Quantcast
Latest Stories

Filipino marine involved in Iraq civilian killings to be discharged

By

A Filipino marine based in Camp Pendleton in San Diego, who was part of the worst civilian killings in Iraq is in the process of being discharged by the Navy.

The Associated Press (AP) reports the Navy has initiated dismissal proceedings against Filipino Sergeant Sanick Dela Cruz and Sgt. Humberto Mendoza, who were both members of a squad that killed 24 unarmed civilians — including women, elderly and children — in Haditha, Iraq in 2005 and lied about their role in the killings to military investigators.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus made the decision, and Dela Cruz and Mendoza were notified of the move Thursday, said Lt. Cmdr. Tamara Lawrence, a Navy spokeswoman, to the AP.

The two men could not be reached for comment.

Haditha killings

The pending dismissal of Dela Cruz and Mendoza come at a time when their squad leader, Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, pleaded guilty to negligent dereliction of duty in January for his role in the massacre.

Known as the Haditha massacre, military investigators found that eight members of a squad from 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines on November 19, 2005 led by Wuterich killed 24 Iraqi civilians Ð believed to be in retribution – after a roadside bomb exploded killing one Marine and wounding two others.

As part of a plea agreement for pleading guilty, Wuterich was given no jail time and was discharged under honorable conditions — one step below an honorable discharge, the AP reports. Six of the Marines involved (including Dela Cruz) saw their criminal charges dropped in exchange for testimony against Wuterich and one other Marine was found not guilty.

According to AP, Navy officials waited until the judicial proceedings ended before reviewing the case of Dela Cruz and Mendoza.

Mabus sent a letter instructing the Marine Corps to move to dismiss the two for making false statements to and withholding information from Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents and commanding officers while under oath.

The Navy secretary said in the letter that his review of Dela Cruz and Mendoza’s cases “revealed troubling information about their conduct,” the AP reports.

He cited false statements Dela Cruz made about the circumstances surrounding the deaths of five men found next to a white car at the scene.

“Such conduct is wholly inconsistent with the core values of the Department of the Navy,” Mabus said in the letter to Commandant Gen. Jim Amos. “You are directed to immediately initiate administrative processing for Sgt. Dela Cruz and Sgt. Mendoza for administrative separation in the best interest of the service.”

Dela Cruz’s role

Dela Cruz, who was born and raised in Cavite City, Philippines before moving to Chicago with relatives, was initially charged with homicide but prosecutors dropped the charge in exchange for full immunity to testify against Wuterich.

During Wuterich’s trial, Dela Cruz admitted to lying to investigators to protect the squad before deciding to tell the truth, the AP reports.

After a humvee carrying Marines exploded, chaos ensued and under Wuterich’s orders of “shoot first, ask questions later” several of the other marines led by Wuterich raided the nearby residents.

What exactly occurred depends on whose testimony you believe. Five college age men were nearby when the explosion occurred.

Wuterich in a hearing said Dela Cruz, in Arabic, shouted at the men to stop but they decided to flee. According to Wuterich, he shot at the men first before Dela Cruz joining in the shooting.

In his version, Dela Cruz said the men, who were unarmed, immediately put their hands up and posed no threat but Wuterich shot them anyway. That’s when Dela Cruz sprayed at the men and performed a “dead check” — military slang making sure the men were dead. Dela Cruz then admitted to urinating on the head of one of the men.

“My emotions got the best of me,” he said.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Crime , Iraq , killing

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/FCJF33MU3YKIKSJZZ22MOZEFQQ peter r

    They all should have been put to death !

  • Rajah Baguinda

    Shame on you Mr.Joseph Pimentel!!! You are misleading your readers. 
    Sergeant Sanick Dela Cruz and Sgt. Humberto Mendoza may be of Filipino descent but they are not “Filipino Marine.” They are members of the united states marine corps so they are “US Marines.” 



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  2. Afghan hospital guard kills 3 US doctors, including Fil-Am pediatrician
  3. HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  4. Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  5. Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  8. Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  9. Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  10. Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  1. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  2. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  3. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  4. Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  5. 85% of Filipinos love US – survey
  6. 10 US presidents who visited the PH (and what they said)
  7. WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  8. 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  9. 150 Filipino teachers in Maryland to lose jobs, visas
  10. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  1. US to China: We will protect Philippines
  2. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  3. DFA grants visa-free privilege to 7 countries
  4. China warned: Don’t try to tow away BRP Sierra Madre
  5. Back home in Manila, and feeling out of place
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  8. China: PH tarnishing Beijing’s international image
  9. What’s inside BRP Sierra Madre?
  10. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
Advertisement

News

  • Drunk passenger triggers Bali hijack alert
  • Businesswoman allegedly killed by husband, brother-in-law
  • Roxas suspended from golf club for outburst over P5,000 guest fee
  • SC reschedules oath-taking of new lawyers
  • Ex-COA chief seeks bail after arrest for plunder
  • Sports

  • Guiao fined P100,000 for ‘mongoloid’ comment vs Meralco forward
  • Hawks and Grizzlies revel in home wins
  • Floyd: Manny’s power gone
  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • BDO nets P5.5 B in Q1
  • Pacquiao may be 2013 top taxpayer
  • Emperador nets P1.7 B in Q1
  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Plane lands at Bali airport in suspected hijacking—Indonesia air force
  • Obama lands in Seoul as N. Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Militant protests vs Obama, US set
  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Marketplace