Palace assures justice for SAF 44 will be pursued with or without MILF inputs

By , on March 9, 2015


On the morning of January 29, 2015, the remains of the members of the PNP Special Action Force slain in Mamasapano arrived at the Villamor Air Base. The fallen PNP SAF were accorded arrival honors, led by the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Mar Roxas, PNP Deputy Dir. Gen. Leonardo Espina, and AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Catapang. (Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office)
On the morning of January 29, 2015, the remains of the members of the PNP Special Action Force slain in Mamasapano arrived at the Villamor Air Base. The fallen PNP SAF were accorded arrival honors, led by the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Mar Roxas, PNP Deputy Dir. Gen. Leonardo Espina, and AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Catapang. (Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office)

MANILA – Malacanang on Sunday assured that justice will be served for the 44 Special Action Forces (SAF) troopers with or without the inputs of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Philippine government has sole power and responsibility to implement its own law.

”The government will continue to pursue justice for the Philippine National Police-SAF 44 by finding the truth behind the Mamasapano incident on January 24 and 25,” Coloma said in an interview with Radyo ng Bayan.

Coloma made the reaction amid reports that the MILF will only give the summary of the report of its own inquiry into the Mamasapano encounter between the SAF troopers and the combined forces of the MILF and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

”Government of the Philippines through Department of Justice will do case buildup and pursue justice through Philippine courts based on its own findings. Justice will be pursued with or without MILF inputs,” Coloma said.

Coloma said the MILF’s decision to submit its report on the Mamasapano incident to the International Monitoring Team (IMT) which Malaysia “is simply a matter of protocol.”

He said that based on the protocol, the respective ceasefire committees will submit all reports to the IMT “which then passes it on to the other party.”

”It appears that the MILF wants to show respect for and strengthen the ceasefire institution by using the ceasefire mechanisms and protocols in this regard. This is in accordance with the ceasefire agreement and the operational guidelines, which have been signed by the parties,” Coloma said.

Meanwhile, the Palace clarified that Malacanang is not against the decision of Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs chairperson Sen. Grace Poe to reveal all what President Benigno Aquino III did and did not do during the Mamasapano incident.

”We will wait for the report of their (Senate) findings. The President wanted to reveal the whole truth and the government is supporting the investigation to find the truth,” Coloma said.

In fact, Coloma said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the DOJ have already proceeded to the area of Mamasapano incident for their case buildup.

”We will not be selective The truth has to come out and give justice to our SAF 44 troopers,” Coloma said.