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FULL TEXT: Aquino speech on results of Mamasapano probe

/ 02:11 PM September 17, 2015
President Benigno Aquino III on results of Mamasapano investigation showing PNP SAF killed international terrorist Marwan

President Benigno Aquino III shows a photo of dead international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan during a brieifing at Malacañang. KRISTINE ANGELI SABILLO/INQUIRER.net

Statement of His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Philippines
On the recent findings of the Mamasapano investigation
Heroes Hall, Malacanan, September 17, 2015

For quite some time now, alternative narratives about the Mamasapano encounter have been circulating. It has even come out in the media: as the story goes, it was not our Special Action Force, or SAF, who killed Marwan. It was allegedly one of Marwan’s companions who killed him—and also cut off his finger and brought it to the SAF.

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When the idea of an alternative narrative was presented to us and when we returned to the evidence, we could not dismiss it outright. This alternative version is the complete opposite of the first account of the encounter. It is our responsibility to investigate and to uncover the complete truth, so that the conclusions we arrive at will be correct and just. In doing this, we will ensure that this tragedy does not happen again. That is why we immediately ordered the various agencies of government to scrutinize other angles that present alternative narratives.

Now, my Bosses, the new evidence is before us. I stand before you today to show you photographs we have gathered. We also beg the indulgence and understanding of our countrymen, especially since many of you will be taking your midday meal. Some of the images are of a sensitive nature, but we must show them in order to bring clarity to the issue. That is also why we have chosen to blur out some parts of these photographs in this presentation—precisely because some of the images are not pleasant to look at.

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The first picture that was shown to me was apparently only a portion of the whole picture. This has likewise come out in the media. Upon viewing this photo, I am sure I am not the only one who thought that Marwan’s right hand was hidden because this was where the finger was taken.

This next one you see is the photograph in its entirety: we can see one of our SAF troopers beside the body of Marwan, and we can also notice that the fingers on his left hand are still complete.

In the next picture, we can see the same SAF trooper, holding the left hand of Marwan, and in the act of severing the finger.

In the following picture, we can see that the SAF is still present, and in that same picture, we notice that the left hand of Marwan is now missing a finger.

Let us recall: What does the alternative narrative say? It was posited that one of Marwan’s companions killed him—the same one who cut off his finger and gave it to the SAF. But it is clear from the presentation today: the SAF were there; we can no longer doubt that it was the SAF who took Marwan’s finger. This also means: All the other accounts about the alternative narrative are baseless, and consequently have no relevance.

The SAF were there; we can no longer doubt that it was the SAF who took Marwan’s finger. This also means: All the other accounts about the alternative narrative are baseless, and consequently have no relevance.

Perhaps there are those who ask: Why did this second photograph come out only now? Allegedly, in the formal investigations about the matter, no one else asked if there were other pictures. In those times, I was the one who asked: Are there no other pictures? Is it not expected that, whether in ordinary situations or these kinds of special circumstances, more than one picture will be taken just to be certain?

That is why we thought it best to ask the broadsheet that had printed the picture; they replied that they only had one picture in their possession. We also asked the SAF, in front of their new director. When I asked him, he said that he could not be certain, at the time, because he had just been appointed to his position. When he confirmed what had happened, he reported back to us, and this was when we discovered that there were many more pictures.

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Let me emphasize: we had the cybercrime division of the National Bureau of Investigation analyze the SD cards that contained the pictures. The report, and I quote: “Our forensic examiners concluded that the pictures are authentic and unaltered.”

We must also remember: the bounty imposed on Marwan, whether in or outside our country, was enormous. It should not come as a surprise that there are many who hope to obtain the reward, and are trying to muddle the discussions about the matter. Our investigation has allowed us to gain clarity on the matter.

Now that the conversation about this alternative matter is done, the process of justice, especially for the fallen, can continue. At present, there are 90 individuals who will face fair and thorough procedures for the murder of the 35 Commandos of the 55th Special Action Company, which is part of the SAF.

Statement of His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III (Filipino)
President of the Philippines
On the recent findings of the Mamasapano investigation
Heroes Hall, Malacanan, September 17, 2015

Matagal-tagal na pong may umiikot na mga alternatibong naratibo ukol sa engkuwentrong naganap sa Mamasapano. Lumabas na po ito sa media: Ang sabi, hindi raw ang ating Special Action Force o SAF ang nakapaslang kay Marwan. Diumano, kasamahan daw ni Marwan ang nakapatay sa kanya; sila rin daw ang kumuha ng kanyang daliri at naghatid nito sa SAF.

