President Rodrigo Duterte may order a new investigation into the massacre of 44 police commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in January 2015 to find out what really happened.
Duterte raised the possibility of a new probe in his speech during the Philippines-China Trade and Investment Forum in Beijing Thursday. He stressed that his intention is not to “prosecute” people but to find out what happened to the ransom offered for terrorist Zulkifli Abdhir, also known as Marwan, who was the subject of the special operation mounted by members of the Special Action Force of the police.
“Forty-four Mamasapano soldiers, they went inside, they died. No dramatics, no nothing. Except that we grieve for our soldiers. Maybe, in the days ahead, I will order the opening of that issue again,” Duterte said.
“ Not really to prosecute people but just to know what happened. Who got the five million? Whether the tip of the finger of Marwan, was gotten by the Special Forces of United States or was it really brought to the forensic division there in (Camp) Crame,” he added, referring to the national headquarters of the police.
The President said he wants Filipinos to know the truth about the incident.
“These are the lies that are imposed upon the people which is not good. Let us go for the truth. Let it out,” Duterte said.
Almost 400 police commandos swooped down on the village of Mamasapano on January 25, 2015 to capture Marwan and another terrorist, Basit Usman.
But after killing Marwan, the SAF commandos were ambushed by heavily armed Muslim rebels and mowed down.
Eighteen rebels and five civilians were also killed.
Former President Benigno Aquino drew flak for allowing then Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima to plan and execute Oplan Exodus despite his suspension on graft charges.
Purisima and former SAF commander Chief Supt. Getulio Napeñas were charged with graft, grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service by the Office of the Ombudsman.
Separate investigations by the Senate and the PNP’s Board of Inquiry (BOI) also found Aquino responsible for the incident.
The National Bureau of Investigation and National Prosecution Service recommended the filing of murder and theft charges against 90 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and other private armed groups for killing the police commandos.
In July this year, relatives of the slain policemen filed charges against Aquino, Purisima and Napeñas at the Office of the Ombudsman.