Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dureza to militants: Why the silence over MILF atrocities?

08/28/2008 | 10:16 PM
MANILA, Philippines - MalacaƱang questioned militant groups Thursday on their continued silence over the atrocities committed by "rogue" commands of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Mindanao in recent weeks.

Press Secretary and presidential spokesman Jesus Dureza, in a Palace statement, said militants had been quick to denounce human rights violations only "when it suits them."

"While quick to denounce human rights violations when it suits them, the usual crowd of human rights activists have been strangely tongue-tied on the killings of innocent civilians, including women, children and the elderly in Mindanao by criminal elements," he said.

He said the attacks against civilian populations go beyond mere violation of human rights, but human rights activists have yet to condemn or voice a strong protest against these criminal actions.

Dureza described as "cockeyed" the silence of militants on the human rights violations in some parts of Mindanao committed by rampaging MILF members.

According to him, he was "saddened that militants are silent on the Mindanao atrocities," and that he hoped their silence "will not be concluded as a condonation of these violent acts."

The MILF attacks tapered off only after the military mounted sustained pursuit operations against the rogue members of the separatist movement. - GMANews.TV

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