We, the Ateneo de Naga University community, mourn with the entire nation the tragic loss of lives of our fellow Filipinos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25, 2015. The PNP-SAF, MILF and BIFF fallen are defenders of and fighters for their convictions —Filipinos all.
As we grieve with the families of our fallen countrymen, we pray that calm, sobriety, tact and open-mindedness guide our collective judgments as we continue to make sense of this national tragedy. We urge the media, local and national leaders, civil society organizations and other stakeholders to err on the side of caution in our discussions and dialogue, in private and especially in public, of matters and details pertaining to this tragedy.
As parallel investigations are being conducted, we are hopeful that as due process and rule of law are observed, the truth will prevail, giving justice to the victims, their families and those whose lives and aspirations have been affected by this incident.
We strongly call for sincere and concrete measures to put to account those individuals who have caused this national tragedy. Moreover, we call for institutionalized mechanisms that will prevent any such incident from happening again.
We decry sensationalism that will further endanger the peace process. We must let the due process of law take its course as regards the Mamasapano tragedy before conclusions are made that may cloud our judgment on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). Due process is key in seeking justice for the victims and continuing our pursuit for genuine and lasting peace in Mindanao. Thus, we reaffirm our support for the continuing discussions and dialogue on the BBL.
We, the Ateneo de Naga University community, stand firm in our call for justice for all the victims of this tragedy and in our commitment for lasting peace.
*cover image c/o Marco Guiriba (taken after the Community Mass, 1.30.15)