LEGAZPI CITY, Feb. 25 (PNA) -– Justice for the Fallen 44 is the highest form of recognition to them as heroes while the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is still the most effective key towards lasting peace in Mindanao.
These are the important points that Governor Joey Sarte Salceda emphasized in his message to commemorate the 29th anniversary of the EDSA Day and one month after the bloody tragedy that was written in the history of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) troopers.
“What happened to the Fallen 44 must never take place again,” Salceda said.
In accepting the invitation of the SAF to be the guest of honor and speaker in its flag-raising ceremony next month, he said, he realized the important role and heroism of the 44 SAF members and the peace talks.
The Albay governor stressed that the Fallen 44 should be given justice and that the peace talks should move on.
He said he firmly believes that the Bangsamoro Basic Law is still the most effective means to achieve peace in Mindanao.
"Pursuing justice for SAF 44 and advancing the peace process are not mutually exclusive and our nation-state has the space to do both in earnest. I honestly believe that the BBL remains our best shot and historic chance for peace in Mindanao," Salceda said.
He said he supports the memorandum of agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and is studying the Tripoli and the Moro National Liberation Front Agreement in 1996.
The Albay executive admitted that the process is not perfect and the errors of the past cannot be corrected by one agreement alone.
What happened in Mamasapano, however, cannot be corrected by another mistake, like the collapse of the BBL.
Salceda said the bloody Mamasapano incident woke up the consciousness of the Filipino people on the situation in Mindanao.
This has given the Filipino energy to move and advance the negotiations towards peace in the country.
“The heroism of the SAF warriors is a living proof that we are always ready to give our life for the country,” the top Albay official said.
He said many are still consumed by anger on what happened to the SAF commandos and perhaps, many are not in favor of his perception but what happened has an important purpose for the country – peace all over the land.
"The seed of peace is peace," Salceda said.
In this connection, he called not only on his fellow Albayanos but also on all Filipinos to be one in praying the Oratio Imperata for peace.
“This is based on 1 Cor 14:33: For God is a God of peace, not of disorder,” the former seminarian, who graduated as valedictorian in his class in the seminary, said.(PNA) FFC/FGS/NIM/CBD