I took this photo of the Liguasan marsh in Central Mindanao during my visit here early this year. I once served as a combat leader in this area in the late 90's.
I started my day hearing some bad news from Central Mindanao today.
At 6:30am, an improvised bomb was detonated by unknown perpetrators near a military outpost in Pinantao village, Parang town in Maguindanao. Two innocent civilians were wounded including Abraham Tiburon and Erlinda Bulagues, both 54 yrs old. Investigators from both the AFP and PNP have inspected the site of the blast.
At 7:30am, heavily armed gunmen led by Sukarno Husain and a certain Commander Brudy attacked the processing plant of Delenanas Banana Plantation in Sitio Mangco, Dungos, Tulunan, Cotabato. Army troops were sent to defend the civilians who are employed in the said banana plantation.
At 8:00am, Army soldiers found the decapitated body of Mr Ricardo Dionio in Dimapulot village in Midsayap town. Another victim, Mr Erwin Viloan was found in Sitio Babonao, Bgy Agriculture of the same town.
The series of attacks had started about 3 weeks ago. The perpetrators are believed to be part of the 'spoilers' of the peace process, particularly the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro that is currently worked out by the peace negotiators from the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
The soldiers are deployed to defend the communities and serve as a credible deterrence against armed threats who intend to derail the peace process.
Soldiers have remained committed in observing the primacy of the peace process.
We are one with the people in their ultimate goal of attaining lasting peace for their children and future generations.