Murder charges were filed on Tuesday before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against 90 suspects in connection with the infamous Mamasapano incident that claimed the lives of over 60 people, including 44 Special Action Force (SAF) policemen early this year.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said of the 90 identified respondents, 26 are members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), 12 are Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and 52 are affiliated with private armed groups.
Of the implicated MILF members, 13 are battalion or field grade commanders, while four of the BIFF respondents carry the rank of commander.
De Lima, however, said they could not yet name the 90 respondents so that they will not be alarmed or go into hiding.
She added that the 90 respondents were identified by witnesses, who included people who were allegedly involved and participated in the Mamasapano incident.
According to De Lima, the team of the National Prosecution Service (NPS) and the National Bureau of Investigation filed the complex crime of direct assault with murder against the respondents before the Justice department for conduct of preliminary investigation.
She said aside from the 90 respondents, included in the complaint are several “John Does” whose real identities are yet to be ascertained.
According to the Justice secretary, the release and serving of subpoenas will not be announced so that the 90 suspects will not be able to go into hiding.
“The moment malaman ‘yan baka wala na kaming maabutan or ma-serve-an ng subpoena
[The moment they get identified, we might not be able to locate and serve them the warrants],” de Lima told reporters.
She pointed out that the subpoenas will be sent through the mayor of Mamasapano town.