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by AJLPP-Southern California
Thursday, Sep. 28, 2006 at 5:24 AM
firstname.lastname@example.org 213-241-0906 337 Glendale Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90026
The Alliance for Just and Lasting Peace (AJLPP) –USA vehemently protests and condemns the newly promoted and confirmed Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Hermogenes Esperon’s announcement Monday that military offensives against suspected al Qaeda-linked militants in the southern Philippines will continue throughout the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in the siland of Sulu and elsewhere.
AJLPP-USA Protests AFP Operations Despite Ramadan in Sulu, Mindanao
Los Angeles – The Alliance for Just and Lasting Peace (AJLPP) –USA vehemently protests and condemns the newly promoted and confirmed Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Hermogenes Esperon’s announcement Monday that military offensives against suspected al Qaeda-linked militants in the southern Philippines will continue throughout the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in the island of Sulu and elsewhere.
The AJLPP denounces that Esperon’s announcement as “ the height of insensitivity and callousness. Ramadan is a season for peace and meditation for our fellow Muslims and yet they chose to ignore it. “
Esperon’s statement: “"It (offensive) will continue. You know terrorism doesn't respect any religion so we can't say that they will not terrorize while we celebrate Ramadan," is really very insulting as well as threatening and it does not contribute in building trust among religions.
His statement: “but the troops have orders to refrain from using artillery fire "as much as possible" during Ramadan” does not sit well to a lot of religious people and advocacy groups who requested the AFP to stop the military operations during the Ramadan.
The AJLPP also scored the fact, as if adding insult to injury, Esperon also announced that another company of Scout Rangers, or around 100 troops, were dispatched to the province of Sulu on Sunday to augment the 6,000 troops already in the area, Esperon told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo.
Since then, 16 soldiers have been killed and 82 others wounded. On the militants’ side, 13 have been killed, seven wounded and 10 captured, the AFP reports said. More than 12,000 civilians had been affected by the operations just in the island of Sulu the last few months.
The Mindanao conflict caused the death of more than 50,000 people at the height of the MNLF-AFP fighting from 1972-1977. During the last AFP operations against the MILF more than 2 million people were affected the AFP assults on suspected MILF bases in Mindanao.
The AJLPP calls on all peace -loving people in the Philippines and in Mindanao to pursue all efforts for the peaceful resolution of the armed conflict.
to achieve a just and lasting peace.
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