By Billy Begas
Maguindanao Rep. Esmael ‘Toto’ Mangudadatu on Sunday condemned the attack made by members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Datu Paglas town.
“Ang pag-atakeng ito ng mga BIFF sa banal na panahon ng Ramadan ay patunay lamang na walang kinikilala o pinagingilagang Diyos ang mga terrorista,” Mangudadatu said.
Luckily, no civilian was hurt during the attack last Saturday.
“We are only thankful that no one was used as hostage or hurt when the two groups briefly exchanged fires,” Mangudadatu added.
During the stand-off between the military and BIFF members, Mangudadatu and his family coordinated and offered possible assistance to the authorities.
“Any act of terrorism in the guise of religion, will not succeed in undermining our foundations, traditions and democratic culture. Putulin na natin ang galit at paghihiganti. There are many ways we can reaffirm our commitment to our beliefs and values without resorting to violence and unrest,” he said.
Mangudadatu was saddened by reports that some members of the BIFF were as young as 15 years old.
“They are carrying firearms when they should be in school. Marami sa kabataaan natin ang nauuwi sa ganitong marahas na buhay dahil marahil ang kanilang mga ama ay dati ding miembro ng mga ganitong grupo na nasawi din sa isang engkwentro tulad nito,” he lamented.