Moro group call on all Muslims to condemn Maguindanao Massacre

Nov. 30, 2009

Suara Bangsamoro joins the rest of the Filipino people in mourning the death of women, journalists and lawyers in Maguindanao on November 24 and calls on fellow Muslims in the country to publicly condemn to the highest term the massacre and call on President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to punish the perpetrators.

“As Muslims, we should condemn the bloodbath and we shun the perception that this is merely a traditional rido (clan war). This is senseless killing of power-hungry politicians,” said Amirah Ali Lidasan, spokesperson of Suara Bangsamoro.

“It is high time we show a united stand of the Muslims.  It is high time we put our fear of Allah in our hearts and not fear of politicians and warlords,” Lidasan said.

Lidasan further said that this incident should unite Muslims and Christians in Mindanao and not let anyone provoke to crack the interfaith unity of the people in Mindanao.

“We will participate in all activities of condemnation led by Christian groups, lawyers and Mindanao to show our unity with the rest of the Mindanaoans in calling for justice for this incident,” said Lidasan.

Lidasan said that this is a trying time for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who helped propel into power a political ally that has secured her vote leverage since 2001 in Maguindanao.

“The cloak of fear and impunity should be removed in Maguindanao, and no other person has the political will to stop the killing and proliferation of violence but President Arroyo,” said Lidasan.

Lidasan also said that President Arroyo and the 6th infantry division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines should also be held liaible for the proliferation of “legitimized” private armies of warlord politicians in Maguindanao and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao due to the Executive Order 546 which established in 2006 civilian volunteer organizations (CVOSs) and other paramilitary groups as buffers for local government units in their fight against insurgency.

“President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should call for at least Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan, Jr, the identified leader of the suspects, to step down from his post to provide an atmosphere of safety and security for the Commission on Human Rights and other human rights organizations who want to be part of the independent investigation and to avoid whitewash and cover up in the investigation,” said Lidasan.

Suara Bangsamoro also calls on the rest of the Moro people to publicly condemn the killings and not let political and familial affiliations to the Ampatuan clan hinder our responsibility as Muslims to condemn this act.

Lidasan also lambasted the declaration of state of emergency in Cotabato, saying that it will only help exonerate the perpetrators of any responsibility for the killing, shifts the focus of policing, militarization and investigation from the Ampatuan clan to legitimate groups waging armed struggle in the areas of South Cotabato and Maguindanao such as the New Peoples Army and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Moro National Liberation Front and other families who were not part of the bloodbath.

President Arroyo should scrap EO546 and junk all programs and policies of creating paramilitary groups trained by the AFP and assigned to local government units and those created to protect private and multinational plantations and mining companies such as the Investment Defense Force and Special Cafgu Active Auxiliary (SCAAs) who put up and man illegal checkpoints.

For reference:

Amirah Ali Lidasan

National president

Suara Bangsamoro

Mobile phone number: 0919-660-3839

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