By: LIEUTENANT COLONEL EDGARD A AREVALO PN(M)
Director, Naval Public Affairs Office
Navy Statement from Director, Naval Public Affairs Office re allegation made by MNLF Chair Nur Misuari that the MNLF men were “massacred” by the operating units in Mantangule Island, Balabac, Palawan.
● What transpired on 19 Aug 09 is a legitimate law-enforcement action against the MNLF group.
● At least three of them have standing warrant of arrest. The PNP attests to that.
The armed engagement happened only long after the MNLF members refused to lay down arms following a negotiation with two of Abdurajak’s emissaries. The fact that they entrenched themselves in a mosque and strategic locations indicate their willful disregard for the rule of law embodied by police out to serve warrants of arrest.
● The MNLF men have long been extorting money from poor fisher folks. The local residents who felt greatly relieved from the group’s abuses attest to that. The people sought the help of the Marines.
● The military response had been prudent and the force applied commensurate to and necessary for the restoration of law and order in the island. The MNLF group is heavily armed.
If there’s anyone who have allegations contrary the legitimacy of this operation must so prove.