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Duterte not creating commission to probe Mamasapano

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte will no longer create a commission to reinvestigate the 2015 Mamasapano clash.

"I am not going ahead with creating the commission because apparently the Ombudsman said that it's still pending before them," said Duterte on Monday, February 6, during the Bureau of Internal Revenue's 2017 campaign launch for large taxpayers.

The President said he would rather wait for the Ombudsman's investigation to unfold rather than have redundant efforts.

"I do not want to have a multiple incongruity especially if one finding fights with the other. Hintayin ko na lang (I'll just wait)," said Duterte. 

He had promised to create a commission to reopen the probe on the eve of the 2nd anniversary of the deadly clash last January 24.

The President said he only wants to find out the truth about the ill-fated operation that led to the deaths of 44 Special Action Force troopers. He has no intention of fault-finding, he said.

He even claimed giving assurance to Kris Aquino, youngest sister of former president Benigno Aquino III, who faces complaints for the botched operation. (READ: Aquino pins down Napeñas in Mamasapano affidavit)

"Si Kris, nag-text. Sabi, 'Huwag mo namang ipakulong si Noynoy.' (Kris sent me a text message. She said, 'Don't imprison Noynoy.') 'No, Kris. I am not out to find faults. I just want to know the truth,'" said Duterte.

Among the aspects of the operation Duterte wants to find out more about is why no choppers or planes were sent to help the SAF troopers.

"There are so many things that [have] to be answered. My one solitary question is: Bakit hindi kayo gumamit ng (Why didn't you use) air assets to save the pinned down soldiers?" he said.

During his dinner with families of the SAF 44, Duterte unleashed a tirade against Aquino, blaming him for sending the troopers to the "lion's den" and for hiding some aspects of the operation, such as, allegedly, the involvement of the United States. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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