The Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission (BHRC) expresses its deep concern and grief over the tragic loss of seven (7) lives during the raid that took place on June 18, 2023, in Datu Paglas, Maguindanao del Sur. This operation was carried out by members of the Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police. Our thoughts and condolences go out to the families and loved ones who are enduring immense pain and loss due to this unfortunate incident.

As an independent Commission mandated to protect and uphold human rights within the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, we emphasize the utmost importance of conducting a thorough and impartial investigation into this incident. We are committed to uncovering the truth, ensuring justice is served, and holding accountable those found responsible for any violations of human rights or unlawful actions.

In the teachings of Islam, a religion of peace, justice, and compassion, the sanctity of human life is highly valued. Islam unequivocally condemns the unjust taking of any life and promotes the preservation of human dignity and the promotion of peace. The principles of Islam teach us to strive for justice, empathy, and respect for all individuals, regardless of their background or circumstances.

In light of these teachings, it is incumbent upon law enforcement agencies to operate with the utmost professionalism, adherence to the rule of law, and respect for human rights. We strongly believe that the actions of law enforcement personnel must align with the principles of justice, and compassion. It is through this alignment that we can build a society where the rights and dignity of all individuals are protected, and where incidents resulting in the loss of life are minimized.

We call upon all relevant authorities to ensure a transparent and impartial investigation into this tragic incident. The BHRC is committed to closely monitoring the progress of this investigation and working diligently to ensure that the rights of all individuals involved are upheld and respected.

We urge the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies to continue strengthening their training programs, with a specific focus on human rights education, cultural sensitivity, and understanding the teachings of various religions, including Islam. By doing so, we can foster a culture of respect, tolerance, and accountability within our law enforcement institutions.

The BHRC reiterates its commitment to pursuing justice, upholding human rights, and promoting the teachings of Islam regarding the sanctity of life. We stand in solidarity with the affected families and reaffirm our dedication to ensuring that such incidents are thoroughly investigated and that appropriate measures are taken to prevent their recurrence.