- President reversed on creating truth commission on Mamasapano debacle
- He said he will wait for the Ombudsman’s findings before making his move
- He explained he does not want to create conflict over findings and facts
MANILA, Philippines – Doing an about-face, President Rodrigo Duterte said he will hold off on creating a truth commission for the Mamasapano encounter and instead wait for the Ombudsman’s findings.
“I am not going ahead with the creation of a commission because apparently the Ombudsman has said that a case is still pending before them,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted him as saying.
The president explained that he does not want the findings of his truth commission to clash with that of the Ombudsman’s.
“I do not want to have a multiple incongruity especially if one finding fights with the other. So I will just wait [for the results of the Ombudsman’s investigation],” he said.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said her office is in the midst of a preliminary investigation on the ill-fated encounter even as graft and usurpation charges have been filed against former PNP chief Alan Purisima and former Special Action Force head Getulio Napeñas.
Former president Benigno Aquino III is also facing scrutiny for possible liability in the encounter; with a suit for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide filed against him by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC).
Duterte previously scored Aquino for purportedly failing to support the policemen with the military’s air assets.
“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.
Duterte also blasted his predecessor for allegedly hiding the United States’ involvement in the ill-fated raid which killed 44 elite SAF commandos.