MANILA (Mabuhay) – Philippine National Police officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina on Wednesday reminded the members of the Board of Inquiry investigating the bloody Jan. 25 Mamasapano clash to stay true to the fact, and not be swayed by pressure.
In an interview with reporters, Espina said the BOI, as a fact-finding team, should remain “factual, objective, at walang kasinungalingan” in their report on the clash in Mamasapano town, Maguindanao, where 67 people including 44 Special Action Force commandos, 18 MILF fighters, and five civilians were killed.
“Sinabi ko na I want this to be factual, huwag magpa-pressure,” he said. “Sabi ko walang labis o walang kulang.”
“Fact-finding iyon, it should devoid of emotions,” he added.
He also said the members of the BOI may use his name for protection from any pressure and threats.
“Gamitin nila pangalan ko,” he said.
He said the public should wait for the actual release of the report before making any whitewash assumptions.
However, he admits that he is expecting that there would be some who will not be satisfied with the results.
“Panigurong hindi naman lahat makukuntento nito,” he said.
On Tuesday, PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr. assured that the BOI will not be swayed in its report by President Benigno Aquino III’s speech on Monday against relieved Special Action Force chief Director Getulio Napeñas Jr.
“There is no setting of influence,” he said, adding that members of the team will not allow their credibility be tainted.
“Mayroon nalang 1 to 2 years si Gen. Magalong sa serbisyo, do you think he will sacrifice his credibility, na sirain ang ilang dekada niyang binuong reputasyon?” Cerbo noted. “Nasa finish line na siya.”
Ahead of the release of the BOI report, Aquino on Monday said Napeñas fooled him on the operation, which led to the deaths of 67 people including 44 SAF commandos, 18 MILF fighters, and five civilians.
Meanwhile, asked if the report will be released to the public, Espina said it will be up to the BOI or higher officials.
“Wala akong karapatang i-release sa public, hands-off ako doon, sa BOI ‘yon,” he explained.
But he said he would personally want this to be released.
“Depende sa higher ups. Pero fact-finding ‘yan so for me personally, everybody should be informed. So everyone would know the facts,” he added.
He also explained that “for the purpose of passing through the chain of command,” it will be passed to him before submitting to Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, then to President Benigno Aquino III.
He, however, stressed that he will not be changing anything on the report. (MNS)