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DOJ chief seeks investigation on SAF man’s merciless killing

  • Written by Hector Lawas
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 2417

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima yesterday sought an investigation to find out the authenticity of a six-minute clip showing the brutal killing of a Special Action Force member in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, which surfaced in social media and went viral yesterday.
   
De Lima immediately ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to study the video which she described as “very important evidence” in the criminal cases being readied by the government  for the killing of the so-called “Fallen 44” SAF members.
   
The video, which circulated on popular social networking site Facebook, showed an injured SAF member squirming in pain being shot at pointblank several times by armed men believed to be members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front or Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
   
The SAF officer in the video was identified by relatives as PO1 Joseph Sagonoy.
   
De Lima called the act an “overkill.”
   
“If this (video) is really authentic, these are really barbaric acts that we cannot just allow to pass without holding the perpetrators accountable... It’s an act of cruelty that cannot be justified by any circumstance,” she told reporters.
   
“Acts of cruelty or acts of atrocity at any setting are quite condemnable, completely unacceptable and therefore must be dealt with severely by our laws, especially penal laws,” she stressed.

DOJ chief likens it to ISS liquidation
   
De Lima even likened the act shown in the video to the “style” of the Islamic State terrorist group.
   
She explained that the continuous firing at the SAF operative -- who was already helpless and incapacitated -- by the alleged MILF or BIFF men was a violation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) that is also punishable under the Revised Penal Code.
   
“Even if there is war or armed conflict, there are rules of conduct and someone helpless should no longer be hurt or, much worse, killed... At any setting, an act like that deserved to be condemned and must really meet the full force of our laws,” the Department of Justice (DOJ) chief stressed.