DOJ summons MILF, BIFF leaders over SAF deaths

Rappler.com
DOJ summons MILF, BIFF leaders over SAF deaths
At least 13 commanders of the MILF and the BIFF are required to appear during the first preliminary investigation hearing on November 11

MANILA, Philippines – At least 13 commanders of the Moro Islamic Liberal Front (MILF) and 6 commanders of its breakaway group, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), are being summoned by the Department of Justice (DOJ) over the deaths of 35 elite cops. 

According to Prosecutor General Claro Arellano, the DOJ issued subpoenas against the MILF and BIFF commanders to attend the first preliminary investigation hearing set on November 11. 

The commanders are tagged in the deaths of 35 members of the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s Special Action Force (SAF) during an January 25, 2015 operation against Malaysian bomb maker Zulkifli bin Hir alias “Marwan” and Filipino Abdul Basit Usman. 

A joint panel composed of the National Bureau of Investigation-National Prosecution Service (NBI-NPS) earlier filed cases against some 90 fighters from the MILF, BIFF, and private armed groups in relation to the deaths of SAF troopers on the fields of Tukanalipao in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. 

The 71 others being charged were also summoned for the preliminary investigation, said Arellano, who also declined to give the names of those subpoenaed. 

All of the 90 charged by the NBI-NPS panel faced 35 counts of direct assault with murder. 

In the wee hours of January 25, close to 400 SAF troopers entered Mamasapano in Maguindanao as part of “Oplan Exodus,” an operation against Marwan and Usman. After Marwan was killed and Usman escapred, two SAF companies – the 55th Special Action Company (SAC) and the elite Seaborne Company – were caught in the crossfire as they were trying to retreat. 

Thirty-five from the 55th SAC died while 9 from the Seaborne perished during the operation. Some 4 civilians and 17 MILF fighters were also slain during the hours-long encounter. 

The bloody Mamasapano encounter has also endangered the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, the product of years of negotiations between the government the MILF. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.