Monday, January 26, 2015

Not 30 but 49 bodies of slain cops recovered in Maguindanao; Bangsamoro Basic Law hearings suspended; Zamboanga and Cotabato rocked by blasts


BLOODY SUNDAY. Philippine police commandos unload body bags containing the remains of their comrades killed in a clash with Muslim rebels in Maguindanao on Sunday, January 25. Photo by Mark Navales/AFP
BLOODY SUNDAY. Philippine police commandos unload body bags containing the remains of their comrades killed in a clash with Muslim rebels in Maguindanao on Sunday, January 25. Photo by Mark Navales/AFP
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Philippine National Police recovered 49 bodies of slain members of the Special Action Force (SAF) in Maguindanao, according to the regional police headquarters of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
In a text message sent to reporters Monday, January 26, the operations center of the PNP-ARMM said that as of 11:54 am on Monday, the “actual body count of PNP SAF [killed[ is 49.”
The report added: “The cadavers were brought to 6th ID, PA headquarters, for proper disposition,” referring to the headquarters of the Army's 6th infantry division in Cotatato City.
Military sources said that 10 more SAF members were reported missing.
American soldiers based in Cotabato under a Philippine-US defense agreement assisted Philippine troops in carrying the dead and the wounded.
The Sunday, January 25, clashes in Mamasapano town, Maguindanao, tested a nearly one-year-old peace accord between the Aquino government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. An MILF spokesman earlier said they suffered 5 casualties.
AMERICAN ASSISTANCE. US soldiers help their Philippine counterparts during retrieval operations on Monday, January 26, in Maguindanao. Photo by Mark Navales/AFP
AMERICAN ASSISTANCE. US soldiers help their Philippine counterparts during retrieval operations on Monday, January 26, in Maguindanao. Photo by Mark Navales/AFP
The SAF's target was alleged Malaysian bomb maker Zulkifli Abdhir, better known as "Marwan," who survived a 2012 military airstrike that was meant to kill him in Sulu. (READ:Dead or alive? Top terrorist was cops' target)
But Mamapasano is an MILF bailiwick, and the MILF said the SAF attacked the area without coordinating with them.
It is the first major encounter between the MILF and government troops since the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro last year. Advocates are hoping that the incident will not affect the talks. Full story on Rappler
MARCOS SUSPENDS ALL HEARINGS AND DISCUSSIONS ON 'BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW'
Meanwhile, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Chair of the Senate Committee on Local Government stopped on Monday all discussions and hearings on the proposed 'Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL)' after the killing by Muslim Rebels MILF of 30 government forces in Maguindanao on Sunday.
“I decided to suspend indefinitely all discussions related to the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law until this is clarified,” Marcos said, chair of the Senate committee on local government
Marcos explained, “We cannot in conscience proceed with these hearings while a cloud of serious doubt hangs over the security situation in the South.”


Other Mindanao explosions:



FRIDAY: Explosion hits Zamboanga City bar; 1 dead, 31 injured


ZAMBOANGA CITY – Authorities said one person was killed and at least 31 others were injured in an explosion that rocked Fantacy Bar in Barangay Guiwan here Friday afternoon.
Senior Supt. Angelito Casimiro said that before the explosion which happened around 3:30 p.m., a fire was noticed at Fantacy, which was just across the bus terminal on Ma. Clara Lobregat Highway.
Authorities said one person, identified as a certain Reynaldo Tan, died while being treated at a hospital. Inquirer

SATURDAY: Explosion rocks bus terminal in Cotabato City

COTABATO CITY -- Three buses were damaged after a hand grenade was thrown at a bus terminal in Cotabato City Saturday evening.
An explosion shook commuters at around 7 p.m. Saturday at the Old Weena bus terminal along Don Rufino Alonzo St. in Poblacion 5, Cotabato City.
Based on the investigation conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP), two unidentified suspects riding a motorcycle lobbed a fragmentation hand grenade and sped off towards an unknown direction.
According to Cotabato City PNP Chief of Police, Police Senior Superintendent Rolen Balquin, no casualties were reported from the incident as the grenade hit a vacant lot at the back portion of the terminal. ABS-CBN 

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