MANILA, Philippines - Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Jessie Dellosa has named the members of a general court martial that will try those involved in the botched Al-Barka incident in October that led to the deaths of 19 soldiers.
The court will be headed by Brig. Gen Teodoro Cirilo Torralba III, the current senior military adviser of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).
The other members are: Cols. Dante Talino, Domingo Tutaan Jr., Wilfred Bonilla, Joel Celino, Rafael Sera and Andre Tanyag. The law members are Col. Feliciano Loy and Lt. Col. Gery Puluhanan.
Alternate members will be Cols. Rafael Valencia and Arwel Oropesa.
The trial judge advocates, who will act as prosecutors, are Lt. Cols. Ser-Me Ayuyao and Liberato Ramos and Major Vener Malabanan III.
The accused are allowed civilian counsels of their choice, but Majors Rosel Tan, Julius Agdeppa and Gabrielle Octava have been tasked to help.
The court will try the four officers, led by Col. Alexander Macario who is the former commander of the Special Operations Task Force-Basilan. He will be tried for violation of Article of War 84 (willful or negligent loss, damage or wrongful disposition); 96 (conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman); 97 (conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline)
The three others are former Special Forces Regiment commander Col. Amikandra Undug, former 4th Special Forces battalion commander Lt. Col. Leonardo Pena, and former Special Forces Training School head Lt. Col. Orlando Edralin.
"The selection of the members went through a process and they were highly recommended to compose the board. In terms of credibility and credentials, they are all qualified…This will guarantee fair, honest and impartial proceedings," said AFP spokesman Col. Arnulfo Burgos.
He said the members will hold a meeting to plan the next steps. The court proceedings will be open to the public.