By DANIEL LLANTO
MANILA --- Philippine flags flew at half-mast in government offices and a national day of mourning was observed Friday for the 49 members of the elite Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police which was attacked by combined forces of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), its breakaway group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and a private armed group in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Sunday, Jan. 25.
"This is going to be a big problem," said MILF chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, referring to the peace treaty the rebel group signed with the Philippine government in March last year, followed by the crafting of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law that would complete the peace process.
The rebels were scheduled to start disarming at the start of this year under the peace treaty when the fighting erupted.
Zulkilfi bin Hir alias Marwan, Southeast Asia's most wanted terrorist with links to al-Qaeda, was killed in raid by elite Philippine police commandos early morning Sunday (Jan. 25) in a bloody operation that saw the loss of at least 49 members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Forces (SAF).
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an effort to ensure that all Filipino veterans receive the benefits they earned through their service to the United States, U.S. Senators Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), together with U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), jointly introduced a bipartisan legislation in Congress, titled ‘Filipino Veterans Promise Act.’