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March 18, 2015

THE MINDANAO EXAMINER: Joint probe urged on deadly SAF operation in Maguindanao

MANILA  -  Rep.  Arnel  Ty  has  urged  President  Benigno  Aquino  to  direct  theDepartment of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Justice toconduct  a  joint  comprehensive  investigation  into  the  January  25  deadly  policecommando operation in the southern province of Maguindanao.The anti-terror operation left 44 Special Action Force commandos in the village ofTukanalipao in Mamasapano town after they clashed with Moro Islamic LiberationFront members while trying to  flee after killing Malaysian bomber Zulkifli bin Hir.The MILF accused commandos of attacking its forces in the village that resulted todaylong fighting.“The immediate formation of  a joint  DILG-DOJ  Incident  Investigation and ReviewCommittee, or IIRC, similar to the one created with regard to the Luneta episode,will enable a swift and thorough inquiry into the Mamasapano bloodbath, which hasroiled the nation,” Ty said in a statement sent to the regional newspaper MindanaoExaminer.“Just like the Luneta carnage, we are also hoping that the proposed IIRC’s inquiryinto the Mamasapano encounter  will  be performed openly and visibly to  ensureabsolute transparency,” Ty said, referring to the 2010 Rizal Park tourist bus hostage-taking fiasco that left 8 Hong Kongers dead after a disgruntled policeman RolandoMendoza took control of their bus. He was killed by the police in an assault.

At present, Ty noted that the DILG, through a Philippine National Police Board ofInquiry, and the DOJ, through the National Bureau of Investigation and the NationalProsecution  Service,  are  conducting  two  separate  investigations  into  theMamasapano clash that killed the commandos.“Two disconnected probes are a waste of time and resources, considering that amore expeditious unified inquiry are viable through a simple presidential directive,”Ty said.He said whatever facts have been gathered so far by the PNP’s Board of Inquiry andthe NBI-NPS may be used by the proposed IIRC on the Mamasapano tragedy.The public outcry over the deadliest clash in PNP history has prompted the Presidentto address the nation twice on prime-time,  live  television,  in  a  bid  to  calm thenation.  The tragedy has also forced the President’s trusted aide, suspended PNPDirector Gen. Alan Purisima, to resign his post.Purisima denied he directed the SAF operation without the knowledge of InteriorSecretary  Mar  Roxas  and  PNP  officer-in-charge  Deputy  Director  Gen.  LeonardoEspina.

The Mamasapano  clash  has  also  caused  demoralization  in  the  PNP,  due  to  thecollapse  of  the  chain  of  command  in  the  planning  and  execution  of  the  SAFoperation. (Mindanao Examiner)

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