NBI hunting Moro rebel behind execution video
MANILA, Philippines–The National Bureau of Investigation is tracking down a Moro rebel who allegedly provided the six-minute video of a wounded police commando being shot at close range during the Jan. 25 clash in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province, in which 44 members of the Special Action Force (SAF) were slaughtered.
The video immediately went viral on social media with over a million hits, sparking widespread anger and cries of “overkill” in the massacre of the SAF troopers battling forces of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) following the police raid that reportedly killed international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan,” in the rebel-controlled marshland.
Vic Lorenzo, executive officer of the NBI Anti-Cybercrime Division, said the source of the video was a Moro rebel whose identity was withheld. He said the video was uploaded from two cell phones, which are now in the possession of the NBI.
Computer experts are conducting forensic analysis of the cell phones, Lorenzo said. The cell phone owners were cooperating in the investigation, he said.
“As of now we are taking the statements of the cell phone owners,” he said. “We are now also tracking the Moro rebel they pointed to as the person who provided them the video through Bluetooth, but all of these are subject to further investigation,” Lorenzo explained.
The cell phone owners claimed they had no agenda in uploading the video showing the shooting of PO2 Joseph Sagonoy at close range.
Lorenzo said Zaldy Susot, a small-time businessman who operated out of Davao City, uploaded the video to his Facebook account. It had received more than a million hits before it was taken down.
NBI agents tracked down Susot in Davao and the man was cooperating in the investigation, Lorenzo said.
He said that the video had been subjected to frame-by-frame analysis in the NBI’s forensic investigation to identify the persons in the video.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.