Origin of viral SAF video traced; 2 cell phones now with NBI
MANILA, Philippines–The National Bureau of Investigation now has the two cell phones from where the six-minute video of a Special Action Force (SAF) commando being shot a close range was originally uploaded, subsequently went viral on social media and sparked widespread outrage, according to an NBI official.
Vic Lorenzo, executive officer of the agency’s Anti-Cybercrime Division, said NBI agents based in Manila and Davao province tracked down the owner of the cell phones in Mindanao.
Lorenzo, the team leader, told the Inquirer that the owner admitted uploading the video, using Bluetooth, but claimed he did not know where it came from or who took the video. The owner describes himself as an “informal businessman” and is not affiliated with any organization, Lorenzo said.
“The subject claimed he is not a Muslim and did not offer any valid reason why he uploaded the video,” Lorenzo said.
The video was subjected to a frame-by-frame analysis in the forensic investigation to identify the persons in the video, he said.
Intelligence sources in the area also said that more videos were expected to be uploaded because it had been now a practice of Moro rebels to record any gunfight and transfer them through Bluetooth.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima earlier said that the video would be part of the evidence in filing cases against the people responsible for the massacre of the SAF 44 in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province, on Jan. 25.
“It is certainly part of the evidence already. It is just being evaluated,” she said.
De Lima said the video showed a wounded man twitching in pain before being shot, adding this indicated a summary execution.
She said that under international humanitarian law, “circumstances” like an armed conflict could not be used as an excuse to justify such “barbaric and cruel” acts that remained punishable by law.
Intelligence sources in the area said that firefights between Moro rebels and the government had been recorded and disseminated by the insurgents.
“The modus operandi is to send it through Bluetooth,” said one source.
Contrary to claims by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that the video could have been tampered, NBI computer experts said the material in the agency’s possession was in its original form.
“It was not spliced,” an NBI official said. “It has not been tampered,” he said.
The NBI also has found out that the original source of the video is a Muslim who gave it to a non-Muslim and that this was uploaded on Facebook by one Zaldy Susot who has since taken down the video from the Internet.
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