Officer: Cop in viral video one of my men
MANILA, Philippines — The commander of the 5th Special Action Battalion on Wednesday confirmed that the viral video on the Mamasapano incident involved one of his men.
During a House of Representatives probe into the deadly clash, Commander Rey Ariño said that he knows the man in uniform in the video.
“I saw the video. I can identify the person in that video,” he told lawmakers.
The six-minute video spreading online shows a man fighting for his life being finished off with two gun shots in the chest and in the head on a cornfield in broad daylight.
After the man shot the officer in uniform, he ran through the cornfield and took the battle gear of another slain officer. The man taking the video was speaking in the vernacular.
A total of 44 Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) commandos were killed during a mission to capture Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir aka Marwan and Filipino bombmaker Abdulbasit Usman last January 25.
During the hearing, lawmakers clashed over the move for the presentation of the video before the panel, but Chairman Jeffrey Ferrer moved against it.
Maguindanao and Cotabato City Rep. Bai Sandra Sema turned emotional over the move proposed by Davao city Rep. Karlo Nograles to show the video.
“The representatives of other districts do not know war… May I ask not to show the video as it is not part of our agenda,” Sema said.
To which Nograles said: “We are professional enough to rise above our emotions. If we don’t show the video we could be misunderstood as trying to hide something.”
Zamboanga City Rep. Celso Lobregat said asking confirmation from authorities about the video will do.
Act Teachers Rep Antonio Tinio opposed showing the video “out of respect to the family (of the slain man).”
Criminal Investigation Detection Group Director Benjamin Magalong, who chairs the Board of Inquiry formed to investigate the deadly incident, begged off from making a comment.
Philippine National Police officer in charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina said that he has seen the video.
“Such a waste of life,” he said.
Sacked Special Action Force commander Getulio Napenas said he did not watch the video because it was too violent.