Viral video of wounded SAF officer executed by rebels shakes up PNP chief
SEVENTEEN days after the Fallen 44 were massacred in Mamasapano, Maguindanao while on a mission to get Southeast Asia’s most wanted terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan, the Philippine National Police yesterday expressed anger over an alleged video showing one Special Action Force commando being shot in the head and chest while pleading for his life.
PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo A. Espina yesterday turned emotional as he recalled the brutal killing of the 44 SAF troopers. Speaking before congressmen, Espina again sought “clear answers” to why many of his men who did not suffer lethal wounds were still finished off in the clash.
Relieved SAF commander Director Getulio P. Napeñas made an effort to calm him down.
"As you all know I’m the OIC of PNP, no doubt we are in the peace process because we are peacekeepers. Walang may gusto ng katahimikan kundi kami pero Sir, we seek clear answers from the other party of the peace process. Ano ba itong overkill na ito na ginawa n’yo sa mga tao ko?” he said.
PNP Public Information Office head Chief Superintendent Generoso R. Cerbo Jr. also said they are saddened by a video currently on the internet and showing a scene in Mamasapano where one wounded SAF trooper was killed by a gunman armed with a pistol as the policeman was pleading for his life.
“Masakit at malungkot ‘yung video kung confirmed na part ito ng Mamasapano incident at kung ang subject ng video ay miyembro ng SAF,” Cerbo said. The six-minute video spreading on social media shows a seriously wounded man being finished off with two gun shots in the chest and head near a cornfield in broad daylight. The PNP Board of Inquiry is still looking at reports that the SAF operative in the video is Police Officer 2 Joseph Sagonoy.
The video also shows the gunman running through the cornfield and taking the battle gear of another slain commando shortly after he gave the coup d ‘grace ton the first trooper. The man taking the video was speaking in the vernacular.
Cerbo said that the video, if true, was an obvious violation of human rights. “These are criminals, lawless elements. You’re not supposed to kill helpless people, even in war, combatants are always told to always respect the life of a person,” he said.
Cerbo said the video will “most definitely be used as input and a consideration” of the investigation of the BoI headed by Director Benjamin B. Magalong, the chief of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.
Espina said he could not sleep Tuesday night after checking the medico-legal report on the slain commandos. The PNP officer-in-Charge said Senior Inspector Ryan B. Pabalinas and Inspector Rennie L. Tayrus did not suffer any lethal wounds, as they were hit in the foot, but were finished off.
“[Yung isa], binaril niya sa ulo, buhay na buhay pa ang tao. Yung isa hinubaran n’yo ng bulletproof binaril sa katawan niya, yung isa 9-mm sa ulo niya, two fatal shots, hindi pwedeng nag-suicide ang tao. Close range, short firearm yun,” he said. He added that 20 more SAF men died from head shots.
“Terorista yan, criminal yan eh, maraming taong pinasabog yan and now you’re asking if the operation is legal?” he said. The audience applauded after Espina delivered his statement.
Apart from Pabalinas and Tayrus, also killed in the January 25 operation that resulted in the killing of Marwan were Senior Inspectors John Garry A. Erna, Max Jim R. Tria, Cyrus P. Anniban and Gednat G. Tabdi; Inspector Joey S. Gamutan; Senior Police Officer 1 Lover L. Inocencio; Police Officers 3 Rodrigo F. Acob Jr., Virgel S. Villanueva, Andres V. Duque Jr., Noel O. Golocan, Victoriano N. Acain, Junrel N. Kibete, Jed-in A. Asjali, Robert D. Allaga and John Lloyd R. Sumbilla; Police Officers 2 Amman M. Esmulla, Peterson I. Carap, Roger C. Cordero, Nicky DC Nacino Jr., Glenn B. Badua, Chum G. Agabon, Richelle S. Baluga, Noel N. Balaca, Joel B. Dulnuan, Godofredo B. Cabanlet, Franklin C. Danao, Walner F. Danao, Jerry D. Kayob, Noble S. Kiangan, Ephraim G. Mejia, Omar A. Nacionales, Rodel E. Ramacula and Romeo V. Senin II; and Police Officers 1 Russel B. Bilog, Angel C. Kodiamat, Windel L. Candano, Loreto G. Capinding II, Gringo C. Cayang-o, Romeo C. Cempton, Mark Lory O. Clemencio, Joseph G. Sagonoy and Olie
beth L. Viernes.