MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said that the unidentified men shooting an elite policeman in the face, as seen in a gruesome viral video, "might be" members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
This was based on information the NBI got from the person they believe was the first to upload it online, as the agency continues to probe where the video came from.
The video, which the NBI certified as authentic, showed a man sprawled on a cornfield in a camouflage uniform being shot twice at close range.
The victim was later identified by relatives as PO1 Joseph Sagonoy, one of the 44 Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (SAF) men killed in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
The SAF commandos were in Mamasapano to capture Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Marwan, and Filipino bomb maker Abdul Basit Usman. Marwan was killed in the raid, while Usman remains at large.
An NBI source said they were able to get at least 3 names whom they believe are the source of the video. A certain "Yangyang,” believed to be the first person to upload the video on Facebook. gave the names.
Yangyang, who surrendered to the NBI in Davao City, said that he did not take the video.
The 3 people suspected of taking the video are believed to be in Pikit, North Cotabato, which the NBI said was a stronghold of the BIFF. The source said the NBI now has to decide whether or not to pursue the suspects, due to security concerns in the area where they live.
While he wasn't the original uploader, Yangyang said he downloaded the Mamasapano video from a friend's Facebook account and then uploaded it to his account through his mobile phone. He siad he uploaded the video "in good faith" to show how the SAF men were "mercilessly killed."
The NBI continues to track the original uploader of the video. (READ: Human rights body: Help identify who posted Mamasapano video)
Yangyang has since taken down the Mamasapano video and deactivated his Facebook page after receiving heat online for the post, and is worried that he could have potentially placed his family in danger.
Yangyang, who was brought to Manila Wednesday, February 18, from Davao, promised full cooperation with authorities in tracking down the source of the video.
Lorenzo said whoever uploaded the video could be charged with "obscene publication."