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FVR Says PNP-SAF Massacre Is A Result Of Poor Direction Of Commander In Chief


Former President Fidel V. Ramos used terms like "complacency" and "laid-back attitude" to characterize how the government representatives, field commanders, and peace mediators handled the situations that led to the killing of at least 40 special police officers.

According to reports, the battle at Mamasapano, Maguindanao between the Philippine National Police Special Action Forces and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (M.I.L.F.) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (B.I.F.F.) resulted in the "largest loss" in the history of the elite unit. People are looking about and asking, "What happened? " Who is at fault?

Ramos also noted in his statement that the two leading ladies "Before entering such a delicate operation, the government's peace panel ought to have sought the opinion of retired AFP and PNP officials who have more expertise and information about conflict settlement in Mindanao.

He was referring to Secretary Teresita and Professor Miriam Coronel Ferrer, who heads the government's peace panel "Ging' Deles, a presidential peace process advisor.

Ramos added that the unfortunate loss is not merely a result of poor communication between the M.I.L.F. and government forces. He added that while this is a contributing element, there is also "poor strategic direction from the commander-in-chief."

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He also criticized the M.I.L.F. for what he perceived as their lack of sincerity in conducting peace negotiations for the area.

On Thursday, the remains of 42 of the 44 PNP-Special Action Force personnel who died in combat received arrival honors from the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. On Wednesday morning, the remains of 42 police officers arrived at Villamor Airbase.

Vice President Jejomar Binay, Secretary of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Manuel Roxas, Secretary of Justice Leila De Lima, Secretary of Transportation Jun Abaya, and Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda were among the government representatives present. Attendees did observe President Benigno Aquino's absence, though.

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