Congress expects murder raps vs MILF

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Congress is expecting the Department of Justice (DOJ) to file murder charges against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for violations of the international humanitarian law in connection with the killing early this year of 44 police commandos by MILF forces.

Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (Cagayan de Oro City), chairman of the House Ad Hoc Committee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law, made the disclosure on Monday ahead of the panel’s resumption of BBL deliberations.

The BBL resulted from a peace pact signed by the MILF and the government in March 2014.

“We are waiting for them [DOJ] to file criminal cases… murder [cases]. Based on [a]Senate report, the MILF surrounded, assaulted, then robbed the SAF [troops]. For the [PNP-BOI], it said the MILF violated the international humanitarian law because five of the SAF [commandos]were finished off even if they were already incapacitated,” Rodriguez told reporters in a chance interview.


SAF is the Special Action Force under the Philippine National Police (PNP), creator of the Board of Inquiry (BOI) that investigated the bloody Mamasapano armed clash in Maguindanao last January 25 that also left 16 other MILF fighters and civilians dead.

Rodriguez was referring to the report on investigation made by the Senate Committee on Public Order headed by Sen. Grace Poe, and also to that conducted by the PNP-BOI.

“They [MILF] have to be charged because that [Mamasapano incident] cannot be a misencounter as they have said. A misencounter can only happen in one hour. Our SAF policemen were being killed [from early morning]until 2 p.m.,” he noted.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima earlier told lawmakers that the government would start filing criminal charges against killers of the police commandos by April 16.

De Lima also noted that aside from the reports on separate probes conducted not only by the Senate and the PNP-BOI but also the MILF itself and the International Monitoring Team, plus accounts of SAF troops who survived the clash, the DOJ was able to get an eyewitness to the January 25 gunbattle.

“We have a witness who[saw]the firefight in the cornfield and can identify who the participants in the [armed]encounter [were]. The witness is already under the Witness Protection Program and was given a different name,” she said.

“What we are studying is the approach on how to proceed [with the filing of the criminal charges], if it is going to be a common-crime approach where penalties are based on the Revised Penal Code, or [if we will invoke]the international humanitarian law. If it is a common-crime approach, it will be easier since everybody will be on equal footing, while prosecutors and judges are familiar with it. But with [invoking]the international humanitarian law, you have to identify the actors’ affiliations and the [MILF], being a non-state actor, can’t qualify for amnesty [if found guilty of violating the international humanitrian law],” de Lima added.

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1 Comment

  1. Alejo Rosete on

    SECRETARY Delim Na will not file a case against the MILF.
    Ang kaya lang niya e file ang kaso ay sina:
    Senator Enrile
    Senator Bong Revilla
    Senator Estrada

    Hanggang puputi ang UWAK hindi siya mag file ng
    caso sa MILF. Kung mag file di mawawala siya ng trabaho.