Senate seeks probe on Maguindanao Sur ambush that killed 4 soldiers

(DAILY TRIBUNE) Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Wednesday filed a resolution seeking to investigate the ambush incident that killed four soldiers in Maguindanao del Sur last 17 March.

Senate Resolution No. 984 is urging an appropriate committee to exercise the upper chamber’s oversight functions and check the performance of the military and law enforcement agencies. 

Estrada, who chairs the Senate panel on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation, lamented the need to provide full support to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) “in wiping out lawless elements who perpetrate acts of terror, chaos, and violence, sow fear, and undermine public safety.”

“In light of the threat of continuation of attacks, the public must be assured that the military establishment and law enforcement authorities are on top of the situation,” the senator wrote in his resolution.

“Preserving and promoting lasting peace are paramount interests of the State as it aims to attain inclusive development and sustainable economic growth,” he added.

The Philippine Army earlier reported that three members of its 40th Infantry Battalion and one personnel from the 3rd Army Cavalry under the 601st Infantry Brigade, were killed in an ambush perpetrated by the alleged members of terrorist Dawlah Islamiya-Hassan Group in Datu Hoffer, Maguindanao del Sur. 

The soldiers were attacked with high-powered riffles on their way back to their battalion headquarters. 

“The brutal incident which broke out during the observance of the most important and sacred religious occasion for the Islamic community underscores the fragility of peace in the area,” Estrada stressed.

Army spokesperson Col. Louie Dema-ala said Estrada’s resolution is a welcome development in the military organization. 

“We welcome this investigation as this will shed light on what really happened during that incident,” Dema-ala told the DAILY TRIBUNE in a Viber message. 

“It’s essential for the government to investigate any incident involving the loss of lives, especially those of our soldiers who serve to protect the country. Senator Estrada’s initiative demonstrates a commitment to seeking justice and ensuring accountability,” he added.