Friday, April 15, 2016

AFP conducts probe over 'torture' in Basilan

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 15): AFP conducts probe over 'torture' in Basilan

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has activated a probe body to investigate the alleged torture of three people who were arrested at the clash site in Basilan province.

Maj. Filemon Tan Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) information officer, on Friday said the probe body was formed by the Joint Task Force Zambasulta headed by Maj. Gen. Gerardo Barrientos, who also heads the Army’s 1st Infantry Division.

The activation of the probe body came after the alleged torture of three people, who were arrested by government troops on Wednesday while scouring Barangay Baguindan, Tipo-Tipo, Basilan.

Baguindan is the site of the fierce firefight between the government forces and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) brigands last Saturday.

Since then, sporadic firefights have ensued as the troops are continuously pursuing the ASG bandits.

“They (probe body members) are now in the process of taking affidavits,” Tan said, citing the probe body members are already in Basilan conducting the investigation.

Tan said the probe body members will interview the soldiers who were accused to be involved and the victims as well as the other people concerned.

He assured that the investigation will be balanced and fair to erased doubts of possible whitewash.

He said the results of the investigation will be made public once the probe over the alleged incident is completed.

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