Let’s find truth behind Mamasapano operation—Duterte
BEIJING—President Duterte may seek a reopening of the investigation into the Mamasapano massacre, where 44 police commandos were killed in an operation to arrest Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, last year.
Addressing a business forum here attended by Filipino and Chinese businessmen on Thursday night, Mr. Duterte mentioned the Mamasapano incident after pointing out how China was providing a “counterbalance” to the United States.
He said the country was grieving for its police commanders who died in that controversial operation on Jan. 25, 2015.
“Maybe in this…in the days ahead, I will order the opening of that issue again. (It’s) not really to prosecute people but just to know what happened. Who got the five million,” Duterte said.
The President was referring to the $5-million reward for the terrorist’s capture which was speculated to be the motivation for the operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
Duterte said he would also like to know “whether the tip of Marwan’s finger was taken by US Special Forces or if it was brought to the forensic division in (Camp) Crame.”
Never mind corruption
“These were the lies that were imposed upon the people which is not good. Let us go for the truth. Let it out. Never mind about corruption, too late in the day,” Mr. Duterte said.
During his state visit, the President blurted out anti-US rhetoric in all his public addresses, culminating with a declaration of his “separation” from the United States on the military and economic fronts.
“It (US) is not ready to go to war because they are not ready to die anymore,” Mr. Duterte said, adding that whenever US Special Forces go home from an overseas assignment, there is always a lot of crying and criticism. There’s much “filibustering about the loss of an American life,’ he said.
Aquino ‘was responsible’
“Filipinos, if you want to go to war, go. As long as it is really the desire of the nation, to protect itself,” he added.
The Senate committee on public order chaired by Sen. Grace Poe—one of Mr. Duterte’s rivals in the presidential elections—conducted an inquiry into the Mamasapano massacre and concluded in its draft report that President Benigno S. Aquino III was “ultimately responsible for the outcome of the Mamasapano mission and must bear responsibility” for the clash, which happened at a time peace negotiations were ongoing between the government and Moro rebels.
There were questions on the US role in the operation but Department of Justice investigators ruled out direct American involvement.
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