Nang ipresenta nga po sa atin ang diumano’y alternatibong naratibo, at balikan ang tangan nating ebidensiya, hindi naman po natin ito maaaring isantabi na lang. Baliktad na baliktad po ang alternatibong bersiyong ito sa naunang salaysay. Trabaho po nating suriin at alamin ang buong katotohanan, upang magkaroon ng tama at makatuwirang kongklusyon. Sa pamamagitan nito, matitiyak din nating hindi na mauulit ang ganitong trahedya. Kaya naman agad nating inatasan ang iba’t ibang ahensiya ng gobyerno na tingnan din ang anggulong naghahayag ng ibang salaysay.

Ngayon po, mga Boss, dumating na ang mga bagong ebidensiya. Humaharap po ako sa inyo para ipakita ang ilan pa sa mga nakalap na larawan. Pasintabi lang po sa ating mga kababayan, lalo ngayong oras ng tanghalian. May mga hindi po kanais-nais na imahen dito, pero kinailangan nating ipakita para mabigyang-linaw ang isyu. Minabuti po nating i-blur ang ilang bahagi para sa presentasyong ito dahil nga po hindi kaganda-ganda ang ibang imahen na ating makikita.

Ang una pong litrato na ipinakita sa akin ay hango lang po sa isang buong litrato. Lumabas na rin po ito sa media. Sa larawan nga pong ito, hindi lang siguro ako ang nag-iisang nag-isip, na dahil ang kanang kamay po ni Marwan ang tinakpan, ito ang kinuhanan ng daliri.

Ang susunod po, ito nga po ang buong larawan: Makikita ang isa nating SAF trooper, katabi ang bangkay ni Marwan at mapapansing kumpleto pa ang mga daliri niya sa kaliwang kamay.

Makikita naman po sa mga sumunod na larawan ang parehong SAF trooper, hawak ang kaliwang kamay ni Marwan, at nasa aktong kukunin ang daliri nito.

Sa larawan namang ito, naroon pa rin ang ating SAF, at mapapansing sa kaliwang kamay ay mapapansin sa susunod na litrato ay wala na ang isang daliri ni Marwan.

Balikan po natin: Ano po ba ang sinasabi ng alternatibong naratibo? Ayon po rito, kasamahan ni Marwan ang pumatay sa kanya, at ito rin ang kumuha ng daliri at nagbigay nito sa SAF. Pero maliwanag naman po sa presentasyon natin ngayon: SAF ang nandoon; imposibleng pagdudahan pa na SAF ang kumuha ng daliri ni Marwan. Ibig sabihin din po: Lahat ng iba pang salaysay ukol sa sinasabing alternatibong naratibo ay wala nang basehan, at wala na ring saysay.

SAF ang nandoon; imposibleng pagdudahan pa na SAF ang kumuha ng daliri ni Marwan. Ibig sabihin din po: Lahat ng iba pang salaysay ukol sa sinasabing alternatibong naratibo ay wala nang basehan, at wala na ring saysay.

Baka po may nagtatanong: Bakit ngayon lang lumabas ang mga litratong ito? Diumano, sa mga pormal na imbestigasyon ukol dito, wala na hong nagtanong kung may iba pang litrato. Ako naman po ay nagtanong: Wala na bang ibang larawan? Di ba maski ordinaryong pagkukuha ng litrato sa ganitong pangyayari, parati nating maririnig para masigurado, pangkaraniwan lang na hindi lang iisa ang kuning litrato?

Kaya nga po, minabuti rin nating tanungin ang pahayagang naglabas ng larawan. Pero iisa lang daw po ang hawak nilang litrato. Nagtanong na rin po tayo sa SAF, sa harap ng kanilang bagong direktor. Noong ako po’y nagtanong sa kanya, sabi niya hindi pa rin nila ito matiyak noong mga panahon na ‘yon, dahil bago nga siya talaga. Nang masigurado na, binalikan po tayo, at doon natin natuklasang marami pang litrato.

Ididiin ko lang din po: Pinasuri natin sa cybercrime division ng National Bureau of Investigation ang SD card na naglalaman ng mga larawang ito. Ang report: “Our forensic examiners concluded that the pictures are authentic and unaltered.”

Tandaan din ho natin: Malaki ang naging patong sa ulo ni Marwan sa loob man at labas ng bansa. Di po nakapagtatakang marami ang nag-aasam na makakuha ng pabuya at nagtatangkang guluhin ang usapin. Dahil nga po sa imbestigasyong ito, nabigyan ito ng kaukulang paglilinaw.

Ngayon pong tapos na ang usapin ukol dito, uusad na tayo sa paghahanap natin ng katarungan, lalo na para sa mga nasawi. Sa ngayon po, 90 na indibidwal po ang haharap sa patas at masinsing proseso ukol sa pagpaslang sa 35 Commandos ng 55th Special Action Company na bahagi po ng SAF

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TAGS: Aquino, Mamasapano, Marwan, President Bengino Aquino III
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