SAF officer’s online peace drive takes off | Inquirer Technology

SAF officer’s online peace drive takes off

By: - Reporter / @NikkoDizonINQ
/ 05:20 AM March 08, 2015
Members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front AP FILE PHOTO

Members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front AP FILE PHOTO

Nearly 3,000 people at press time have signed the online petition of a Special Action Force (SAF) trooper supporting the continuation of the peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and rejecting calls for a return to war.

The SAF officer belongs to the Special Action Company (SAC) 84th Seaborne that took down Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan,” in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province, on Jan. 25.


While Marwan was killed, a big blow on global terrorism, the success of the mission was drowned in the uproar over the deaths of 44 SAF commandos, nine of whom were the officer’s comrades in the SAC 84th.

The MILF lost 18 fighters in the gun battle with the SAF commandos and five civilians were killed in the cross fire.

“Two thousand?” the astonished SAF officer said when told that his petition had drawn more than 2,600 signatures by 2 p.m. on Saturday.

By 5 p.m., the petition had 2,914 signatures.

The SAF officer uploaded the petition to the global online petition site,, on Thursday as a personal call for sobriety amid talk of an “all-out war” among citizens and public officials who blamed the MILF for the deaths of the 44 SAF commandos.

The Mamasapano clash broke a three-year-old ceasefire between the military and the MILF, which signed a peace agreement with the government in March last year.

Widespread public anger over the deaths of the 44 SAF commandos has delayed passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, which would establish a new autonomous region for Muslims in Mindanao to complete the peace process.

In his petition (, the SAF officer urged the government not to abandon the peace process.

“We may not exercise power. But together, we can convince national leaders to push for peace. Even as we seek justice for my fallen comrades, let us repeat: War is not the solution,” said the officer, who signed his petition as Jason Navarro, a pseudonym.


The SAF officer, who was born and raised in Mindanao, said he started the campaign for peace to protect the women and children, who suffer most in war.

“Clearly, those who have experienced war know fully well the consequences of a call to war. They know the importance of peace to the communities they have served and would be the last to advocate all-out war,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a text message when sought for comment.

The SAF officer told the Inquirer that he couldn’t describe how he felt after learning that nearly 3,000 people had expressed support for his campaign.

“This is unexpected. I was expecting only 100 signatures and to me that would have been enough,” he said.

He could not say, however, when he would consider his petition a success.

But he said his goal was to see people, at the very least, calm down in the aftermath of Mamasapano.

The officer said he had friends who signed his petition not knowing that it was he who uploaded it. He said he was keeping his identity secret for security.

He stressed that what happened in Mamasapano should not affect the peace process.

“Whoever was accountable for the lapses should face the consequences. But we need to continue with the peace process. We have to trust each other, the government and the rebels alike,” he said.

He stressed that the SAF operation was against a terrorist and not the MILF. He said he volunteered for the mission “for the country.”

“This will benefit not only us but the future generations as well. Perhaps the terrorists will be afraid to come here because our country is serious in its fight against terrorism,” he said.

He said that if he had any complaint, it was the “failure of some MILF commanders to control their people on the ground.”

Perhaps this is one of the things that the MILF should deal with, he said.

The SAF officer said he had no grudge against the MILF leadership and the other commanders who did not join the fighting on Jan. 25. “They remained true to the peace process,” he said.

Another petition called “No to BBL” had been uploaded to before the SAF officer mounted his campaign to pursue the peace process.

The petition against the passage of the BBL had more than 4,000 signatures as of yesterday afternoon.

It claims that the BBL would not stop the conflict in Mindanao and that it would only give power to those “who want to ruin the Republic of the Philippines.”


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TOPICS: Mamasapano, MILF, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, SAF, Special Action Force
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