Mamasapano, a Year Later
CHEERS TO ABS-CBN 2’s TV Patrol and CNN Philippines’ Network News for exploring developments and other issues in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, a year after the clash between the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and other armed groups on January 25, 2015. The firefight claimed the lives of 44 PNP-SAF troopers, 17 MILF members and at least five civilians.
According to the reports, the government has allocated PHP2.2 billion to develop Mamasapano and other surrounding areas “plagued with security threats” including Pagatin (Datu Saudi), Salibu and Shariff Aguak. The reports pointed out that in reaction to the incident, the government has initiated a number of development projects in the small town especially in infrastructure. These include a concrete footbridge, paved roads, a school, a community center and a mosque.
Despite these developments, the reports also noted the persistence of issues like lack of livelihood. Network News noted that the cornfield, which was the site of the incident, barely produce crops. A local said that the cornfields are infested with rats. (“Mamasapano town a year after the bloodbath“, January 25, 2015)
TV Patrol also interviewed the wife of a slain MILF fighter who appealed for the government for help. The interviewee wished that the relatives of slain MILF fighters will get the same help given to families of the PNP-SAF soldiers killed that day. (“TINGNAN: Mamasapano, isang taon matapos ang trahedya,” January 25, 2015)
While a lot questions are still being asked about what happened in Mamasapano that day, it is important for the press to take a step back and look at the other important issues, especially how the affected are trying to put their shattered lives back together.