Open, independent probe needed to answer questions | Inquirer Opinion

Open, independent probe needed to answer questions

12:02 AM February 07, 2015

The Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) commiserates with the families of the police forces slain in the encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

We join the voices of people calling for an open and independent investigation on what really happened during the encounter. So far, we have heard explanations from relieved Special Action Force chief Getulio Napeñas, acting Philippine National Police chief Leonardo Espina, and from President Aquino himself. But their statements raised a lot of questions that still need answers.

Who from the higher-up really ordered the SAF operation? This is a critical issue as the answer will pinpoint the degree of responsibility of those involved in the botched operation which claimed the lives of at least 44 police commandos and other combatants and noncombatants in the area.

We want to know the role of the US forces in the operation, as there are reports that they were in the vicinity right after the operation. The United States was also responsible for offering the bounty of $9 million for the heads of Marwan and Basit Usman, and it could have been informed of the operation beforehand.


Only through an open investigation conducted by an independent body, such as the Commission on Human Rights, with the participation of concerned people’s organizations and civil society organizations, especially in the Bangsamoro region, can the truth be known, and appropriate actions taken.

Lastly, PLM reiterates its support to the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) as a step toward the attainment of peace and autonomy for the Bangsamoro people. We are concerned that the BBL, already watered down, will be stymied by legislators clamoring for the punishment of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). We find the demand of Sen. Franklin Drilon and others for the MILF’s surrender of Usman and Marwan, both of whom do not belong to the MILF, ludicrous and we suspect it is merely designed to scuttle the BBL process. We definitely reject the calls of right-wingers to go back to the all-out war policy and to use the horrendous incident to inflame hatred against the MILF and the Bangsamoro people.

—SONNY MELENCIO, chair, Partido Lakas ng Masa, [email protected]

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TAGS: #saf44, letters, mamasapano clash

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