Malacanang not keen on creation of truth commission on Mamasapano incident

By on March 16, 2015

Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte. Screenshot of PCCO EDP press briefing video.
Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte. Screenshot of PCCO EDP press briefing video.

MANILA — The Palace said the creation of a truth commission to investigate the bloody Mamasapano encounter is not necessary because there are already several bodies doing their respective inquiries to shed light on what happened last January 25 in Maguindanao.

Some lawmakers insisted the creation of a truth commission arguing that the Board of Inquiry report by the Philippine National Police is incomplete.

But in a radio interview Saturday, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte asked for public patience, adding everyone should wait for the results of several ongoing probes on the incident.

She told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan that there are eight institutions that are doing their own investigations on the Mamasapano encounter and their findings could answer questions lingering in the minds of the public.

Siguro po hintayin natin ang paglabas din ‘nung mga findings ng ibang report. Baka naman sa sinasabi ‘nung kongresistang ito ay makita pa doon sa mga ibang report na lalabas,” she said in the radio interview.

(Perhaps we should wait for the findings of the other reports. Maybe what this congressman is saying can be seen in the other upcoming reports.)

Among those doing the probe include the Senate, the International Monitoring Team, the Department of Justice, and the Commission on Human Rights. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front said it is also conducting its own inquiry over the incident.

Valte also argued that if a truth commission is organized, which is usually done by the President, it will not satisfy everyone because a body created by the President could be viewed as impartial.

Kung matatandaan po natin even in the past commissions that have been constituted, ang Pangulo ang nag-a-appoint (If we remember even in the past commissions that have been constituted, the President appointed [the commission]),” Valte said.

At kung sasabihin naman sa ilalim ng batas na Pangulo pa rin ang mag-a-appoint, hindi ba baka sabihin naman nila biased, hindi independent? (And even if it states under the law that the President should be the one to appoint, wouldn’t they say that it’s biased, it’s not independent?)”

With regards to criminal liability of former PNP chief Alan Purisima, who is being implicated in the incident, especially after the PNP released its report on the clash, Valte said it is up to the DOJ to determine the liability of anyone involved.

The DOJ is already doing its investigation into the criminal liability of the officials, as well as other individuals, and the public should just wait for the result of the probe.