Death of Usman Will Not Stop Criminal Charges Against MILF Men in SAF 44 Clash

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Philippine government said members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who were deemed responsible for the death of 44 Special Action Force commandos will still face criminal charges even with the death of international terrorist Abdul Basit Usman.

Even MILF assisted in neutralizing Usman, its members who were deemed responsible for the death of 44 police commandos last January will still face criminal charges, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said.

Abdul Basit Usman
Abdul Basit Usman

“Malinaw naman ang nakasaad sa ulat nina Secretary (Leila) de Lima at ng Department of Justice (DOJ). Batay sa kanilang ginawang pag-aaral at case buildup ay nagkaroon sila ng findings hinggil doon sa kung sino ang naging responsable sa pagkamatay ng mga tropa ng PNP-SAF (Philippine National Police-Special Action Force) at hindi naman nababago o napapalitan ang mga kongklusyon na ito. Patuloy pa rin namang ipapatupad ang ating mga batas,” Secretary Coloma said during a press briefing in Malacañang.

He was responding to a question on whether MILF members will still be held liable for the death of 44 members of the police’s elite force last January 25, even if the group was instrumental in Usman’s killing on Sunday (May 3).

The DOJ has recommended the filing of criminal charges against 90 members of the MILF, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and private armed groups over the death of the 44 SAF members, who were on an operation to arrest high-value terrorist targets Zulkifli Bin Hir, alias Abu Marwan, and Usman. Marwan was killed on site, while Usman was able to escape.

According to reports, Usman was killed by members of the MILF 118th Base Command in a shootout in Sitio Takeneken, Barangay Muti, Guindulungan, Maguindanao at 10 a.m. on Sunday. – BusinessNewsAsia.com

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