MANILA (Mabuhay) – Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago on Thursday asked Senator Grace Poe to reconsider her suggestion not to have the video of the slain PNP-Special Action Force officer shown at the Senate probe on the Mamasapano incident.
During the hearing, Santiago said she has two versions of the video: the raw footage, as well as an edited version that leaves out “the face of the victim lying on the ground.”
“This video, whether edited or not, can be admissible as evidence in court, and it’s only a matter of time, when it’s authenticated, that it will be shown in court,” Santiago said. “So I beg the honorable chair to reconsider her statement, not immediately, but after consultation with members of the three committees who are sponsoring this hearing.”
She also offered her copies of both video “for whenever it might be needed by the committtee.”
Poe, chairperson of the committee on public order and dangerous drugs, clarified that while the senators investigating “need to be able to watch the video,” it was a matter of “whether or not we’ll show this video for the media to be able to cover it during the hearing.”
She then suggested that the media “point their cameras away, unless of course the body will object to this.”
She also suggested that some resource persons “who would rather step out of the session hall to please do so if they do not want to view the video.”
She added, however, that there “are certain members of the resource group that should stay to be able to authenticate this.”
The video, which showed members of the PNP-SAF being brutally killed by gunmen and has circulated on social media, caused a stir at the House hearing on Wednesday, where a debate rose as to whether it should be shown.
At the House hearing, Supt. Rey Ariño of the PNP-SAF confirmed that the man killed in the video “is a SAF officer assigned [to the] 55th SAC.”
PNP-SAF spokesman Captain Jayson Baldos had confirmed that the men in the video were members of their unit, as shown by the patches and uniforms.
He also urged the public to refrain from sharing the video.
Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the National Bureau of Investigation will be looking into the authenticity of the video, which – once validated – “then definitely would be evidence.” (MNS)