THE Philippine National Police-Board of Inquiry (PNP-BOI) has finished 70 percent of its probe and has seen what really transpired in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, on January 25 when a bloody clash there left 44 police commandos dead.
“Next week nga napag-usapan namin na pupunta kami sa Mamasapano dahil nakita na namin, nakumpleto na namin yung picture nung what happened at meron lang kaming iba-validate na mga claims, mga allegations, mga assertions, at yun ang pupuntahan namin dun sa Mamasapano, sa site mismo para alamin namin kung ano yung environment during the time [We have agreed to go to Mamasapano next week, we have come up with a clear picture of what really happened there and we just have to validate some claims, allegations, assertions, and those things are what we are going to check, at the site of the clash itself to know the environment at the time of the firefight] ,” Director Benjamin Magalong, BOI chairman, told reporters at the sidelines of turnover of 16 firearms of the slain Special Action Force (SAF) commandos at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City (Metro Manila) on Thursday.
Magalong disclosed that the board had lined up for interview resigned PNP chief Alan Purisima and the PNP officer-in-charge, Deputy Director Gen. Leonardo Espina.
PNP Intelligence Group director Fernando Mendez had been interviewed and had furnished the board his signed affidavit, he said.
According to Magalong, Purisima has promised to give the board his sworn statement.
The BOI chairman, also the chief of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), said that besides Mamasapano, the board members are scheduled to fly to Cotabato to interview witnesses and leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, whose fighters attacked the commandos.
When asked about the clearer picture on the Mamasapano incident, Magalong refused, except saying, “Basically alam na namin kung anong nangyari [we know what happened], from mission planning, to execution to termination, alam na namin yun [we already know that].”
After wrapping up the investigation, according to him, the BOI will submit its report to Espina and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
As for those who will be recommended to be charged, Magalong said the board is coordinating with the Department of Justice, the Ombudsman, the Commission on Human Rights and other concerned government agencies.
When asked if it the report will be made public, Magalong said: “Definitely yes, definitely, syempre naman, yan ang hinihintay ng publiko eh [of course, that is what the public is waiting for].”
In the same event, Espina said he is hoping that the MILF will surrender Filipino bomb-maker Abdul Basit Usman and all the MILF members responsible for the brutal killing of the police commandos.
He added that the return of the commandos’ firearms by the MILF is a welcome development.
Espina, however, said the MILF should continue the “positive beginning” by returning all the remaining firearms, SAF uniforms and personal belongings of the slain police officers.