The Department of Justice (DOJ) will reopen the investigation of the January 2015 Mamasapano massacre to give the public a complete picture of why 44 Special Action Forces (SAF) troopers died in the botched mission to capture high-profile terrorists.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said among the main objectives of the reopening of the Mamasapano probe is to determine the extent of the US military’s role in “Oplan Exodus”, where the reward money went, and if the military was ordered to stand down, leaving the police commandos to the mercy of Moro rebels and bandits.
The DOJ’s move was prompted by remarks made by President Duterte on the Mamasapano carnage on Thursday when he addressed a Filipino-Chinese investment forum in Beijing, saying Filipinos still grieve for the the SAF 44.
“In the days ahead, I will order the opening of that issue again. Not really to prosecute people but just to know what happened? Who got the five million?” Mr. Duterte said.
He was referring to the $5-million reward offered by the United States for Malaysian terrorist and bomb maker Zulkifli Bin Hir, the main target of the SAF mission.
Duterte wanted to know whether a finger that was sliced off Marwan “was gotten by the Special Forces of the United States or was it really brought to the forensic division at Crame.”
“Let us go for the truth. Let it out. Never mind about corruption. Too late in the day,” said the President, who has blamed the mission’s failure to “greed.”
Aguirre said the results of separate investigations by the Police Board of Inquiry, the Commission on Human Rights and Congress were “sketchy” and left many questions hanging.
“Aside from the reward, there were many aspects of the probe that were not really answered,” said Aguirre.