Was torching of Marwan’s hut a cover-up as to who really killed the terrorist?
Was the torching of Marwan’s hut meant to cover up the real circumstance behind the killing of the Malaysian terrorist?
The hut that served as the hideout of Zulkifli Bin Hir, alias “Marwan”, that was burned down after the Mamasapano clash could have been preserved as a crime scene to prove that the Special Action Force (SAF) troopers indeed killed the Malaysian terrorist.
Retired Police Director Getulio Napeñas, the former SAF director who was relieved over the alleged mishandling of the operation, and sources from the SAF community questioned the burning of the hut amid the recent confusion over who really took down Marwan.
“The hut of Marwan could have provided a crime scene where we could’ve gotten pieces of evidence to further support our claim that SAF men shot Marwan,” Napeñas said in a telephone interview with INQUIRER.net on Monday.
Almost a month after the January 25, 2015 clash, armed men set Marwan’s hut on fire in Barangay (village) Pidsandawan in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. Two houses nearby were also razed. Police officials said Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) were sighted in the area before the houses were burned.
Until now, the perpetrators behind the arson have not been identified as both the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and its breakaway group, BIFF, denied any involvement in the incident.
“Why do they (perpetrators) need to burn the hut of Marwan when they found out that it would be investigated by the BOI,” a survivor of the ill-fated operation, who declined to be identified for security reasons, told INQUIRER.net.
Marwan’s hut was razed on the same day the members of the Philippine National Police’s Board of Inquiry arrived in Mamasapano to conduct an investigation.
A ranking government official familiar with the operation against Marwan shot back at MILF’s chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal who claimed that the findings of the MILF is the “only truth.”
“If Iqbal would be consistent with his allegation that SAF did not take down Marwan, then they should have assisted in the investigation by preserving the crime scene,” the official said.
Other police officials who took part in the investigation had a different take on the burning of Marwan’s hut. One of them said the hut was burned to “prevent government forces from entering the area should there be any plan to visit the incident site.”
President Aquino disclosed during the Meet Inquirer Multimedia forum on Sept. 8 that an “alternative truth” to the clash was being studied. But it was still unclear if Aquino was referring to the MILF’s claim that it was not SAF but Marwan’s aides who shot the most wanted terrorist.
The MILF’s investigation report indicated that Marwan was already dead when troopers from the SAF’s assault team, the 84th Special Action Company or Seaborne, arrived at his hut.
The MILF probers also found that there were no indications of a gunbattle both inside and outside the hut. Sources said Marwan’s aides Datucan Singgagao and Candao Langalan were the ones who shot him.
The survivor, who was part of the strike force who attacked Marwan’s hut, argued that the SAF has all the evidence to prove that it was his fellow SAF troopers who neutralized Marwan.
“What hurts the most is that it seems the President believes the version of the MILF than his own troopers,” he said. Julliane Love de Jesus
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