Forces died in Al Barka, Basilan.  In both these incidents, there was no prior coordination between the government forces and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that could have prevented the tragic results.  The protocol agreed upon in the Implementing Operational Guidelines of the General Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities requires such coordination to ensure that no untoward encounters happen between the forces of government and those of the MILF.  Mechanisms such as the Coordinating Committee for the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH), the International Monitoring Team (IMT), and the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) had been established to facilitate the coordination and cooperation.

We welcome the news that both the government and the MILF have created their respective investigative bodies to establish what transpired on that fateful day in Mamasapano.  We demand that those who are responsible for the tragedy be dealt with appropriately, so that justice is served, and as importantly, so that we end impunity.

We implore the media to be more sensitive in handling the issue and not to beat the drums of war.  The deaths of the police forces, MILF combatants, and the innocent civilians are already regrettable.  Fanning biases and prejudices and making hurtful and unsubstantiated conclusions are unforgivable, given the lack of information at this time, and are contrary to media ethics standards of fairness, truthfulness and decency.

We call on government officials and politicians not to be rash in making  decisions that be irremediable, and to  be sober and sensitive in their pronouncements as these may result to more violence. In the same vein, we ask the MILF to stand down, pursue its investigation, and make the appropriate actions that would bring back public trust in the peace process.

We grieve for the dead on this National Day of Mourning, as we also grieve and pray for the women and children who have been left without husbands, fathers, sons and brothers.  They too are our unsung hero(ines) for the sacrifices they have had to endure while their men are out in the battlefield.

We stand firmly in our belief that the CALL TO PEACE IS STRONGER NOW MORE THAN EVER! Let the work for peace continue! Now more than ever, the BBL should be passed so we can start our PEACEful lives in Mindanaw!


Nisa is a women’s organization operating in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, with partner organizations and individuals nation-wide.  Members of Nisa attended the WELDD workshop in Jakarta in August 2014 entitled "Culturally-Justified Violence Against Women: Resistance and Sustaining Our Activism".

More details of the Mamasapano incident:

BBC: Philippine police killed in clashes with militants

Minda News: Mamasapano clash between SAF and MILF/BIFF: how to explain this tragedy?



Peace and Security