“Mamasapano changed the game as biases and prejudices erupted”: Cardinal Quevedo

Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo said during the Kapehan sa Region-12 program of the Philippine Information Agency at the Bishop's Palace in Cotabato City on February 4, that the January 25, 2015 Mamasapano encounter seemed to have taken its toll on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that it virtually changed the game as biases and prejudices erupted between Christians and Muslims, ABS-CBN News Central Mindanao reported.

"Ignorance causes biases and prejudices. It exploded into the open because of Mamasapano," Cardinal Quevedo said.

The ill-fated police operation against alleged international terrorist Zulkifli Bin Hir aka Marwan and his right-hand man Basit Usman at Mamasapano left 44 members of PNP Special Action Force (SAF) and 17 Moro fighters and civilians dead.

Quevedo believes President Benigno Aquino III has done his best to push for the passage of the BBL.

With congress failed to pass the Bangsamoro law, Cardinal Quevedo fears the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will not proceed with the decommissioning of its combatants and weapons.

"The MILF will not continue with the normalization process. On the basis of the BBL that they have not approved, therefore, they will not give up their arms and the MILF troops will not be decommissioned", ABS-CBN quoted him saying..

With relationship between Christians and Muslims had been destroyed following the Mamasapano incident, Quevedo said that he is trying to reduce biases and prejudices by strengthening pastoral ministry and peace dialogues.

He called on all religious leaders, both Christians and Muslims, to teach their people the history of the Bangsamoro struggle for them to understand and reduce biases and prejudices.

Quevedo underscored the importance of preserving the gains of the peace process and the big responsibility now lies on the next administration.