Sen. Bam on indictment of former President Aquino over Mamasapano

We are confident that former President Aquino will sufficiently answer the charges laid before him and be vindicated.

During the concluded Senate investigations, the former President was candid and transparent with his role and involvement in the Mamasapano tragedy.

We hope that this case will be an opportunity for the courts to reveal the truth and, once and for all, settle this incident in accordance with the rule of law.

Bam’ s Statement on the 40th Day of the SAF 44

We join the country in remembering the heroism and courage of the Fallen 44 as we commemorate the 40th day of their untimely passing.

Let us not put the sacrifice of the Fallen 44 in vain by ensuring that justice will be served and putting perpetrators behind bars.

While we seek justice and accountability for the victims and their families, we must also work for lasting peace in Mindanao through the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

I call on everyone to join the dialogue as we try to improve the BBL and make it stronger and more effective in providing lasting peace in the region.

Now more than ever, this is the time for us to unite as one people and one nation as we work for healing and lasting peace.

Transcript: Sen. Bam’s Questions during the Mamasapano Hearing Day 3

Sen. Bam: Chairman Iqbal, na kahit may violation, ipagpapatuloy pa rin ninyo ang peace talks?

Mr. Iqbal: On the part of the MILF, we are committed to peace. For us, there is no other option except the option of peace.

Sen. Bam: Sabi po ninyo, there is no other option but peace, I would like to ask regarding justice, ito rin po ang tanong noong isang araw, at masaya ako na nandito kayo para sagutin ang mga tanong nang diretsahan.

Kahapon po si Gen. Espina gave a very impassioned and emotional plea and the question regarding why his men were treated that way, I think that went to the heart of many Filipinos.

I’m sure nakita ninyo na rin po ang mga video, may reports na rin kayo on the grounds.

Handa rin ba ang MILF na tumulong sa ating government officials na arestuhin, mag-serve ng warrant kapag panahon nang mag-serve ng warrant of arrest at i-turnover ang mga gumawa po ng heinous crimes sa ating mga SAF 44. Handa po ba kayong tumulong?

Mr. Iqbal: Mahirap na tanong yan pero kayang ang usapin dito iyong justice. Kailangang mag-apply iyan sa two sides. Ibig sabihin, ang hustisya hindi lang para sa malakas. Ang pinaka-importanteng hustisya ay iyong para sa mahina.

However, regarding your question, I think we have a mechanism to address that question. It’s in the mechanism of the ceasefire agreement and the ADJA. The MILF, in the beginning, in 1997 up to today, we consider all signed documents as sacred. Even that agreement is signed between Muslims and non-Muslim.

Because it is the same whether you sign an agreement with a Muslim or with a non-Muslim, the sacredness of that agreement is there.

Sen. Bam: First of all, Mr. Iqbal, ang malakas at mahina in this case. Maybe traditionally malakas ang gobyerno at mahina ang kasama natin sa MILF, pero in this case, klarong-klaro po, mas marami po ang ibang forces.

Kung makikita po ninyo, mas maliit ang puwersa ang pumasok sa Mamasapano compared to the forces who were there.

Iyong nakita po natin kahapon, iyong nag-surface na videos at medico-legal, na may pinatay na harap-harapan, iyon po labag din po iyon sa karapatan ng MILF, di po ba?

Mr. Iqbal: Your honor, would you allow me to read a portion of the code of conduct of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces?

Sen. Bam: Please.

Mr. Iqbal: Its Article 1, Items 4,5,6 and 7. Number four, wounded enemy combatants. Never betray or be treacherous or vindictive.

Do not mutilate, don’t cut or burn palm trees or fruitful trees or home dwellings. Don’t slay sheep, a cow, camel or other animals except for food.

Number five, surrender enemy combatants. Maintain and observe justice at all times and avoid light retaliation. Protect and treat them humanly. That’s in the Quran.

Number six, prisoners of war or captives. Be kind at all times of captives or prisoners of war. Collect and care for wounded combatants. It’s still in the Quran.

Number seven, medical or distinctive signs. Respect personnel and facilities or persons bearing an object mark with signs as Red Cross or Red Crescent, including religious persons, military or civilians bearing white flag used for negotiation, truce or surrender.

You know, your honor, I am tasked by this one.

Sen. Bam: So sinasabi ninyo na iyong nakita ng taumbayan na pagtrato sa SAF 44, iyong pagpatay sa kanila nang harap-harapan at kung paano po sila pinatay, iyong nakita po natin.

Mr. Iqbal: Masakit sa amin iyon ang pagkamatay ng SAF.

Kaya nga ho kailangan ng independent investigation para makita natin.

Sen. Bam: Madam Chairman, I would like to give the last word to Gen. Espina. Yesterday po, mayroon kayong hinaing, brought Gen. Napenas to tears.

Many of us were moved by that statement. At this point, ano pa rin po ang hustisya na hinahanap ng ating kapulisan dito sa nangyari?

Gen. Espina: Katulad po ng nasabi ko noon pa, matagal ko na pong nilagay ang sarili ko doon sa paano humahanap po ng hustisya. Doon ho malalaman ninyo na. 

Katulad noong pamilya, ano ho ba ang gusto nilang mahanap so we’ll have a good perspective  of what really justice are we seeking. Kaya nga ho iyan, malaman ho ang katotohanan.

Kung malaman po ang katotohanan through investigation, dapat po maparusahan ang sinumang may pagkakamali at pumatay. Iyan na ho lahat iyan.

Hindi na ho kasi natin maibabalik ang  nagawan po ng injustice. Buti na lang at nandito si Chairman Iqbal, at least naiparating po natin sa kanila kung ano po ang nangyari sa mga pulis namin.

Maraming salamat po. I hope sama-sama po sana tayo. Apatnapu’t apat po ang ating namatay, sabi niyo sa inyo disiotso. 

We have to be both together here in seeking justice for our people. Iyong sa inyo naman po, sana maging ganoon din.

Bam Aquino’s Statement on the Video Showing the Death of SAF 44

We strongly condemn the gruesome killing and barbaric atrocities done to our Special Action Force members in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

In the strongest possible terms, we call on the MILF to surrender the combatants and submit them to the appropriate processes of our justice system.

Their leadership should also attend the ongoing Senate hearings and answer the difficult questions that plague our nation.

The road to peace must not set aside justice and accountability.

Scroll to top