‘Lone SAF man killed 4 MILF in their sleep’ – fact-finding mission

“Four of the five elements of the MILF-Bangsamoro Islamic Auxiliary Force (BIAF) 105th Base Command who were sleeping at the mosque inside their base in Tukanalipao village on January 25, around 2 p.m., were killed by an element of the PNP-SAF who survived the armed encounter at the wooden bridge in Tukanalipao.”

By DEE AYROSO
Bulatlat.com

MANILA — The People’s Fact-finding mission (PFFM) reported that a member of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) violated war protocols as he killed four members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) while they were sleeping in a mosque-hut.

(Photo courtesy of People's Fact-finding Mission in Mamasapano)
(Photo courtesy of People’s Fact-finding Mission in Mamasapano)

The PFFM identified the four as Omar Dagadas, 24, Ali Ismael, 25, Mosif Hassim, 22, and a certain Rasul, 21, all members of the 105th Base Command of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) of the MILF.

The PFFM was able to interview an MILF member who survived the shooting.

On Feb. 9 to 11, the 100-strong PFFM went to the four villages in Mamasapano town, Maguindanao, and interviewed civilians who were affected by the January 25 SAF operations to capture terror suspects Zulkifli bin Hir and Basit Usman.

“Four of the five elements of the MILF-Bangsamoro Islamic Auxiliary Force (BIAF) 105th Base Command who were sleeping at the mosque inside their base in Tukanalipao village on January 25, around 2 p.m., were killed by an element of the PNP-SAF who survived the armed encounter at the wooden bridge in Tukanalipao,” said the PFFM report.

The firefight in their location had died down and the five men were already resting at the mosque-hut, said the surviving MILF member who was interviewed by some members of the PFFM. The survivor, whom the report did not identify for his security, was able to run away when the SAF member started shooting.

The PFFM interviewed the widows of the four MILF men, whom they now call “saheed,” or Muslim martyrs.

The United Nations war protocols prohibit any use of force against a combatant who is “hors de combat” or is no longer able to fight.

At the investigations by the Houses of Representatives and Senate, many lawmakers and police officials had alleged on the “excessive use of force” and “overkill” by the MILF against the SAF, of whom 44 were slain. The MILF reported 18 fighters killed. Last week, the senate viewed in its executive session a “viral video” of an armed man shooting several SAF men at close range as they lay prone on the ground.

“There is more to the Mamasapano incident than meets the eye,” said the PFFM report.

The PFFM reported civilian casualties and human rights violations by the police commandos, which, they said, also violated international humanitarian laws. Under International Humanitarian Law, civilian communities must be protected and free from any attack during armed conflict. The PFFM said the SAF operation may have violated the agreement on the cessation of hostilities between the government and the MILF.

The mission recommends further investigation of the Mamasapano clashes by an independent body. ()

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