THE Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday called on politicians who have filed their certificates of candidacy (COC) for next year’s elections to refrain from using the Mamasapano incident as part of their campaign strategy.
The PNP spokesman, Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor, made the appeal during a news briefing at Camp Crame in Quezon City after several former police officials filed their COC for the 2016 polls.
Among the former police officials were retired Maj. Gen. Ramon Montano and former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief and now party-list Rep. Samuel Pagdilao.
Also running in next year’s elections are former Special Action Force (SAF) Director Getulio Napenas.
Pagdilao helped found the SAF in the early 1980.
“We appeal and plead to those running in next year’s elections to please leave the Mamasapano issue with regard to their campaign strategy,” Mayor told The Manila Times in an interview after the briefing.
The PNP spokesman said the public and the PNP should move on after the tragedy in Mamasapano, Maguindano, early this year that saw the brutal murder of 44 members of the PNP-SAF in the hands of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
“For the sake of the families of those who have died, let’s put the issue to rest and let’s move forward… that’s why we are making this appeal to them and hope that they will listen,” Mayor added.
The PNP spokesman noted that the police force is an apolitical and a professional organization, the reason why they are appealing to politicians to stop cashing in on the Mamasapano issue.
The PNP-SAF had launched Oplan Exodus in Barangay Tukanalipao in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, last January 25, 2015, targeting Malaysian terrorist Zulkipli bin Hir alias Marwan and his Filipino cohort Abdul Basit Usman.
Marwan was reportedly killed by the SAF commandos in a mission supervised by then-suspended PNP chief Alan Purisima with the knowledge of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
The incident also saw the death of 17 Muslim rebels and seven civilians.