Re-investigating the January 25, 2015 Mamasapano incident, as President Rodrigo Duterte says he’s planning to do, would seem to be unnecessary at first. But that first impression soon yields to the need to address a number of questions in the public mind that until today remain unanswered.
Partisan politics was all over the Senate “reinvestigation” of the January 25, 2015 Mamasapano incident in which 67 people—44 men of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF), at least 17 Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters, and six non-combatants—were killed.
The original Senate investigation into the incident was concluded last year with the release of a report that among others said that what happened at Mamasapano was “a massacre” and that President Benigno Aquino III broke the PNP chain of command by putting then suspended PNP Director General Alan Purisima in charge of an operation to arrest or kill suspected terrorist Zulkifli Abdhir, alias “Marwan.”
A Senate “reinvestigation” of the Mamasapano incident to coincide with its first anniversary on January 25 this year has been proposed by Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, who claims to have new information relevant to establishing what really happened.
But coming as it does on practically the eve of the May elections, the reinvestigation will be solely in furtherance of the political aims of the senators who’re running for either reelection or other posts this year. It is unlikely to yield different results, and would probably re-affirm the conclusion of the Senate committee on public order chaired by Senator (and presidential candidate) Grace Poe that the incident was, as popularly perceived, “a massacre.”