Mincode statement on the Mamasapano Incident

27 January 2015

The Mindanao Coalition of Development NGO Networks (MINCODE) strongly condemns the shooting incident in Mamapasano in Maguindanao Province in Mindanao that resulted in the death of more than 40 policemen last Sunday, January 25, 2015.

As there is a ceasefire agreement between the MILF and the GPH, we call on the immediate investigation of this unfortunate incident by the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) and the International Monitoring Team (IMT) even as we call on both parties to meet to prevent the escalation of violence. We extend our sympathies to the families of all those who were killed and we support the calls to seek justice for them.

We share the view of the GPH and the MILF and many peace advocates that this recent incident does not reflect the state of their relationship. We deplore the moves to derail the deliberations in the Senate and the House of Representatives on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law because of this incident. We denounce in very strong terms the irresponsible calls to suspend the ongoing deliberations in Congress. It is of utmost importance that the BBL is immediately passed to nurture peace, justice and non-violence which are the principles underlying the proposed law.

Our member networks through our base NGO/PO/cooperatives members are calling on our partners in communities all over Mindanao to remain calm and help to explain the imperative and the importance of seeking a peaceful resolution to this latest incident. We call on the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives to work double-time to enact the Bangsamoro Basic Law as any delay may result in further unrest on the ground.

We call on President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III to remain steadfast in his position to support the peace process between the GPH and the MILF which is now in its final stages. We join the calls for sobriety made by both the government and the MILF. We commend their commitment to Peace as we join them in calling for the impartial investigation of the bloody clash in Mamasapano.

We denounce the actions of people who are fanning blood-thirsty calls for violent retaliation. We call on everyone to be responsible and not sow fear and anger among our people and worst, incite them to support war.

We commit to walking only in the Paths of Peace, wherever we work in urban and rural communities in Mindanao. We affirm our commitment to support the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law and the subsequent plebiscite and the transition processes towards the establishment of the Bangsamoro. We commit to support all processes needed to ensure its success.

We will stand unafraid to denounce all forms of violence. Our passion for peace is in the heart of our work in many communities in Mindanao for sustainable development that is rooted in peace and justice. We continue to address the root causes of conflict to finally achieve our aspirations of a peaceful, just and prosperous Mindanao!

(Sgd) Patricia M. Sarenas