EDITORIAL| Day of mourning

PRES. Benigno Aquino III declared today as the National Day of Mourning, to honor the lives lost in the encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Sunday.

The bodies of slain soldiers were already transported to Manila yesterday, met by inconsolable families who have lost sons, husbands, fathers, brothers. Their grief is shared by all who are aware of the impact of this incident. Their lives will be changed forever.

Six days after the tragic incident, analysts and experts have shared their views on how the operation should have proceeded, including protocols which have reportedly been breached during the mission. We will be hearing more criticisms as the investigation unfolds.

Meantime, the rift of those for or against an “an all-out war” is back in full force. The media isn’t helping any. On social media, calls for sobriety compete with renewed calls for retribution. Once again, the country is divided along regional lines.

This incident showed how tenuous the sincerity of our lawmakers are on the issue of peace. The Bangsamoro Basic Law hearing at the senate has been suspended immediately after the incident, and distrust once again rears its ugly head. Statements of former president Joseph Estrada who declared an all-out war in 2000 and Sen. Bongbong Marcos sent shivers down our spine. People of Mindanao do not have short memories and the untold suffering of Mindanawons affected by conflict is still too raw to be taken lightly.

We are waiting for the results of the investigation to get to the bottom of the incident and to stop the blaming and fingerpointing. There is a mechanism in the peace process that allows a joint probe into incidents like this one and we hope it will be convened soon, rather than having two investigations from the two actors.

Be that as it may, we also mourn the stain this tragedy has caused to the ongoing quest for peace which otherwise would have been within reach.

Posted in Opinion