DOJ accuses 88 over Mamasapano massacre
MANILA - A crucial eyewitness in the bloody January 25, 2015 Mamasapano encounter in Barangay Tukanalipao that led to the deaths of 35 PNP Special Action Force (SAF) troopers has testified that members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), and private armed groups (PAGs) knew they were engaging policemen as early as 8 o'clock that day. Still, the so-called "pintakasi" proceeded for hours, leading to the brutal killing of the elite police force. This was one of the pieces of evidence given weight by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in its order, through a 55-page resolution, to indict of 88 respondents for the complex crime of direct assault with murder.
The respondents include Pendatun Utek Makakua aka Otik Pundatun aka Otik Pindatun, alleged MILF 118th Base Command Commander; a certain Commander Abdulrahman Abdulrakman Upam, Commander Rakman, Commander Refy Guiaman, Commander Anife, and Commander Haumves aka Hamves. "Respondents should... be charged for the complex crime of direct assault with murder since conspiracy attended the commission of the crime. It must be noted that respondents waited for each other before going to the firing line; that the respondents arrived at the same time at the firing line (cornfield) while armed with various high powered firearms; that the respondents deliberately started encircling and shooting the SAF victims from all directions; and that after the attack, the respondents all left together while carrying some of the equipment of the SAF victims -- were the overt acts of the respondents showing a common design and purpose to kill the victims in this case," the DOJ resolution, signed by Senior Assistant State Prosecutors Rosanne Balauag, Rassendell Rex Gingoyon, Benito Oliver Sales III, and Assistant State Prosecutor Aldrin Evangelista, read.
Eye witness "Marathon," a former MILF member, was able to positively identify several of the respondents involved in the assault. He claims that as early as 2 a.m., he already heard a burst of gunfire, and several hours after, several of the respondents already knew they were up against policemen. Witness number 2, Tukanalipao Barangay chairman Esmael Hasim, testified that the encounter area was "under the jurisdiction of the [MILF] 105th Base Command. Witness number 3, a resident preparing for morning prayer, testified that MILF 118th Base Command Operation Commander Abdul Rakman, as early as 4:30 o'clock in the morning, was leading a group of armed fighters towards the "firing line" because government troops were able to enter the vicinity. He identified the armed fighters as coming from the MILF 105th and 118th Base Commands, as well as the BIFF and PAGs. Witness number 4 testified that while sleeping in his house in Barangay Tukanalipao, he was awakened by gunshots and a stream of armed men "entering their place and going towards the riverbank." He claimed asking Commander Abdulrakman of the MILF 118th Base Command where they were going and the latter responding they were going to engage "policemen." The witness also identified armed men from the 105th and 118th MILF Base Commands, BIFF, and PAGs. Witness number 4, another resident of Barangay Tukanalipao and a "former member of the private army of Andal Ampatuan," identified some PAGs members involved in the incident. Five other witnesses "narrated what they heard and saw during the incident."
The DOJ said respondents fall within the second element of direct assault, "the elements of which are that there must be an attack, use of force, or serious intimidation or resistance upon a person in authority or his agent; the assault was made when the said person was performing his duties or on the occasion of such performance; and the accused knew that the victim is a person in authority or his agent." "The victims were in the actual performance of their duties on that poignant day of January 25, 2015 when they were assaulted and atrociously killed... The SAF victims as testified by several witnesses repeatedly introduced themselves as SAF operatives during the almost one half-day gun battle thereby giving the respondents the opportunity to properly identify them as law enforcers.
"Proof of this is the fact that the MILF, BIFF and PAGs were not targeted enemy at the time, attempted in vain to put a stop to the massacre by surrendering to them. But they were treacherously killed at that point," the DOJ resolution read. "Marathon," for his part, testified that the SAF troopers were "raising their arms in surrender but the MILF, Freedom (BIFF) and massacre groups shot all of them." The complaint for theft was dismissed without prejudice to the refiling of the same; the complaint for theft was remanded to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for further investigation.
The case does not involve the death of 9 other SAF troopers in Barangay Pidsandawan, Mamasapano on the same date which pertains to the raid on terrorist Sulkifli bin Hir aka "Marwan's" hut. The SAF troopers were on a mission to serve arrest warrants for "Marwan" and his alleged cohort Abdul Basit Usman. The resolution was approved by Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon and Prosecutor General Claro Arellano.
LIST OF RESPONDENTS
Here is the complete list of respondents who shall face indictment before the court:
Muslimin Gumanding Amilil aka Moslimen Amilil
Repi Gugu aka Riffi Gugu aka Riffi
Ustads Manan Saluwang
Abdul Wahab Kamsa
Boden Hadji Mao aka Sahabudin Kedza
Commander Abdulrahman Abdulrakman Upam
Commander Refy Guiaman
Hadji Mohammad aka Hadji Muhammad
Khalim Keda aka Kalem Keda
Monnie B. Samal aka Manny Samal
Mustapha I. Tatak
Roland Samal aka Blackmoro Sapal
Saudi Upam ala Sandi Upam
Ustads Galib Rugioman
Waldo Hadji Abubakar
alias Labnan Abu Halil
Badrudin Minidal Abdullah
Datukan Sato Sabiwang
Guibar Amil Diya aka Jabar
Hud Lamban Abdullah aka Hud Amilil
Kagi Abdul Salam
Lakiman Klid Dawaling
Makku Tikaw aka Maku
Mahmod Pidtub Amilil
Marops Kudos Omar aka Marup
Mohammad Ali Tambako
Muhamidin Abas Sinsuat
Musib Kamot Hasim
Noel Sinsuat Ganoy
Pendatun Utek Makakua aka Otik Pendatun aka Otik Pindatun
Rasul Mendo aka Rasul Animbang aka Bisaya
Salik Kikok aka Salik Kikuk
Suweb Inday Balabagan
Tamano Esmail Sabpa
Teng Sabpa aka Theng Sabpa
Abdul Waab Sabpa
Commander Haumves aka Hamves