“The United States government and BS Aquino are criminally accountable for the death of innocent civilians and the 44 men of the Special Action Force commandos on the mission to kill Zulkifli bin Hir known as “Marwan”, a US-identified enemy. The truth about the culpability of both Aquino and the US governments is clear. BS Aquino should stop foot dragging and start owning up to his responsibility in the carnage,” said Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Karapatan chairperson.
Recent news reports confirmed the US’ hand on Oplan Wolverine, now named “Oplan Exodus,” by providing training facility, logistics, funds for the operation, even intelligence, and running the tactical command during the operation. “Habang ginagawang bala sa kanyon ang mga sundalo nito, walang habas ding pinagpapatay ang mga sibilyan sa lugar,” [While these soldiers are treated as cannon fodder, the civilians in the community are being mercilessly slaughtered.] Hilao-Enriquez said, citing the People’s fact finding mission report in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
“The BS Aquino government did not only sacrifice more than a platoon of its men to satisfy US’ obsession on Marwan but he also surrendered our country to the US forces, in the guise of an anti-terror campaign,” Hilao-Enriquez said.
The “confession” of a Special Action Force officer to the media strengthened the mission’s report that drones were seen in the SAF operation to get Marwan. Many civilians interviewed by the fact-finding team told that drones twinkled the night before the carnage happened. “It is the US government who has drones and uses them on their targets,” Hilao-Enriquez added. Residents of affected communities also reported that at least one “puti” (Caucasian) was killed among the 44 SAF members.
Conducted by various people’s organizations and non-government organizations, peace advocates and human rights organization, the mission documented the killing of a young girl, Sarah Pananggulon, eight years old, who instantly died in her house during the PNP-SAF’s indiscriminate firing at exactly 4 a.m. of January 25. Her other family members were wounded. Badrudin Langalan, 18 years old, was on his way to Tukanalipao proper to charge his cellular phone when elements of the PNP-SAF hogtied and killed him.
Meanwhile, Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao-Humanitarian Emergency Action and Response Team (ARMM-HEART) reported the death of Mursid Hasim and Mohammad Ambilang, also by the PNP-SAF.
“We fear that with existing lopsided agreements with the United States government, the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT), the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), and the recently signed Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), carnage such this will happen again. The US government can invent terrorists or even resurrect dead terrorists to justify commando operations against Moro and non-Moro communities struggling for self-determination,” Hilao-Enriquez said.
“It is for us Filipinos to break this chain. Let us call to junk VFA and other lopsided agreements with the US. BS Aquino has once again proven himself to be nothing but a mere puppet of the US Imperialist. Filipinos do not need puppets and inutile leaders such as him,” Hilao-Enriquez ended.
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