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De Lima: DOJ witness to identify SAF killers

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Video by Ryan Leagogo/INQUIRER.net

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said that the agency already got a witness who could identify who among the fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and other armed groups participated in the execution of the Special Action Forces men when they already ran out of ammunition during the Mamasapano mission on Jan. 25.

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Speaking at the hearing of the House of Representatives on the Mamasapano mission mounted to arrest suspected terrorists Zulkifli Bin Hir (alias Marwan) and Basit Usman in an MILF camp, De Lima said, “We have a witness who can identify which forces from MILF, BIFF, armed groups, who were seen there and participated in the shooting.”

De Lima said the witness has been placed under the Witness Protection Program. “We cannot disclose his identity at this point,” she said.

De Lima added that the DOJ has started preparing the criminal charges against those responsible for the killing of the SAF men. She could not, however, give a timetable on when the charges would be brought to court.

“We plan to file criminal cases. I can’t guarantee that by April 16, all cases will have been filed. It will depend on state of evidence,” De Lima said.

During the same hearing, Philippine National Police Medico-Legal Officer Emmanuel Aranas told the House of Representatives that some of the SAF men were shot in the mid-portion of their bodies which should have been covered by their bulletproof vests. This appeared to buttress claims that Moro rebels executed the SAF men whom they had already cornered in an open battlefield. SFM/AC

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TAGS: Alan Purisima, Basit Usman, Benigno Aquino III, congressional hearing, covert operations, Crime, Department of Justice, Getulio Napeñas, House of Representatives, Justice, law, law enforcement, legislative hearing, Leila de Lima, Leonardo Espina, Mamasapano debacle, Mamasapano massacre, Mamasapano mission, manhunt for terrorists, Marwan, Massacre, massacre of policemen, News, Oplan Exodus, Philippine Congress, Philippine National Police, Philippine president, pursuit operations, Rodolfo Biazon, Special Action Force, Witness, witness protection program, Zulkifli bin Hir
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