Former peace negotiator and Mindanao lawyer Jesus Dureza has challenged President Benigno Aquino III and Moro Islamic Liberation Front chairperson Kagui Ibrahim Murad to face the nation and take responsibility over the Mamasapano carnage.
This, Dureza said, is the best first step in moving forward from the incident that resulted in the deaths of 44 members of Philippine-Special Action Force, at least five civilians, and over a dozen rebels.
Both the government and the MILF said the incident was brought by lack of coordination.
“I have an unsolicited advice, if I may,” said Dureza, who also served as press secretary during former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s term. “The only way we can nurse back to health the badly bruised peace process, a major casualty in the Mamasapano incident, is for both President Aquino and MILF chief Kagui Murad to meet again.”
Dureza said the two leaders must also lead efforts in finding solutions to the crisis gerenated by the botched police operations.
“And take full charge in crafting action plans to move forward. Anything less will not help resuscitate the mortally wounded peace process.”
And he stressed, as he dared the two leaders to no evade responsibility, that the “proverbial buck must stop somewhere.”
Meanwile, in Cotabato City, thousands are expected to join the barefoot “walk for peace” on Friday.
Called “YapaKapayaan”, the walk will be participated in by officials and employees of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao regional government and civil society groups.
“This is our way of showing that peace is the only option to the problem,” said ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman.
He said the government and the MILF must never resort to military actions if only to resolve the problem.
“We have to protect the gains of the peace process,” he said, adding that the Mamasapano carnage must not lead to the collapse of the peace process.