Police Deputy Director General Ager P Ontog Jr, Deputy Chief PNP for Operation/ Commander National Task Force SAFE 2013 gives out guidance regarding the deployment of PNP personnel in the field especially in areas vulnerable to attacks of lawless elements in response to the call for Secure and Fair Election (SAFE 2013).

Police Deputy Director General Ager P Ontog Jr, Deputy Chief PNP for Operation/ Commander National Task Force SAFE 2013 gives out guidance regarding the deployment of PNP personnel in the field especially in areas vulnerable to attacks of lawless elements in response to the call for Secure and Fair Election (SAFE 2013).

MANILA, Jan 28 (Mabuhay) – No one should be spared from liability in connection with last Sunday’s supposed misencounter between elite policemen and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Maguindanao, a neophyte senator said Wednesday.

People died, maraming namatay na kapulisan, hindi pwedeng mawala na lang yun. That has to be investigated and if there are charges that have to be filed, they have to be filed,” Senator Bam Aquino told reporters.

Asked if the liability could go as high as Malacañang, Aquino, cousin of President Benigno Aquino III, said, “Yes.”

At least 44 members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) were killed while 12 others were wounded in an encounter with MILF and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, a splinter group of MILF, in Mamasapano town last Sunday. They were supposed to arrest Zulkipli ‘Marwan’ Hir, one of the most wanted Jemaah Islamiyah leaders operating in Southeast Asia.

The leadership of the PNP claimed they were not aware of the operation.

Sen. Aquino said the Senate investigation will try to find out what really happened and the incidents that led to it.

The Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs will conduct a hearing on the matter on February 4.

Mahalagang imbestigahan natin [to] find out what really happened [at] managot yung dapat managot. We ask the difficult questions. Hindi katanggap tanggap na in the midst of peace process nangyari ang isang bagay na ganun,” he said.

BBL

However, the senator said the incident should not result to the derailment of the peace process and the junking of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law.

Magandang pag-usapan na muna kung ano ang nangyari. Imbestigahan, charge who needs to be charged, get to the bottom of things and then see paano mababago yung BBL because of that. I think yung hangarin natin na magkaroon ng kapayapaan hindi siguro dapat maantala sa nangyaring trahedya,” he said.

He said while truth on what happened is being pursued, the discussion on BBL should not stop.

“I just think that it is a gut reaction that we let go of the peace  process right after the tragedy happened,” he said.

Aquino added that the incident should instead be used to fine-tune the BBL.

I’m sure magkakaroon ng revisions or amendments sa BBL. Remember, we are still in the process of deliberation so yung porma ng BBL nagbabago pa yan. I think it is premature to just say wag na lang, but kung kinakailangan amyendahan yan o baguhin yan versus what happened then gawin natin yun. that is the process of legislation,” Aquino said.

Aquino, who is one of the co-authors of the BBL, said he has no plans of withdrawing his support on the proposed measure, unlike what Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and JV Ejercito did.

I can understand some of the senators nagkaroon ng apprehension, marami sa taumbayan nagkaroon ng apprehension. But ako hindi siya either or,  hindi ibig sabihin naitutulak mo ang BBL na  you will sweep this under the rug or hindi na papansinin,” he said.

“We need to attend to both and accountability needs to be there. Kung sino ang accountable dyan kailangan managot talaga sila because we also will not have a good legislation kung hindi natin ito tatalakayin nang maayos,” Aquino added. (MNS)