‘Explain SAF 44 case, De Lima’

FORMER Justice secretary Leila de Lima should come out and explain to the public why it has taken more than a year to investigate the Mamasapano incident after acting Justice Secretary Emmanuel Caparas refused to talk about the status of the case, non-government organizations demanded.

Arsenio Antiporda, spokesman of the Balikatan People's Alliance, pointed out that De Lima was justice secretary when the massacre happened and much of the work was done under her supervision.

"She ordered two investigations into the massacre. Complaints were eventually filed before the Justice department but there has been no update even after De Lima stepped down [as Justice secretary]," Antiporda said.

"Therefore, she knows a lot of the investigation results. So with the current Justice secretary refusing to even talk about the case now, it's only De Lima who can enlighten the people on the findings of the probe," Antiporda said.

Antiporda emphasized that "had the SAF 44 not killed Malaysian terrorist Julkifli Abdhir, alias Marwan, God knows how many innocent people would have died from the bombs he could have made.

"The heroism of the SAF 44 deserves nothing less than the truth, and swift justice. More than a year is way too long for the truth. The people have all the right to know what's going on with the case," he added.

"If Ms. De Lima, and the government for that matter, has nothing to hide, then there should be no problem for her or anyone else to report to the people what has been established or uncovered on the massacre," Antiporda said.

Since De Lima is running for senator on a platform of law and justice, Antiporda said coming out with what she knows on the results of the Mamasapano massacre probe would be a good example of her sincerity.

"If she will not say anything, then it would be difficult for anyone to believe that she is for justice and truth in her quest for a Senate seat," Antiporda added.

Last month, the Ombudsman found probable cause to file usurpation of authority and graft charges against former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima and former Special Action Force director Getulio NapeAas over the Mamasapano clash.

They were charged with violating Section 3(a) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Purisima and NapeAas were also found liable for grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

Investigation showed that the two former police officers coordinated a top level meeting with officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines for Oplan Exodus despite Purisima's preventive suspension.

Records revealed that Purisima tasked the SAF to conceptualize the operation to arrest Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, and ordered NapeAas to brief President Benigno Aquino III regarding the operation.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales ruled that "during the period of Purisima's suspension, he had no authority to perform the duties and functions, much less supervise and/or participate in the conceptualization, mission planning, and execution of a high risk police operation."

Source: thestandard