VICE President Jejomar Binay urged Malacañang on Sunday to create an independent commission, composed of retired chief justices and other eminent and respected personalities, to investigate the killing of 44 elite members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last week.
“Investigations conducted by agencies and entities involved in Mamasapano would always invite public skepticism, no matter how sincere the intent might be. The creation of an independent body would erase any doubts as to the impartiality of the probers and the probe results,” Binay said in a statement.
“We owe the Filipino people the truth. We owe the 44 members of PNP SAF, who offered their lives for the country, the justice they deserve,” he added.
At the same time, the Vice President reiterated his appeal for suspended PNP chief Alan Purisima to speak up and reveal whatever his participation in the operation.
Binay said that Purisima may be out of the country but he can at least issue a statement or answer questions from media.
“There are many options open to him other than leaving the country at the most inappropriate time,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, Rep. Neri Colmenares, who is also House Deputy Minority Leader, expressed fears of a whitewash and backed the call of Sen. Teofisto Guingona 3rd for an independent commission to investigate the death of the 44 commandos.
“The PNP Board of Inquiry, composed of PNP Generals, is not expected to objectively investigate the killing of the 44 SAF personnel considering that they will investigate not just the involvement of US forces but also President Benigno Aquino 3rd and PNP Chief Alan Purisima who are their superiors,” Colmenares said.
He said the commission should come from independent and credible persons “in the likes of former Chief Justice Renato Puno if only to assuage fears that the investigation will not be whitewashed.”
“The commission must have the independence and the courage to summon members of the US forces in the Philippines and investigate their involvement . . . Those PNP personnel who want to give justice to the 44 slain SAF men must come out and tell all about the incident, otherwise the case could be whitewashed with the blame mainly pinned on the hapless SAF, ” he added.