Poe to gov’t: Pursue ‘unfinished business’ in Mamasapano tragedy
Three years after the Mamasapano tragedy, Senator Grace Poe said that seemingly nothing much has happened.
“While charges have been filed against people who are believed to be responsible for the debacle, nothing much has happened,” Poe said in a statement on Thursday.
“There is now the belief that justice, like the reinforcements promised on that fateful day, will never come,” the senator said.
It was Poe who led the Senate committee on public order that investigated the botched “Oplan Exodus” where 44 Special Action Force (SAF) troopers died in an ambush in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
In the Mamasapano report released by the committee in 2015, Poe said former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III was “ultimately responsible” for the outcome of the bungled operation.
“We have vowed on their graves that justice will be swift, and yet it is slow. Not one of those who have put our boys in harm’s way has been punished,” Poe said.
“The same social and political conditions which triggered Mamasapano are still there. Peace based on justice has yet to be won,” the senator said.
Poe then urged the government to pursue “unfinished business,” saying that “the best reparation we can offer is to create a peaceful and progressive society that guarantees that Mamasapano will not happen again.”
“At a time when terror has been left unabated, conflicts are resolved by force, and might is used to enforce law, all the more that the lessons of Mamasapano must not be forgotten,” Poe said.
The senator said that the government should not allow civilians and foreigners “to play generals who draft battle plans with persons outside the chain of command.”
Moreover, Poe said that the government should not issue “unclear” orders and provide “vague” guidance that would send soldiers in harm’s way.
It was discovered in the Mamasapano investigation that Aquino had allowed former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima to take part in Oplan Exodus despite being suspended at the time of the operation.
According to the Senate’s Mamasapano report, Purisima violated the preventive suspension order issued by the Ombudsman when he participated in the planning and execution of Oplan Exodus.
“The lessons of Mamasapano, including the need for justice, should not be buried with the dead. Ito ay mga buhay na aral na dapat hindi malimot, tulad ng sakripisyo ng ating mga bayani, na dapat manatili sa ating puso (These are the living lessons that we should not forget, like the sacrifice of our heroes, which should remain in our heart),” Poe said. /jpv
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.