Senator JV Ejercito has called for genuine peace and equitable development in Mindanao in the midst of the commemoration of the Mamasapano massacre and the beginning of the Senate hearings on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in Cotabato City.

On Jan. 25, 2015, a botched police operation claimed the lives of 44 members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force (SAF), which Ejercito said “muddled an already complicated Mindanao peace process.”

“I urge the nation to remember the heroism of the men and women who risked their lives in order to make our lives more safe and secure. Let us renew our commitment to bring justice and comfort to the family and loved ones of those who sacrificed their lives,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

On Friday, Jan. 26, also marks the start of the Senate hearings on the BBL in Cotabato City and in Marawi City.

“We hope to listen to the voices of our Mindanao brothers and sisters and find a common path to peace and prosperity,” said Ejercito who was present at the public hearing.

“I believe that aside from making government officials responsible for the Mamasapano massacre accountable, ensuring genuine peace and equitable development in Mindanao is a fitting tribute to the sacrifice of SAF 44 and something that the peoples of Mindanao (Muslims, Christians and Lumads) rightly deserve,” he added.

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