MANILA, Philippines – On the eve of the 2nd anniversary of the Mamasapano clash, President Rodrigo Duterte said he would create a commission to reinvestigate the botched operation that killed 44 elite cops in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
Speaking to the families of the fallen Special Action Force (SAF) troopers on Tuesday, January 24, Duterte said he wants to tap former Supreme Court justices and individuals from the civilian sector to make up the commission.
The President said he wants to appoint “men of integrity and honor” to head the reinvestigation into the incident, where 44 SAF troopers and 23 civilians were killed in the January 2015 raid on a Muslim rebel stronghold in Central Mindanao. (TIMELINE: Mamasapano clash)
“They will be independent in all aspects. They are free to summon and, as President, the Executive Department, I will order you to honor the process. I will bestow upon that commission the powers exactly given to the Agrava Commission,” he said, referring to the commission that investigated the death of former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr in 1983.
Duterte said he plans to give the commission until the end of the year “and they can have the truth.”
The President also said the commission could ask the US government on its alleged role in the Mamasapano operation. Previous Senate investigations revealed the possible involvement of Americans in the police operation that targeted top terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir or “Marwan.”
The botched police operation was one of the worst crises to hit the Aquino administration. On Tuesday, criminal charges were filed against former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima – who was serving a preventive suspension at the time of the incident – and ex-SAF director Getulio Napeñas. – Rappler.com