Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian expressed disappointment over the failure of the Philippine National Police or PNP Board of Inquiry to submit its final report on the Mamasapano incident on Mar. 9, fueling speculations that a possible cover-up is in the making.
Gatchalian, a Nationalist People’s Coalition or NPC member, pointed out that this is the third time that the PNP-BOI through its chair, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Director Benjamin Magalong, has requested for an extension on the submission of the BOI findings to PNP officer-in-charge Leonardo Espina.
“The first deadline was on February 26, which was extended to March 6, which was again extended to today, March 9. We don’t know when the next deadline will be, but the more the BOI delays its report, the more it will fuel speculations that a cover-up is in-the-making,” said Gatchalian.
The PNP formed the board of inquiry immediately after the Jan. 25 operation that led to the deaths of 44 Special Action Force or SAF commandos, 18 Moro fighters, and five civilians who were caught in the crossfire.
PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo earlier said the BOI still has to wait for the report that would come from the board’s operational audit team before submitting the final report to Espina and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas
Gatchalian said it is important that the BOI submit its report soonest and that copies of their findings be given simultaneously to the Office of the President, the Senate, and the House of Representatives to prevent a possible editing and rewriting of the BOI report in the event that Malacañang gets hold of the first copy of the PNP findings.
“The basic question here is: Will the PNP-BOI spare no one in the quest for justice for the 44 SAF troopers who were killed in Mamasapano? Will the BOI be brave enough to recommend the filing of charges against those behind the botched operation, including officials in Malacañang?” Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian earlier filed House Bill No. 5404 calling for the creation of a “Mamasapano Truth Commission” that will investigate the preparation and implementation of the SAF operation.
The “Mamasapano Truth Commission” will also investigate the real sequence of events on the ground during the incident itself, and any other occurrences material to the identification of the accountabilities and liabilities of all parties either directly or indirectly involved in the Jan. 25 incident. (R. Burgos)