[Statement] Heed the cries of the people crying for peace and justice. -AMRSP

Heed the cries of the people crying for peace and justice.
AMRSP statement on Mamasapano incident

We mourn the death of the forty-four members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) and share the deep pain of their families and relatives.

amrsp

We are deeply saddened by the loss of lives of innocent civilians living in Mamasapano, Maguindanao and the deaths of 18 from MILF and also some from BIFF.

We, the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP) and its Mission Partners, with members composed of 268 women religious congregations and 88 men religious congregations, are outraged by the inhumane violence born out of decades of conflict and war in Mindanao. Peace is a nondescript reality for many Filipinos.

Nevertheless, we must not allow vengeance to reign in our hearts. Vengeance will never restore whatever is lost. An all-out war against the MILF and the BIFF will be futile and will fuel more conflicts and injuries to war-ravaged Mindanao. As lovers and advocates of peace, we urge all Filipino people to exercise sobriety and proper discernment. Instead, we must continue all our efforts at arriving at a just and principled peace for the alternative is war and internecine conflict. The valiant example of our fallen policemen must inspire us to find ways to work for lasting peace in Mindanao.

We believe in peace that is founded on justice and mutual trust.

We, therefore, call for the establishment of a Truth Commission to conduct an independent investigation on the incident resulting to an unnecessary loss of lives and to determine accountability as well as command responsibility.

The restoration of the Filipino people’s trust is vital in any peace-building effort and mature governance of our nation. We recognize the urgency for the government and MILF to continue the dialogues for peace. We must stop endlessly blaming one another and instead heed the cries of the people crying for peace and justice.

Heeding the words of the Prophet Isaiah we all must ‘learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.’ (Isa.1:17)

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