THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Friday said it has identified the people who uploaded the “overkill” video on YouTube that shows the supposed “execution” of one of the 44 Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) commandos who were killed by Muslim separatist rebels on January 25 in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao province.
Ronald Aguto, head of the NBI Cyber Crime Division, noted that the video had been taken down from YouTube but they were able to save copies of it and trace its origin.
The video indicated the brutal killing of the SAF policemen that corroborated autopsy findings that some of them were still alive when shot at close range by members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the rogue Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
Aguto said their findings were turned over to prosecutors of the Department of Justice for proper handling.
According to him, the video uploader had violated the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
He, however, withheld identities of the people who will be charged for the offense.
NBI investigators will visit the site of the encounter in Mamasapano to gather more material evidence and probably secure sworn affidavits from witnesses.
PNP spokesman and Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo also on Friday confirmed that the NBI has indeed made a breakthrough in its investigation.
“The NBI has made a breakthrough in its investigation such as [identifying]who is behind in the uploading of the video… but I still don’t have a copy of their report,” Cerbo told a news briefing.
The PNP spokesman appealed to holders of other videos of the encounter not to upload them anymore to show respect to both the victims and their families.
The Anti-Cyber Crime Group (ACG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) has stepped into the investigation of the massacre and similarly moved to track down the uploaders of the grisly video.
The video was uploaded last Tuesday night and showed a wounded police commando’s last moments prior to his execution by a supposed MILF combatant.
Police officials attending a House hearing on the carnage confirmed that the police commando in the video was a member of the PNP-SAF identified as Police Officer 2 Danny Suhayon. Other reports identified him as PO1 Joseph Sagonoy.
Another video surfaced also on Friday, showing some MILF rebels staging an ambush of the police commandos.
“The ACG is automatically tapped in the investigation on video or Internet access,” Cerbo also told reporters.