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DOJ summons 90 MILF, BIFF, armed group members in Mamasapano raid

/ 06:34 PM October 28, 2015
FALLEN COP Policemen carry the body bag of a comrade, one of 64 members of the elite Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police who died in a clash with Moro fighters in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province. JEOFFREY MAITEM/INQUIRER MINDANAO FILE PHOTO

In this January 2015 photo, policemen carry the body bag of a comrade, one of 44 members of the elite Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police who died in a clash with Moro fighters in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province. The Department of Justice has issued a subpoena for 90 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and private armed groups in connection with the death of the SAF men. INQUIRER PHOTO

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has summoned the 90 commanders and members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and private armed groups facing criminal complaint in connection with the death of members of the Special Action Force (SAF) during the Mamasapano clash last ‪Jan. 25.

In a subpoena dated Oct. 20, the DOJ panel of prosecutors led by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Roseanne Balauag ordered the respondents to answer the complaint for direct assault with murder and theft filed against them by the government’s fact-finding team from the National Prosecution Service and National Bureau of Investigation.

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Prosecutor General Claro Arellano, chief of the DOJ’s prosecutorial arm, said the hearings for the preliminary investigation were set ‪on Nov. 11 and 27, both ‪at 10 a.m., in the department’s executive lounge.

The subpoena for the MILF was coursed through the Coordination Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities, while the subpoenas for BIFF and the private armed groups were served through Mamasapano Mayor Benzar Ampatuan.

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The complaint against the 90 individuals covered only the death of 35 members of the 55th SAF Company that engaged MILF and BIFF fighters and members of private groups on the cornfields of Barangay (village) Tukanalipao.

The 90 individuals were accused of acting “in conspiracy with one another to attack, employ force, seriously intimidate or resist the 35 SAF commandos, who were uniformed police officers and, thus persons in authority.”

However, no case can be filed for the death of the nine members of the 84th SAF Company in Barangay Pidsandawan as well as of five civilians and 18 MILF fighters due to lack of witness.

Aside from Balauag, other members of the panel are assistant state prosecutors Aldrin Evangelista, Benito Oliver Sales III, Rassendell Rex Gingoyon, and Alexander Suarez as members. Tetch Torres-Tupas/RC

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TAGS: Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, Department of Justice, Mamasapano, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Private Armed Groups
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