Solon welcomes creation of commission to reinvestigate Mamasapano

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Probe real extent of US, Aquino involvement in botched operation


Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago  welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement that he will create a commission composed of three SC justices and the civilian sector to reinvestigate the Mamasapano operation.

In a message to the families of the fallen SAF commandos in Malacañang this afternoon, Duterte called for a reinvestigation of the botched operation, and asked out loud why the previous Aquino administration hid the fact that Mamasapano was a “CIA operation.”

“Two years after the Mamasapano operation, justice has yet to be served, as the real mastermind behind the operation – the US government – has yet to be held accountable,” Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago said.

The extent of the United States’ role in the botched Mamasapano operation needs further scrutiny, especially with President Duterte’s recent revelation, Elago said.

“A reinvestigation is indeed a welcome development, but this new commission should not repeat the whitewashing done in previous investigations. From the CIA to former President Aquino, every culprit’s involvement must now see the light of day,” Elago said.

‘US has lot of explaining to do’

“The PNP Board of Inquiry’s report has already noted the presence of American troops in the tactical command post during the operation,” Elago recalled, noting that the PNP Board of Inquiry also said that the US troops provided real-time intelligence.

“Remember how the PNP and AFP both said in many public hearings that there was a breakdown of communication on that fateful day almost two years ago? If Americans were indeed providing real-time intelligence, then they should have been the first to know that the 55th SAC were already engaging in firefight with members of the MILF and the BIFF. The Americans should have been the first ones to know that the 55th SAC were already cornered, yet they apparently did nothing to help. Instead, all their attention was with the 84th Seaborne as they were only interested in getting Marwan. Simply put, the Americans let the Filipino SAF troopers perish because all they wanted was to get Marwan’s finger,” Elago said.

The 55th SAC only had one survivor, PO2 Christopher Lalan.

Elago called on the Duterte administration not only to reopen the investigation but also to ultimately hold the US government accountable for the encounter.

“Former President Benigno Aquino III must also face raps for the bloody Mamasapano encounter, as mastermind and overall head of the whole affair, must also be charged. Aquino must not evade prosecution. The extent of his role in the botched operation should also once and for all be investigated, and actual charges be filed against him,” Elago added.###