LUNA, La Union: It is not ghosts or spirits that haunt President Benigno Aquino 3rd but the specter of the slaying of 44 police commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, early this year.
On Thursday, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. maintained that Aquino should apologize to the families of the 44 slain Special Action Force (SAF) members and release all benefits due them.
Marcos visited the tomb of Police Officer 3 Omar Nacionales here. Nacionales was one of the policemen mowed down by members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and other armed groups in January 2015.
“The ultimate blame lies with the President and if that is the case, the conclusion that we come to is that the President will not only apologize but to give all the demands, all those that they have promised to the surviving families and file charges against those involved in the massacre,” Marcos said after consoling Nacionales’ widow, Gae Ann, also a SAF member, at the Luna Memorial Cemetery.
Nacionales’ mother is a native of Ilocos Norte.
Marcos said a Senate report on the Mamasapano incident showed that the Philippine National Police’s chain of command was broken when Aquino, dismissed PNP chief Alan Purisima and then SAF chief General Getulio Napeñas, who is also a native of Luna, proceeded with the Mamasapano operation without informing then PNP officer-in-charge Leonardo Espina.
“He [Aquino] is the Commander-in-Chief and it seems that they have broken the PNP’s chain of command that’s why it caused problems. So I think those identified in the Senate report should be included [in the case],” the senator said.
The Senate report submitted by Sen. Grace Poe, head of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, found Aquino ultimately responsible for the Mamasapano tragedy.
Marcos deplored the slow investigation of cases against those involved in the killing.
“There is already a report by the National Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice (DOJ) already identified the suspects. I just don’t know why there is no case filed yet. Justice delayed, justice denied. That’s why we have to remind them on the heroism of SAF 44,” he said.