THE government has yet to officially demand for the surrender of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels who brutally killed the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos in the bloody Mamasapano siege last month, Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila de Lima said.
“We have no coercive power at this point to demand that they (MILF) surrender those involved,” De Lima told the Senate panel inquiry on Monday, much to the shock of its chair, Senator Grace Poe.
According to the Justice chief, much still need to be determined about the controversial January 25 Maguidnanao town raid before the “appropriate legal processes” can take its course.
“We have to find out first exactly what happened, who are involved, identify them precisely, and when the proper time comes there would be appropriate legal processes like the issuance of subpoena at the preliminary investigation level,” De Lima explained.
Reacting to the Cabinet member’s revelation, Poe said: “Nakakabahala ‘yun. Wala pa pala tayong outstanding order para sa mga surrender o pag-apprehend (That is alarming. So right now we still don’t have an outstanding order for their surrender or arrest).”
De Lima maintained before the lady politiko that the right time to make such demands to the secessionist group would be upon the completion of their probe on Mamasapano.
“From a strictly legal standpoint, there is a proper time to demand for the surrender of those involved. What we have right now are several investigations.” (Randy K. Ortega)