The so-called Bravo’s video

There is absolutely no new video recording of Commander Bravo or in real life, Abdullah Macapaar, or his men executing three men by firing squad. If there was one, without necessarily admitting, it was done long time ago, and the MILF absolutely had no sanction of it.

The MILF had already enforced a total ban on the operation of so-called mobile Shariah courts (in Lanao areas) that handle cases submitted to them to prevent clan conflict. The truth is that until now, the MILF has not allowed death penalty even for major crimes; instead it permits only the payment of blood money to the families of the victims.

The basic principle in the MILF justice system is that justice can only be dispensed by those who know Islamic law very well. It cannot be done by anyone else. In fact, being judge is the least desired profession among Muslims, because Islam says that the moment one is appointed, one foot is already considered in the ridge of hell. Being fair is very difficult too, because human beings are naturally inclined to favour close kith and kin, friends over stranger, etc. It is for this reason that no way that commander like Bravo can be a competent judge because he is not expert on Islamic law. He is a military man and not a judge.

The execution clip goes viral and sent out into the online world. The recording, it was alleged, was done by a rebel on his cell phone and eventually posted on Facebook. It showed three men blindfolded and separately tied to bamboo poles, while rebels aimed their automatic rifles and shot them.

The MILF immediately ordered its Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCH) to check whether there is such execution that took place in Lanao provinces in recent days. The result was negative; meaning, there was no such execution.

The MILF also ordered Commander Bravo to comment on the news item and the video clipping. The explanation is expected soon.

Meanwhile, it is very unfortunate that until now there are members of the media whose main forte in their vocation is for sensationalism. They choose to spread raw information including the most controversial ones without verifying the source, say the MILF. In effect, they are deliberately launching a hate campaign against the MILF.

Members of the media should be circumspect in carrying stories like this, because it does not promote good taste among the population. On the contrary, it promotes hatred and animosity towards the MILF. Worse, it undermines the good working relationships or partnership between the MILF and government in ensuring the success of the peace process, in particular the early passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

Comparing this execution, granting it is true, with the series of massacres committed against the Moros, it is pale. It is totally not fair to bring the past wrongdoings into the open except as part of the healing process. This is the reason that in the GPH-MILF peace process there is a need to undertake transitional justice and reconciliation program in order to heal the wounds of the past.