June 6, 2012 News: The MILF is not opposed to putting memorials to where massacres or major fighting took place during the four-decade of bloody conflict in Mindanao but said that giving justice to the victims cannot be replaced by just reminding people of the horrors of these crimes or events, e.g. a marker, ceremony, or speech.
This was the statement of Khaled Musa, deputy chairman of the MILF Committee on Information, obviously in response to the proposal of Secretary Teresita “Ging” Deles of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) that the horrors of the bloody insurgency be memorialized with monuments to help future generations avoid pitfalls that have sparked fighting.
Government chief peace negotiator Marvic Leonen also told reporters that monuments can be erected in sites of massacres and major battles
Musa recalled that almost countless bloodbaths have been committed by state forces and their allies against innocent and helpless Moro civilians from 1969 to date which included the Manili Massacre in 1971 where 70 people died; Alamada Massacre, 73 died, in 1971; Wao Massacre, 36 dead, 1971; Buldon Massacre, 60 dead, 1971; Kisulon Massacre, 67 dead, 1971; Magsayasay Massacre, 66 dead, 1971; Tacub Massacre, 40 dead; Palembang Massacre, 1,000 dead, 1974; Patikul Massacre, 700 dead, 1977; Pata Island Massacre, 3,000 dead, 1978, and many more others.
He also recalled that during the height of Martial Law from 1973 to 1978, no less than an average of 2 to 3 persons died in every operation conducted by state forces in Moro areas in Mindanao.
“It is fair game to kill a Moro even a child during Martial Law years of the Marcos’ dictatorship,” he recounted.
He said it is useless to discuss memorials, markers, or even monuments when the criminals remained scot-free, citing the example of a high government official right now who has not yet paid for his crimes against the Moros in Mindanao.
"If the President Aquino’s Matuwid Na Daan (Straight path) policy is really straight, then these war criminals must be brought to justice, punished, and their victims receive justice.
The government and the 11,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front remain optimistic a peace pact can be reached despite key differences in Malaysian-brokered negotiations.