Raps filed vs Abu Sayyaf in Sulu ambush
MANILA, Philippines – Police authorities on Monday night, August 4, filed multiple murder charges against 69 Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members allegedly behind the July 28 ambush that killed 23 civilians, mostly women and children.
"We have filed the case for multiple murder, multiple frustrated murder and multiple attempted murder against 69 ASG members under the command of group leaders Indang Susukan, Tawing Umair, Ustadz Igasan, and Sibih Pisih," said Chief Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac, Philipine National Police (PNP) spokesperson.
The Sulu Prosecutor's Office received the cases at 6:30 pm on Monday, a week after one of the worst incidence of violence in Sulu with civilian casualties.
The ambush on a Tamaraw passenger jeep surprised government officials and security forces as it happened on Eid al-Fitr, the day that marks the end Ramadan, the most holy month among Muslims. (READ: 5-year-old Mardiya, basketball and a 'satanic' ambush)
The targets of the ambush were members of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT) who have been helping the military in driving away the Abu Sayyaf from Talipao in Sulu.
The Abu Sayyaf supposedly seized the opportunity to retaliate when they spotted the passenger vehicle carrying a number of BPAT members.
The incident, however, appears to be more complicated than that. Several accounts point to pagbanta – the equivalent of rido or clan war in Sulu – a kind of vendetta killing pervasive among Muslim communities because of the weak justice system. – Rappler.com