FVR eyed as panel head of truth body

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A lawmaker wants former President Fidel Ramos to head the proposed Truth Commission that will investigate the Mamasapano carnage that left dead 44 police commandos.

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Former Justice Secretary and 1-BAP Party-list Rep. Silvestre Bello 3rd made the proposal on Wednesday, a day after his colleagues openly opposed the establishment of such commission, which would require a new law and funding.

As of Wednesday, five independent entities were probing or were set to probe the Mamasapano carnage: The Philippine National Police (PNP)-Board of Inquiry, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the International Monitoring Team, the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The House Committee on Public Order and Safety has already invited suspended PNP chief Alan Purisima to testify in a hearing slated on February 11.

“If the members of the proposed Truth Commission will be appointed by President [Benigno S. Aquino 3rd] as suggested, then it won’t be any different with the BOI already directed by him to investigate the incident. President Aquino should request former President Ramos to form a commission of seven to be chaired by Ramos, and authorize him to appoint the members of the commission,” Bello, who served as Solicitor General during the Ramos presidency, proposed.

Before winning the 1992 presidential race, Ramos served as Defense secretary under the administration of then-President Corazon Aquino.

He was the chief-of-staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines during the martial law years.

“The former President’s track record in the area of peace negotiations, military experience and dependability are beyond question,” Bello said.

He was alluding to the Ramos administration sealing a peace agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front, the predecessor of the MILF, which is now talking peace with the Aquino administration.

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