THE MANILA STANDARD TODAY ONLINE: Joint probe may prevent cover-up
TO prevent a cover up, House Deputy Minority Leader Arnel Ty has urged President BenignoAquino III to direct the Interior and Justice Departments to conduct a joint investigation of theJan. 25 Mamasapano tragedy, just like what the two agencies did after the 2010 Rizal Parkhostage-taking fiasco.Ty issued his statement even as at least eight bodies are now investigating the Mamasapanocarnage in which 44 elite Special Action Force policemen were killed.“The immediate formation of a joint DILG-DOJ Incident Investigation and Review Committee,or IIRC, similar to the one created with regard to the Luneta episode, will enable a swift andthorough inquiry into the Mamasapano bloodbath that has roiled the nation,” Ty said.“Just like the Luneta carnage, we are also hoping that the proposed IIRC’s inquiry into theMamasapano encounter will be performed openly and visibly to ensure absolute transparency.”Ty noted that the DILG, through a Philippine National Police Board of Inquiry, and the DOJ viathe National Bureau of Investigation and the National Prosecution Service, are conducting twoseparate investigations into the Mamasapano clash.“Two disconnected probes are a waste of time and resources, considering that a more expeditiousunified inquiry is viable through a simple presidential directive,” Ty said.
He said whatever facts had been gathered so far by the PNP’s Board of Inquiry and the NBI-NPSmay be used by the proposed IIRC on the Mamasapano tragedy.The public outcry over the deadliest clash in PNP history had prompted the President to addressthe nation twice on prime-time television in a bid to calm the nation, Ty said.The tragedy had also forced the President’s trusted aide, suspended PNP Director Alan Purisima,to resign his post, he said.Purisima allegedly planned and directed the SAF operation without the knowledge of InteriorSecretary Mar Roxas II and PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director Gen. Leonardo Espina.The Mamasapano clash has also caused demoralization in the PNP due to the break in the chainof command in the planning and execution of the SAF operation to neutralize global terrorist andbomb maker Zulkifli Abdhir alias Abu Marwan, a Malaysian national, and his Filipinounderstudy Basit Usman.Marwan is believed to have been killed in the SAF operation. But as of Sunday, Marwan’s namewas still in the US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s online list of 30 “most wanted terrorists,”with a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to his capture.
In the Luneta incident, Ty recalled that the President had directed the DOJ and the DILG to do ajoint investigation.As a result of the President’s order, Ty said, the DOJ and DILG issued a joint department ordercreating an IIRC, with the Secretary of Justice as chairperson, the secretary of Interior and LocalGovernment as vice-chairperson, and with one representative each from the Integrated Bar of thePhilippines, the Filipino-Chinese community and the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas.
Ty said the work of the IIRC on the Luneta incident work consisted of two parts.In the first phase, the committee made a comprehensive account of the sequence of eventsleading to the killing of the hostages and the hostage-taker, evaluated police action and theresponses of the offices and private entities to the events, and recommended the filing ofappropriate actions against those found culpable, he said.