Under the second Mamasapano report released recently by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, no charges will be filed against alleged killers of police commandos who had been on the hunt for an international terrorist early this year.
The nine commandos were part of a 44-strong Special Action Forces (SAF) team from the Philippine National Police (PNP) that attacked a safehouse of Sulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan in Barangay Pidsandawan, Mamasapano, Maguindanao, last January 25.
All 44 died in an ensuing clash with separatist rebels from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and private armed groups.
The National Bureau of Investigation-National Prosecution Service-Special Investigation Team made public the 120-page, second Mamasapano report during the last few days of de Lima at the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The DOJ chief officially leaves the department on October 12 to start her run for the Senate.
The second report is said to be only an incident report and carries no recommendation to file charges against the alleged killers of the nine SAF troops.
The report, for example, provides details on the death of Marwan: “A detailed turnover receipt as well as a photograph of the specimen should have ideally accompanied the transfer to the FBI. The reason is that the PNP’s [Criminal Investigation and Detection Group] or [Scene of the Crime Operatives] should have some record on Marwan’s finger.
After all, Marwan’s hut is a Philippine crime scene and the warrant of arrest [against him]that was the legal basis of Oplan [Operation Plan]: Exodus was issued by a Philippine court,” the report stated.
“Bagamat na-establish po nang malinaw yung pagkamatay nung siyam na 84th Seaborne commandos at ito’y resulta ng deliberate acts ng armadong kalalakihan ay wala po tayong pwedeng makasuhan at this point dahil wala po talaga nakapag-identify dun sa nakaengkwentro ng 84th SAF commandos nung ginagawa nila yung assault sa hut ni Marwan [While it was established by the second Mamasapano report that the death of the nine 84th Seaborne commandos was the result of deliberate acts of armed men, we cannot file a case against anyone because no one can identify those rebels that the 84th SAF commandos encountered while they were assaulting Marwan’s hut],” de Lima said in a news conference that she had called.
She added that there would only be a case if witnesses came out in the future.
In the meantime, the DOJ cleared Police Officer 2 Christopher Lalan of the deaths of MILF members and civilians, citing lack of witnesses against Lalan.
Lalan is the only survivor from the 55th Special Action Company (SAC) who fought the MILF, BIFF and private armed groups in Barangay Tukanalipao.
According to the second Mamasapano report, no American troops participated in the actual combat phase of Oplan Exodus but they provided intelligence support and help in medical evacuations.
“Neither did these Americans give directions or orders to the SAF commandos,” the DOJ report said.
Therefore, de Lima said, no laws were violated by the government.
“Caucasians” among the dead police commandos were actually Filipino SAF members, the second Mamasapano report said.
The first report ordered filing of criminal charges against 90 individuals for the death of the 35 police commandos.