MANILA, Philippines — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Monday sent doctors and medical personnel to attend to people affected by the fight between government forces and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Zamboanga and Basilan and warned the rebels that they face grim consequences if any harm should befall the medical team.
“These medical professionals are on a mission of compassion. They will treat people whose lot you have worsened by your belligerence when the peace we have pursued would have allowed them to join the rest of the nation in productive pursuits,” Ms Arroyo said in a speech at the 21st anniversary of St. Luke’s Heart Institute in Quezon City.
“Harm them and Hades will come to you,” she said, referring to the god of the dead in Greek mythology.
The President dispatched the medical mission as the military was poised to hunt down those behind the beheading of 10 of the 14 Marines killed during an ambush by the MILF in Basilan.
The original deadline for the MILF to surrender those who mutilated the Marines last month was extended by the President to give the joint government-MILF ceasefire committee time to investigate the attack and the beheading of the Marines.