House cool to reopening Mamasapano probe
Leaders of the House of Representatives on Wednesday shut the door on calls to reopen the congressional investigation of the Jan. 25 massacre of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos at the hands of Moro rebels and bandits.
Rep. Jeffrey Ferrer, chair of the House committee on public order and safety, said his panel had completed its report on the ill-fated SAF operation based on the testimony and evidence presented during the three public hearings held a few months ago.
Ferrer said House leaders did not see any reason to reopen the probe despite President Aquino’s recent disclosure about an “alternative version” being pursued by Malacañang on the massacre in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province.
Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano questioned why the President would come out with this crucial information on the real killer of the terrorist “Marwan” after Congress, the Senate, Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Department of Justice and Commission on Human Rights had already completed their own investigation on the incident.
Alejano said he was saddened that Aquino’s claim, based solely on the word of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), had diminished the bravery of the SAF units who entered dangerous territory to capture two terrorists in a legitimate operation.
1BAP Rep. Silvestre Bello III said the disclosure of an “alternative version” of Mamasapano would only erode the credibility of the President who had suffered a massive hit in his popularity for tapping then suspended PNP Director General Alan Purisima to handle the operation.
“The disclosure is too late, the public has already released its verdict on the bloody incident,” Bello said.
ACT CIS Rep. Samuel Pagdilao said he was puzzled about the motive of Aquino’s disclosure of this alternative version, especially since he waited until several agencies had already made exhaustive investigations of the debacle.
Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo Biazon, an administration ally, said the release of the alternative version on Mamasapano would further reduce the already dim chances of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) being passed under the Aquino administration.
Biazon said such information would only add more doubt and distrust among lawmakers opposed to the draft BBL on the MILF credibility. “A peace agreement should not only be acceptable and constitutional, there should be mutual trust among the parties involved,” Biazon said.
Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, chair of the ad hoc committee on the BBL, said the PNP board of inquiry report “was very thorough, more proximate to the event, and more credible.”
“The alternate report obfuscates and confuses the matter and proffers unwarranted credit to the MILF,” Rodriguez said.
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