Marcos: Raps vs MILF no deterrent to peace

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Filing of murder charges against 26 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in connection with their alleged involvement in the January 25 Mamasapano incident should not have an effect on the peace process between the government and the Moro rebel group, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Wednesday.

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According to Marcos, the murder charges against the MILF members should be outside of the peace process, saying pieces of evidence obtained by authorities all point to murder.

The 26 MILF members were among the 90 individuals included in the direct assault with murder complaint filed by the National Prosecution Service-National Bureau of Investigation (NPS-NBI) team on Tuesday before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Also included in the compliant were 12 members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and 52 individuals from different armed groups who were involved in the killing of 44 Special Action Force commandos in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao province.

“Unless one of the parties [involved]chooses to include it [filing of cases]as part of the peace process, it should not have an effect,” Marcos said in an interview with reporters.

The DOJ, he added, should ensure that there would be no unnecessary delays in its preliminary investigation of the murder complaint considering that it should have been done earlier.

Marcos also noted that the NPS-NBI already submitted to the DOJ the first part of its investigation of the Mamasapano incident recommending the filing of criminal charges against 90 respondents in April.

The filing of criminal charges against the 90 respondents, he said, is only the first part of the investigation report and that the DOJ is yet to complete that second part of its report covering the death of nine members of the 84th Special Action Company the team sent to arrest Marwan.

While the filing of compliant is a welcome development, according to Marcos, he does not expect the filing of charges in court to follow immediately as the DOJ still has to evaluate the complaint through a preliminary investigation to find out if the evidence is sufficient.

“The families of the SAF 44 had suffered long enough. The least the DOJ can do to assuage their grief is to ensure a steady progress in the quest for justice for their loved ones,” he said.

PNP chief welcomes the filing of charges against 90 MILF, BIFF members over the death of 44-SAF commandos

The leadership of the Philippine National Police (PNP) also on Wednesday welcomed the filing of murder charges against the 90 suspects.

“This is among the wishes and demands of the SAF 44 families, that, hopefully, justice will be served. This is the beginning of the quest for justice for the SAF 44,” PNP Director General Ricardo Marquez told reporters during a chance interview in Camp Crame in Quezon City.

The PNP chief said the filing of the criminal charges has restored the “pride and life” of the elite police unit.

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