No charges filed against MILF, BIFF men over SAF troopers’ death

By , on October 9, 2015


On the morning of January 29, 2015, the remains of the members of the PNP Special Action Force slain in Mamasapano arrived at the Villamor Air Base. The fallen PNP SAF were accorded arrival honors, led by the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Mar Roxas, PNP Deputy Dir. Gen. Leonardo Espina, and AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Catapang. (Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office)
On the morning of January 29, 2015, the remains of the members of the PNP Special Action Force slain in Mamasapano arrived at the Villamor Air Base. The fallen PNP SAF were accorded arrival honors, led by the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Mar Roxas, PNP Deputy Dir. Gen. Leonardo Espina, and AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Catapang. (Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office)

MANILA – Justice Secretary Leila de Lima disclosed that no criminal charges could be filed against Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Bangsamoro Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and other private armed groups’ members over the death of nine Special Action Force (SAF) police commandos.

“There is nobody to charge at this point because no one could identify who were encountered by the 84th Seaborne commandos,” De Lima told reporters.

The Secretary, however, was able to confirm that the death of the SAF troopers ‘were the result of a series of deliberate acts by armed individuals with whom the 84th Seaborne engaged in a brief firefight in the course of the assault on Marwan’s hut.’

She also acknowledged that ‘while the existence of a crime has been established in the killing of the nine 84th Seaborne commandos, the identity of those responsible therefore was not so established. Despite diligent efforts, the investigative team failed to find a single credible witness on the identity of those involved… Hence, no criminal prosecution may be recommended by the team.’

The SAF troopers were killed in a gunfight with MILF, BIFF and other armed groups during their covert operation to capture international terrorist Zulkifi Bin Hir alias “Marwan” in Barangay Pidsandawan, Mamasapano, Maguindanao, last January 25.

Likewise, the Department of Justice (DOJ) also cleared Police Officer Christopher Lalan for the deaths of MILF members and some civilians, this time due to lack of witnesses against him.