PNP to file criminal charges vs ASG for the Aug. 12 clashes in Basilan

August 19, 2009 10:00 am 

MANILA, Aug. 19 — The Philippine National Police (PNP) will file criminal charges against Furuji Indama and his men for the day-long clashes in Basilan province last Aug. 12 that killed 23 government troops and 31 Abu Sayyaf bandits and lawless members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

PNP chief Director General Jesus Verzosa said on Wednesday the PNP’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) is conducting a thorough probe of the incident in Sitio Kurelem, Barangay Silangkum in Tipo-Tipo town.

”We will file criminal charges against Furuji Indama and several John Does,” said Verzosa.

Among the possible charges to be filed are murder and frustrated murder as the clashes also resulted in the wounding of at least 20 government troops.

Indama was the leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group encountered by government security forces on Aug. 12 that also resulted in the recovery of the ASG’s main camp that yielded huge amount of improvised explosive device (IED) components and high-powered firearms.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines' Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) chief Maj. Ben Dolorfino today said the situation in Basilan was generally peaceful with no significant changes, “but we are vigilant.”

Dolorfino said the Wesmincom will launch tomorrow (Thursday) the community kitchen and clinic in Tipo-Tipo town as part of intensified civil-military operations being lined up in Basilan province.

The Wesmincom chief said more or less 500 individuals were affected by recent clashes in Tipo-Tipo.

”But we believe that they (affected residents) are slowly coming back to their homes,” said Dolorfino.

Aside from increased civil-military operations, Dolorfino said that intelligence-driven combat operations are continuing to track down the remnants of the Abu Sayyaf group of Indama and some lawless elements of the MILF. (PNA) scs/MM

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