The Kabacan Massacre: A bastardly act that undermines the efforts for Peace: Will this be another case of unresolved massacres?
The massacre of nine (9) innocent and helpless civilians on August 29, 2020 at broad day light in Kabacan, North Cotabato, perpetrated by still unidentified armed men equipped with high caliber firearms, is a shocking bold act of criminals amidst the heightened security measures during this time of COVID-19 pandemic. This added case of massacres in Mindanao done in impunity could have been perpetrated by people who felt well secured and protected. Who can they be?
Speculations are coming out that this is an act of revenge. By whom against whom? It can be noted that the massacre was preceded by the killing of a chief of police of Carmen North Cotabato, the death of several soldiers in the Jolo twin bombings and the dragging series of unreported shooting in Polomolok, South Cotabato involving Moro people and police authorities and lately in North Cotabato that killed individuals immediately preceding the massacre. These events may have nothing to do with each other. But to massacre helpless civilians by the offended party is not the answer to find justice. It can only fuel more animosities. It is feared that if this heinous crime will end in another unresolved massacre, it will revitalize the old Muslim-Christian civil stripe in the late 60s and 70s.
Tension is undoubtedly pervasive as relatives of the victims may find support from other groups to find justice in the same manner that the suspects will find back up from their mastermind(s) for security.
We cannot afford to rejuvenate civil war in Mindanao neither can we allow the 1970s semblance of Martial law, especially during this health and economic crisis brought by the COVID Pandemic. It is going to be a disaster.
By heart, condemnation is the least and easiest thing we can do to detest the act. We need to act and find out the truth, put the perpetrators to the bar of justice and offer adequate reparation to the victims.
In the long and immediate past, there were cases of bombings that killed innocent civilians and children and yet no justice has been dispensed of. We don’t want that to happen as we support the efforts to bring peace in Mindanao after the long armed hostilities.
We, the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) join the rest of concerned organizations, individuals and groups who condemn this heinous crime and massacre of helpless civilians. We appeal for a swift and impartial investigation preferably by joint authorities of the national and BARMM governments. A quick and immediate dispensing of justice to the victims of the massacre may ease the tension and prevent escalated animosities.
Signed: CBCS Council of Leaders