Palace condemns BIFF’s beheading of civilian-A A +A
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
MALACANANG condemned Tuesday the beheading of a civilian resident in Midsayap, North Cotabato allegedly perpetrated by the rogue Muslim rebels.
In a press briefing, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said that the Philippine Army has confirmed the report of beheading, but she refused to confirm that the members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) were behind the incident.
"I will not yet allude to any particular group, but clearing operations—it was found in the course of the clearing operations. Allow us to say, at this point, that (it is) not only cruel—there was beheading—but also inhumane," she said.
She vowed that the government will go after the perpetrators.
"At this point, any act like that certainly would necessitate the fullest force of the law going after the perpetrators," Valte said.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines has identified the victim as Ricardo Dionio, a farmer from Midsayap, North Cotabato. It identified the BIFF as the group behind the incident.
Since beheading is an act usually committed by the extremist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), asked if the government has any plan to declare the BIFF as a terrorist group similar to the ASG, she said, "the similarity in actions is not the only basis for declaring a particular group to be terrorist or not."
She added that it was a decision that she would leave to higher rank officials.
While the government continues target hardening in areas in Mindanao, Valte acknowledged that the entire place could not be manned by the government forces.
"That is the reality that we have to deal with that, given the number of security forces that we have, we cannot protect everybody all at the same time for a continuing period, which is why we also choose to allocate security in particular areas that have been in the assessment of the security forces to most likely be targets of activities like these," she said.
The BIFF members have attacked several areas in North Cotabato since Monday resulting to several casualties from the government and the civilian populace. (SDR/Sunnex)