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Basilan ambush: 1 year after, justice elusive for 14 Marines

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 19:34:00 07/11/2008

MANILA, Philippines — A year after suspected Moro rebels and extremist fighters ambushed a Marine contingent in Basilan, justice remains elusive for the 14 troopers slain in the incident, with many of the suspects still at large, the commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps said Friday.

Ten of the 14 slain troops were beheaded after the ambush in Ginanta village in Al-Barkah town on July 10, 2007.

Over 100 suspects have been issued arrest warrants over the incident, but Marine commandant Major General Ben Dolorfino, and Basilan provincial police director Senior Superintendent Salik Macapantar, said only a few have been arrested.

Asked if justice has been rendered the slain Marines, Dolorfino told reporters: “If you mean the arrest of those responsible, wala pa [not yet].”

On the first anniversary of the Basilan incident on Thursday, Dolorfino met with Marine commanders in the southwest in Jolo town, the capital of Sulu, to discuss plans to avoid heavy losses in the battlefield.

“The important thing is we are discussing what really happened. The board of inquiry has finished [its work], and we in the Marines have [ongoing] efforts to make sure that mistakes are not repeated,” he said.

More than a month after the Al-Barkah incident, on August 18, 2007, 15 Marines on a test mission were killed after they assaulted an Abu Sayyaf camp in Silangkom village, Ungkaya Pukan town.

Dolorfino said pursuit operations against the suspects in the Basilan ambush had been hampered by the fact the some of them are members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), with whom the government is engaged in peace negotiations.

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Written by joelguinto

FriUTC2008-07-11T16:58:49+00:00UTC07bUTCFri, 11 Jul 2008 16:58:49 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm07

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Kawawa naman sila… ano ang ginagawa ng ating mga militar at magigiting na kapulisan? Mababaon na lang ito sa limot. Paulit-ulit lang ang mga ganitong kaso.

    colegiala girl

    SatUTC2008-07-12T09:02:57+00:00UTC07bUTCSat, 12 Jul 2008 09:02:57 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am07

  2. bakit masydong respectfull ang marines sa MILF,kaya nagiging abuse ang mga yan,dapat we have 1 government,1 armed forces para hindi magulo,isa pa nakukolong kasi mga magagaling na leader ng marines,si dolorpino muslim parin yan,

    bernardo pulang lupa

    MonUTC2008-12-01T09:08:45+00:00UTC12bUTCMon, 01 Dec 2008 09:08:45 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am12

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