PNoy: No doubt SAF killed Marwan

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 17 2015 01:26 PM | Updated as of Sep 18 2015 01:25 AM

MANILA (UPDATED) - President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday said there is no doubt that the Philippine National Police - Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) killed Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan in the January 25 operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

Speaking before reporters in Malacañang, Aquino presented new evidence -- photos which, he said, prove that it was the SAF who killed Marwan.

The first photo that he presented showed the lifeless Marwan lying on the floor of his hut, with his right hand covered. Aquino said this picture could lead to the assumption that a finger had already been cut from the terrorist's right hand.

The President also presented three more photos: the first, showing a SAF trooper beside the body of Marwan when the fingers in his left hand were still complete; the second, showing the same trooper in the act of cutting Marwan's finger for DNA testing; and the third, showing Marwan's left hand already lacking a finger.

"Maliwanag naman po sa presentasyon natin ngayon na SAF ang nandoon. Imposibleng pagdudahan pa na SAF ang kumuha ng daliri ni Marwan," Aquino said.

He branded as "baseless" the "alternative version" on the Mamasapano incident that the Malaysian terrorist was killed by other people and that his finger was only delivered to the SAF.

He also put to rest the other "alternative version" that the SAF only came inside Marwan's hut to cut off his finger after he was killed by other people.

"Ibig sabihin din po lahat ng iba pang salaysay ukol sa sinasabing alternatibong naratibo ay wala nang basehan at wala na ring saysay," he said.

"In the pictures, it is clear the SAF were there when Marwan's hand was intact. There's a picture showing them about to cut off the finger... parang may continuity."

"All of the alternative versions start out with other people killing and getting the finger. We now have, I think, very concrete proof that already demolishes the second half of that primary assertion. So meron ring presumption of regularity," he added.

'AUTHENTIC, UNALTERED'

The President also stressed that the photos he presented were concluded as "authentic and unaltered" by cybercrime forensic experts from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

"So until somebody comes up with definitive proof equivalent to the photos authenticated already in front of you, why should we listen to that alternative version anymore?" he said.

Aquino first raised the so-called alternative version of events in connection with the Mamasapano encounter during a roundtable discussion with Inquirer journalists and editors last week.

"There is an alternative version of events that happened there which is undergoing intense scrutiny. We are looking for witnesses who will prove or disprove certain observations," he had said.

Days after Aquino gave that statement, the Inquirer reported about the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) saying that the SAF troopers could not have killed Marwan, citing the bullet holes in his hut.

The MILF report said Marwan was believed to have been killed by his own aides. He was said to be shot while lying down on the floor.

Former SAF chief Getulio Napeñas, in an interview on ANC, had castigated the MILF for supposedly coming up with findings based on conjecture and not by a thorough investigation.

Napeñas said the MILF was only muddling the issue in order to increase the chances of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) being passed and exonerate MILF fighters responsible for the January 25 bloodbath, which saw the deaths of 44 SAF troopers.

(READ: Napenas to PNoy: Believe your own men)

'KUWENTONG KUTSERO'

According to Aquino, over 90 people, including members of the MILF, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and private armed groups, face indictments for the Mamasapano clash.

The President noted some "information peddlers" may be floating other narratives in hopes of getting the reward money. Marwan had a $5-million bounty on his head.

"Tandaan ho natin malaki ang naging patong sa ulo ni Marwan sa loob man o labas ng bansa. Di po nakakapagtakang mawami ang nagaasam na makakuha ng pabuya at magtangkang guluhin ang usapin," he said.

Aquino, meanwhile, also dismissed reports of Caucasian-looking soldiers participating in the SAF mission, branding these as "kuwentong kutsero."

"Sa sistema natin, ang nag-aakusa, mag-pruweba... Ang SAF walang kasamang foreigners. Bawal sa Saligang Batas natin na mag-operate ang foreign troops in our soil," said Aquino.

(READ: De Lima questions video of slain 'Caucasian')