Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago asks questions to Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chief Negotiator Mohagher Iqbal during the third public hearing on the Mamasapano incident. Santiago asks committee to reconsider showing Mamasapano video, says it can be admissible as evidence in court. (MNS photo)

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago asks questions to Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chief Negotiator Mohagher Iqbal during the third public hearing on the Mamasapano incident. Santiago asks committee to reconsider showing Mamasapano video, says it can be admissible as evidence in court. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Thursday said criminal charges may be filed against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) before the international court if proven that their members were involved in the brutal killing of elite policemen in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, on January 25.

At the continuation of the Senate investigation on the Mamasapano incident, Santiago said a video showing the brutal killing of one of the SAF troopers by still unidentified men can be used as evidence in the filing of charges.

In the said video, which was first posted on YouTube, it can be seen that one of the Special Action Force (SAF) commandos was still alive when he was shot twice on the head by a still unidentified man, believed to be a Moro guerilla.

Sa paa lang ang tama pero nilapitan niya at binaril sa ulo twice. Walang pakundanggan! At bukod diyan ay may dala pa silang video para mai-post. Parang trophy pa nila. Ganung klase ang kalaban na meron tayo,” Santiago said.

Santiago pointed out that the situation on the ground during the encounter can also be used as basis in the filing of charges against the MILF before the international court.

She stressed that based on the United Nation’s Geneva Conventions of War, when the enemy is no longer able to fight back, he should be taken as prisoner of war by the opposing side.

Nang maubos na ang bala ng SAF troops, the enemies, the MILF and BIFF went to their area and killed them one by one. That is a brutal violation of the Geneva Conventions of War,” Santiago said.

The BIFF, or the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, is a splinter group of the MILF that is opposed to the peace negotiations with the government. It was also involved in the January 25 Mamasapano clash.

“The [SAF] men literally walked into the trap, they have nowhere to go, because their escape routes were fully covered by the enemies. Wala na silang bala, wala silang cover, kaya we call this a massacre not an encounter,” Santiago said.

Sitting duck na sila doon, pero inisa-isa pa rin sila. May video ‘yan. Hindi natin ipapakita ang mukha ng tao because it is so gruesome than your worst nightmare,” she added.

Santiago then grilled relieved SAF chief Director Getulio Napeñas Jr. for the alleged lack of coordination with the military, but the latter reverted to his earlier statement during the previous hearings that the coordination with the Army’s 6th Infantry Division occurred “time on target” or when the SAF troopers were already deployed in the target area, as it was what was agreed upon during the planning of the ill-fated operation.

The operation was launched to arrest Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and Filipino bomb maker Basit Usman. Marwan, blamed for the 2002 Bali bombing, was killed in the operation but Usman was able to escape. (MNS)