Manila Bulletin – Marcos urges DOJ to file charges vs MILF members involved in Mamasapano case

By Mario Casayuran | Manila Bulletin

ManilaBulletinOnlineMarcos urges DOJ to file charges vs MILF members involved in Mamasapano caseSenator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. demanded yesterday that the Department of Justice (DoJ) file criminal charges against 90 persons, most of whom members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), who killed 44 members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) at Mamasapano Maguindanao last Jan. 25.

“The filing of the charges by DoJ Secretary Leila de Lima against the 90 persons is being anticipated by the Filipino and would give justice to the families of the slain policemen,” Marcos said.

Marcos, who is author of the Senate version of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), issued this statement after rejecting proposals for the reopening of the Senate investigation on the Mamasapano tragedy.

The operation was to neutralize Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as “Marwan,” an international terrorist and a known bomb maker, who was hiding in an MILF–influenced area.

Proposals for the reopening of the Senate probe over the tragic incident came in the wake of President Aquino’s statement last week that there may be an “alternative version” of the events in Mamasapano.

Marcos said he would only agree to the reopening of the Senate probe on the basis of new information.

“I haven’t seen any report indicating there is new information. For me, it is very clear that the hearings conducted by different bodies on the incident were thorough and complete,” he said.

The senator from Ilocos Norte noted that the different bodies that conducted separate investigations on the Mamasapano incident, such as the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), the House of Representatives and the Senate, came to similar conclusions.

He pointed out that claims that there was a Caucasian-looking male among the casualties and that Marwan was killed by his own security aide have already been discussed during the Senate hearing of the Mamasapano incident. “We heard all of these stories before,” Marcos said.

Marcos said that, as far as he is concerned, the facts of the Mamasapano tragedy have been established clearly and so he could not understand why the President has floated the idea of an “alternative reality” that puts into question the heroism of the SAF 44.

“It is an extreme form of disrespect to the widows and families of the heroes, the SAF 44, who gave their lives for the capture and neutralization of Marwan in order to attain peace for the whole country,” Marcos said.

“What the country wants now is to provide justice not only for the families of the SAF 44 but for the entire Philippine National Police, This is what we should be talking about now,” he added.

Marcos lamented that despite the promise of Secretary De Lima to file criminal charges against at least 90 members of the MILF, no cases have been filed to date.

“What happened to the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) investigation? What happened to the cases that were supposed to be filed? What happened to the pronouncements of Sec. De Lima, that they would file cases against 90 people—that’s the number she said? What happened to all that,’’ he asked

Marcos reiterated his earlier statement that the “alternative reality” theory is being floated in a bid to cover up the President’s own culpability for the Mamasapano tragedy.

The Senate public order and illegal drugs committee headed by Sen. Grace Poe probe found the President responsible for the January 25 Mamasapano tragedy.

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