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Get Fallen 44 killers, Marcos asks De Lima

  • Written by Bernadette E. Tamayo
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 3034

SENATOR Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has appealed to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to “find, charge, and jail” the Muslim rebels allegedly involved in the massacre of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) troopers last Jan. 25 in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
He made the call after the draft 129-page report of the Senate Committee on Public Order, chaired by Sen. Grace Poe, which led the probe into the Mamasapano clash concluded that the police commandos were “robbed and murdered” by combined forces of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and private armed groups (PAGs).
“I fully agree with the wording of the committee report that our troops were murdered by members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and other armed groups. That’s why the Department of Justice should hunt them, charge them, and jail them,” said Marcos.
The public order panel, jointly with the Committees on Peace and Finance, has submitted last March 18 its investigation report on the Mamasapano encounter where 44 SAF men were ambushed and killed by the MILF, BIFF and PAGs after they neutralized Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli  bin Hir, alyas “Marwan”, and his Filipino counterpart, Basit Usman.
Marcos was among the 20 senators who signed the report. However, 17 of them have expressed the desire to amend the report. “I’m really convinced by and agree with the findings that our troops were massacred and murdered. That’s what I’ve said from the start. And the videos that we have seen showed how our SAF members were senselessly killed. That’s why murder is the right gruesome term,” he said.
He said that justice for the slain policemen should be the highest priority of the government.  “The families of the victims want no less than swift justice. They are not asking for anything else, they are not hoping for other things than to see the culprits behind bars,” said Marcos.
Sen. JV Ejercito also lauded Poe for the outcome of the investigation. “Senator Grace Poe as chairman of the investigating committee firmly handled the issue. I believe we helped uncover significant and truthful details of the operation,” he said.
Ejercito said that he is satisfied with the findings of the committee, especially with the accountability of the President upheld in the report. “I believe that what is crucial here is the owning up of responsibilities by the President. Taking responsibility is a great display of leadership.” he said.
Ejercito previously withdrew his sponsorship of the Bangsamoro Basic Law bill pending in the Senate. “They gave more importance to the peace agreement with MILF than the lives of the beleaguered SAF 44 commmandos who were crying for help,” he said.
Sen. Bam Aquino had already sent a letter to the Committee seeking clarification on these matters. “And if need be, we will propose amendments to the committee report when it is tackled on the floor,” he said.