The Philippine Senate continues to hold a public hearing on the clash between members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force (SAF) and rebel forces in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, on January 25.
A total of 44 elite cops died in the carnage, causing public outrage and nationwide mourning. Eighteen MILF fighters were also killed during the firefight, along with several civilians.
The Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, along with the committee on peace and unification, presided over the hearing.
Representatives from the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and officials involved in the peace process between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front attended.
Among those who attended were former PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima, who resigned from his post as police chief on February 6, and Chief Superintendent Getulio Napeñas, who was sacked from his position as SAF commander.
In an earlier interview, Napeñas said Purisima was calling the shots during the SAF operations despite being suspended over corruption allegations pending before the Ombudsman. On the first hearing day, Napeñas admitted giving the go-signal to mobilize the SAF troops in Mamasapano, but was acting upon the orders of Purisima, whose text messages he read during the hearing.
The former police chief denied giving orders, saying he was merely dispensing “advice.”
Purisima was issued a preventive suspension in December 2014.
Watch the continuing saga of the Senate public hearings here. – Rappler.com