If truth is the first casualty in war, noncombatants must be a close second.

Here in the archipelago of our despair, 40,000 people have fled their homes in Pikit, Cotabato, since last week, when the Armed Forces attacked a supposed Moro Islamic Liberation Front camp in that town.

There are 40,000 more refugees in 10 other towns. As the AFP continues to pound the MILF with artillery and to advance, and as the latter retaliate through guerrilla attacks, the numbers of the internal refugees

Prof. Luis V. Teodoro is a former dean of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication, where he used to teach journalism. He writes political commentary for BusinessWorld.

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