Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano wants the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs to reopen its investigation into the January-25 Mamasapano incident amid the seemingly conflicting findings of various investigative bodies that conducted a probe on the case.
Cayetano has expressed his deep concern over the Ombudsman’s recent approval of a recommendation to conduct preliminary investigation proceedings and administrative adjudication even against the junior officers and some survivors of the operation, stressing that the decision could lead to a chilling effect on the entire police chain of command.
“Gulat na gulat po ako nang pinaimbestigahan pati ang mga Junior Officers ng SAF (who were part of the Mamasapano operation and survived). Isipin mo, kung ikaw ay isang police officer, police superintendent, o kaya colonel, kapag hindi ka sumunod sa utos na kunin ang teroristang si Usman o Marwan, kakasuhan ka ng insubordination. Ngayon, sumunod ka pero hindi perfect ang operation, at maraming namatay, pero nahuli ang terorista, kakasuhan ka pa din,” the senator said.
In a letter to Senator Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs that led the probe into the incident, Cayetano said that the Senate committee, once and for all, should set out to reveal the entire truth behind this gruesome massacre, noting that finding justice for the deaths of the 44 elite cops should be a prerequisite for conducting peace talks with armed rebels and securing the safety of the entire Mindanao region.
He further lamented that justice has not even been served in relation to the deaths of the SAF members who were killed in the operation, and now two of the survivors are facing cases.
While admitting that there are varying liabilities in the operation that claimed the lives of 44 elite cops, Cayetano said the Ombudsman’s decision demoralizes both police and military officials in the front lines who were merely obeying legitimate orders from their superiors.
He pointed out that command responsibility over the failed operation should only rest with those who gave the orders – such as dismissed Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Dir. Gen. Alan Purisima – not the ones receiving them.
Cayetano also expressed dismay over the conflicting reports released regarding the incident, including reports from the Department of Justice, Philippine National Police Board of Inquiry, Armed Forces of the Philippines and the MILF.#