To date, 64 Moro locals in the municipalities of Tupi and Polomolok in South Cotabato have been recorded killed since early 2020 in what appears to be a spate of killings. One of its latest victims is Datu Emilton Ampatuan, former Vice Chair of the MILF Political Affairs in the region and his son who were according to his wife were shot in their heads point blank last June 6, 2021 after having been served with a warrant of arrest under the pain of the Anti Terror Law of 2020..
In June or 2020, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority Parliament issued Resolution No. 80, series of 2020 ”expressing the deep concern over the series of killings of Moros outside BARMM community, particularly in the municipalities of Polomolok and Tupi, South Cotabato.” In this very same resolution, the BTA urged for an impartial and full-blown investigation of these series of killings to bring the perpetrators to justice. It further recommended the GPH and MILF Peace Implementing Panels to convene and institute peace mechanisms and sustainable security for the protection of the Moros in the area and their rights.
A year has passed and the killings continue. This poses very serious implications as this may trigger anew extremist sentiments sending back the Moros outside of BARMM to an armed resistance spoiling the gains of peacework in Mindanao. The need to arrest the killings is a social justice imperative.
Hence, the University Community Engagement and Advocacy Council together with the Al Qalam Institute for Islamic Studies and Identities in Southeast and Ateneo Public Interest and Legal Advocacy Center (APILA), andin the name of the Davao Association of Catholic Schools (DACS) is organizing a Pakighinabi aptly titled “Sustaining Peace in Mindanao: A Pakighinabi on the Moro Killings in South Cotabato” wherein, we will invite resource persons from different sectors of society who can share inputs on the issue related to the plight of our Moro sisters and brothers. This is scheduled on on June 30, 2021, from 9:00am to 12:00nn via Zoom. The zoom link will be sent via email after the registration through https://tinyurl.com/3ndx2jv5.
The Pakighinabi will aid the community of peacebuilders in Mindanao including us in:
a. Elevating the series of Moro killings in South Cotabato as a national public concern;
b. Challenging the state to conduct an impartial investigation; and
c. Identifying our collective actions to protect the peace in Mindanao.