By Cris Diaz
Exactly one month after the carnage of 44 members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) elite force, the Special Action Force (SAF) in Mamapasano, Maguindanao last January 25, 2015, the Senate has wrapped up its probe into the tragedy.
At the outset, many believed that the Senate probe, instead, left more questions than answers. One thing is certain ‘though, the Philippine President, as Commander-in-Chief, was obviously exonerated of any responsibility in the death of the 44 SAF operatives.
Certainly, the Senate carried out the probe in aid of legislation. In other words, the Senate did not carry the probe to determine or find out a probable cause that would identify and pin the possible culprit in the botch police mission.
The Senate probe was also enlightening, especially during the last day, when Secretary Teresita Deles of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, head of the government’s peace panel, were questioned about the Mamapasano incident. It appears that both Deles and Ferrer could not answer directly some critical questions about the alleged MILF build up in Basilan.
Many also observed that Deles and Ferrer were hard selling the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and appeared to be unaware of the Mamapasano incident. In fact, Deles admitted that she learned of the incident only 10 hours after the Mamapasano encounter. Coronel Ferrer also said that she learned of the incident only past 9 a.m. or almost five hours after the Mamapasano firefight.
Senator Alan Cayetano even asked Deles and Ferrer as to what side are they representing. Of course, both answered that they are representing the government of the Republic of the Philippines. But, some lawmakers think otherwise.
Rep. Rodolfo Biazon, of Muntinlupa, said that Deles and Ferrer and should be fired because Congress has lost the trust on them as government negotiators. Even an ordinary Filipino could recognize that Deles and Ferrer were “acting like lawyers for THE MILF.
Rep. Kimi Conguangco, of Pangasinan, also alleged that the “BBL is a sellout.” (https://manilastandardtoday.com/2015/02/25/lawmakers-fire-ferrer-deles-as-negotiators/).
However, amid the frenzy of the Senate probe, one thing is certain: The Senate has provided a clue to exonerate President Aquino III from the Mamapasano bloodbath. Results of all other probes involving the Mamapasano tragedy would have become irrelevant. Thus, we say, because Secretary Leila Delima, of the Department of Justice (DOJ), said that they would use some, if not the result of the Senate probe, as an important reference for a separate investigation of the Mamapasano bloodbath. Now, it is certain that the DOJ would vindicate Aquino, too.
By the way, an independent probe body is still conducting an investigation into the Mamapasano incident. The Board of Inquiry (BOI), composed mostly of police officers has not wind up the investigation of the Mamapasano carnage. Now, with the wrapping up of the Senate probe, can the BOI result be credible anymore? What is credible for the BIO is to absolve the President, too.
In the end only two persons would be held accountable of the Mamapasano bloodbath. They are suspended and resigned Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima and SAF Commander Getulio Napenas. Take note: President Aquino would come to the rescue of Purisima. Napenas would become the ultimate sacrificial lamb. -0- React: firstname.lastname@example.org
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