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Duterte may reopen SAF44 case

BEIJING, China – Fed up by “lies” surrounding the Mamasapano incident in January 2015, President Duterte is mulling the reopening of the investigation into the bungled operation that left 44 policemen dead.

Duterte said he wanted to find out the truth about the tragic Oplan Exodus, including who got the $5 million reward offered by the United States for the hunted terror suspect.

“Forty-four Mamasapano soldiers, they went inside, they died. No dramatics, no nothing,” the President said in a speech before a business forum in Beijing last Thursday.

“Maybe in the days ahead, I will order the opening of that issue again. Not really to prosecute people but just to know what happened? Who got the five million?” he said.

Duterte admitted that he was curious about the details of the operation, including whether the Special Forces of United States got hold of the tip of the finger of Marwan or if it was brought to the forensic division of Camp Crame.

“These are the lies that are imposed upon the people which is not good. Let us go for the truth. Let it out. Never mind about corruption. Too late in the day,” said Duterte.

The Office of the Ombudsman earlier found former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima and former Special Action Force (SAF) head Getulio Napeñas criminally liable for the Mamasapano incident.

Purisima and Napeñas face charges for graft and usurpation of authority for planning and carrying out the Mamasapano operation without the approval of then PNP officer in charge (OIC) Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina.

President Aquino has already taken responsibility for the Mamasapano tragedy but refused to apologize for the lapses in the police operation. He has pinned the blame on certain police officers who violated his orders that included ensuring close coordination with the military about the mission.

Families of some of the slain policemen have filed multiple homicide complaint against Aquino before the Office of the Ombudsman over the botched Mamasapano operation. The relatives claimed that Aquino should be held accountable for the “brutal bestial deaths” of the policemen “due to negligence, imprudence, lack of foresight and lack of skill in the planning, preparation and execution of Oplan Exodus.” (GENALYN D. KABILING)

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