THE Department of Justice (DOJ) should ensure there would be no unnecessary delays in its preliminary investigation of the murder complaint against 90 respondents for the killing of Special Action Force (SAF) commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, on January 25.
Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. issued the statement as the National Prosecution Service-National Bureau of Investigation (NPS-NBI) team filed before the DOJ a complaint of direct assault with murder against 90 respondents in connection with the Mamasapano massacre.
“It’s a little bit delayed but that is, at least, a good development. I’m happy that we have finally begun the process of bringing justice to not only the families of the SAF 44 but to the entire police organization. Better late than never,” Marcos said.
He noted, however, that the department still has to evaluate the charges through a preliminary investigation to find out if the evidence gathered is sufficient for the filing of charges in court.
“The DOJ should ensure no more unnecessary delays would hinder the preliminary investigation similar to what prevented the filing of the criminal complaint at an earlier date,” Marcos said.
“The families of the SAF 44 had suffered long enough. The least the DOJ can do to assuage their grief is to ensure a steady progress in the quest for justice for their loved ones,” he added.
He pointed out that since April the NPS-NBI had already submitted to the DOJ the first part of its investigation into the Mamasapano massacre, recommending the filing of criminal charges against 90 respondents.
The courts had also extended by one month the original end of June deadline for investigators to complete the second part of their report covering the death of the nine members of the 84th Special Action Company (SAC) who were tasked to arrest terrorist bomber Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan.
However, the complaint filed before the Doj on Tuesday still did not cover the deaths of the 84th SAC men.
Justice Secretary Leila M. de Lima, the second part of the investigation report is now “in the final stages of preparation.”
The filing of the criminal complaint came on the heels of a controversy stirred by President Aquino’s statement over an “alternative version” of the death of Marwan, alleging it was the terrorist’s aide and not the SAF who killed him.
Malacañang later backtracked and said the evidence shows it was indeed the SAF commandos who should be credited for neutralizing Marwan.