Sep 152014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/08/07MANILA2575.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA2575
2007-08-01 06:20
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO7648
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #2575 2130620
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 010620Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7638
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 002575

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MTS
USPACOM ALSO FOR J5
SECDEF/OSD.ISA/AP TOOLAN/REDMAN
JOINT STAFF J5 (WILKES/ROBINSON/COLEMAN)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/01/2017
TAGS: PTER MOPS PINS RP
SUBJECT: JOINT COMMITTEE IDENTIFIES FIVE PERPETRATORS OF BEHEADINGS; GOVERNMENT DELAYS PUNITIVE ACTION

REF: A. MANILA 2503

¶B. MANILA 2474
¶C. MANILA 2428
¶D. MANILA 2369
¶E. MANILA 2358
¶F. MANILA 2344

Classified By: Ambassador Kristie Kenney for
reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (C) Summary. The Philippine government has adopted a
more measured approach to bring to justice the perpetrators
of the beheadings of ten Philippine Marines in Tipo Tipo,
Basilan. Philippine officials hope that the visible
deployment of troops — rather than use of force — will be
sufficient to convince local leaders to turn over five
identified perpetrators of the beheadings without punitive
operations against Muslim insurgents. Ambassador and DCM
have reached out to both sides, urging them to seek a
judicial course of action to avert a military confrontation
that would result in bloodshed and undermine the peace
process. It is unclear whether the effort will work, as some
elements within the government and military appear to be
pressing for a punitive operation. President Arroyo has
delayed military operations until at least August 3 to allow
the investigation — as well as the ASEAN Regional Forum
meetings in Manila — to continue. End Summary.

¶2. (C) During a July 27 command conference at the Armed
Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command
Headquarters in Zamboanga City, President Arroyo delayed
until July 31 punitive action against the perpetrators of the
beheadings of ten Philippine Marines in Tipo Tipo, Basilan.
Arroyo granted the three-day reprieve to allow the Joint
Committee composed of government and Moro Islamic Liberation
Front (MILF) members to complete their investigation of the
July 10 incident. However, on July 31, the government
announced a further three-day extension (until August 3) to
enable the Joint Committee to complete its fact-finding
mission. According to Presidential Advisor on the Peace
Process Jesus Dureza, the Joint Committee has identified five
suspects in the beheadings. We are currently hearing that
the military operations will not commence until August 3, at
the conclusion of the ASEAN Regional Forum meetings.

¶3. (C) Ambassador and DCM urged Dureza on July 30 to
preserve the peace process when bringing the perpetrators of
the beheadings to justice. Dureza said he was working very
closely with Basilan Congressman Wahab Akbar and local mayors
to affect the turn over of the four perpetrators identified
by the Joint Committee. Such an action, according to Dureza,
could appease the Philippine Marines, and avert military
operations against over 130 individuals who were charged by
the Philippine National Police (PNP) with frustrated murder
for their alleged role in the July 10 ambush. Arrest
warrants for the PNP’s suspects were issued July 26 by
Basilan Regional Trial Court Judge Leo Jay T. Principe.

¶4. (C) DCM pressed MILF Vice-Chairman for Political Affairs
Ghazali Jafaar to render MILF assistance in bringing those
responsible for the beheadings to justice. Jafaar
acknowledged the urgency of apprehending the perpetrators
while expressing his support for the Joint Committee’s
investigation and the preservation of the peace process.

¶5. (C) Senior government security officials, including
National Security Advisor Norberto Gonzales and AFP Chief of
Staff General Hermogenes Esperon, are stressing legal
processes “to avoid unnecessary action and reaction.”
Esperon said during a news conference that “until such time
that the results of the investigation come in, there should
be no punitive action.”

Visit Embassy Manila’s Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm

You can also access this site through the State Department’s
Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/

KENNEY

   

 

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