De Lima: We want to hear MILF’s account of Mamasapano incident
MANILA, Philippines—Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Thursday stressed on the importance of cooperation from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in coming up with an objective finding in the Mamasapano clash.
“Our thrust is to have a balanced, impartial and objective investigation that is why we also want to hear their own account of the incident,” De Lima told reporters.
She said it is expected that the report from the board of inquiry (BOI) would primarily be the version of the Special Action Force (SAF).
“[Because] most of the statements are those from the SAF survivors and other officials of the government like the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and the PNP (Philippine National Police) who has knowledge of Oplan Exodus so that would be the side of the SAF and now baka iba ang version ng MILF (MILF may have a different version),” De Lima said.
“How can the DOJ produce an output at the end of the day that is credible if we only have the version of one side of the party?” the justice secretary said.
De Lima said the investigating team also needed to know who are the MILF members that were killed in the firefight and the proofs of their death.
“Kailangan namin malaman kung sino-sino ang casualties nila and proofs of death because how can we investigate that kung walang proofs of death? ’Pag may kaso na kailangan yun,” she said.
The DOJ chief said she has already sent a letter to the MILF leadership asking for their cooperation on the probe which was coursed through Brig. Carlito Galvez, the chair of the government’s Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities which is helping enforce the ceasefire agreement with the MILF.
If the MILF will not cooperate with the probe, De Lima said the joint National Bureau of Investigation- National Prosecution Service team would have no recourse but to base their findings on the evidence they gathered.
“Whatever is the evidence we have on hand if based on our evaluation and assessment we can already file appropriate charges supported by enough evidence then we will file a case,” she said.
Reports said the MILF has agreed to give an executive summary of its investigation report on the Mamasapano clash to the DOJ.
Aside from the DOJ, Iqbal said the MILF would also give the same report to Malaysia, which is facilitating the peace talks between the government and the MILF.
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