Former Pres. Aquino may be summoned by Duterte fact-finding commission on Mamasapano

Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said in an interview that former President Benigno Aquino III may be summoned by the fact-finding commission eyed by President Rodrigo Duterte to investigate anew the Mamasapano incident. As stated by Pimentel, an objective investigation is needed to get to the bottom of the story, an article published by GMA News Online mentioned. A close ally of Duterte, the senate president, stressed that Aquino has lost his immunity from suit when his term as president ended in June 2016. Earlier, the Chief Executive stated he will form a top level fact-finding commission that would reopen the investigation on the Mamasapano massacre, which killed more than 60 people to include 44 members of the Special Action Force (SAF).

As such, Duterte said Aquino fed the SAF 44 to the “lion’s den.” In stating this, Pimentel said the President clearly expressed dissatisfaction with the investigation, which had already been conducted both by a Board of Inquiry (BOI) of the Philippine National Police and the Senate public order committee. However, Pimentel said the commission show its independence from Duterte’s statements; further dismissing criticisms that there is another motive behind the reopening of the Mamasapano investigation. In addition to this, Pimentel cleared that on the part of the Senate a separate investigation is not needed considering the legislative priorities they intend to pass within the year. Earlier, the Senate public order committee spearheaded by Senator Grace Poe in the past Congress concluded that Aquino was “ultimately responsible” for the Mamasapano massacre. SAF commandos in January 2015 swooped down on a bandit hideout in Mamasapano to neutralize international terrorists Zulkifli Bin-hir aka Marwan and Bassit Usman. Marwan was killed but the group encountered armed groups, including members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, just as they were pulling out of the area.
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