MANILA — The Philippine National Police-Board of Inquiry (PNP-BOI) on Monday asked for another three-day extension to submit its final report on the Jan. 25 Mamasapano incident which led to the deaths of 44 members of the Special Action Force (SAF) along with international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, a.k.a. Marwan.
The BOI was originally scheduled to submit the report on Feb. 26 but PNP officer-in-charge Leonardo Espina moved it to March 6 and again to March 9 as requested by BOI head and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) director Benjamin Magalong.
In a press conference held at the PNP Headquarters in Camp Crame, Magalong said they would be needing three more days before they can finally hand over their final report to Espina.
“For the past several days, we have been working on the report, analyzing pieces of evidence presented to us. Napakarami nito. Malaking trabaho… (These are too many, this is a lot of work) The audit team was supposed to submit its report on Feb. 26, kaya lang sa dami ng dokumento at ebidensya, nag-request sila ng extension (but due to the numerous pieces of documents and evidence, they requested for an extension). They were able to submit the report last March 6,” he said.
He assured that the final report will be fair and true, stressing that they will not sacrifice the credibility of the PNP-BOI as well as that of the whole police organization.
He said the people accountable in the incident will be identified but they will be limited to such identification as the BOI is not prosecutorial.
Magalong said the delay was due to the bulk of evidence that the BOI’s Operational Audit Team (OAT) needed to scrutinize.
The OAT conducted the investigation on the field and the gathering of statements from interviews of concerned individuals.
The CIDG chief pointed out that the OAT only finished its report and submitted it to his office last Friday, instead of its original deadline of Feb. 26.
Magalong even showed to the media four large suitcases containing documentary evidence that the BOI had to peruse to come up with the report.
He said the fact-finding team had gathered enough evidence and information needed although they encountered several limitations during the investigation.
He said among these difficulties were the refusal of top officials of the Armed of Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and resigned PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima to undergo follow-up interview by the Board.
The BOI is now preparing to submit its final report on the Mamasapano investigation on Thursday.
Magalong said that after the report’s turnover to Espina on Thursday, the BOI will also deliver a presentation to the media on the key findings of the report as soon he receives a “go-signal” from the acting PNP chief.
“It will just be a simple turnover of the report to the officer-in-charge. We are also preparing our presentation, once magbigay ng go-signal na i-report sa publiko ay ire-release po namin agad. It is just a matter of having it approved by the officer-in-charge,” he said.
He added that the BOI will also prepare copies of the report to be submitted to Interior Secretary Manuel A. Roxas, the Senate and the House of Representatives, Department of Justice and Commission on Human Rights.