MAMASAPANO (Mabuhay) — The Philippine National Police Board of Inquiry may investigate allegations that a Special Action Force trooper killed defenseless Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters in a mosque on Jan. 25 but only as a “collateral issue.”
P/Dir. Benjamin Magalong, PNP BOI chair, said Tuesday that the primary purpose of the inspection of the clash site was to find out the factors that may have affected judgment calls made during Oplan Exodus, the SAF operation against two international terrorists in the area.
According to a Rappler report, a SAF trooper, possibly survivor Christopher Lalan, killed four MILF fighters and a civilian after the clash.
Magalong said he wanted to check on the story but that there was no way to get to the mosque and there were no guides to that area.
“Hindi naman natin puwedeng dalhin dito si Lalan,” he told reporters.
He added the BOI is not a prosecutorial body. “Our purpose is fact finding (on Oplan Exodus),” he said.
Forty-four SAF troopers died during the clash in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Jan. 25. The troopers figured in an hours-long gunfight with MILF and its splinter group, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
The troopers were then on a mission to arrest terrorists Zulkifli Bin Hir a.k.a. Marwan of Jemaah Islamiyah and Filipino bomb maker and Abu Sayyaf member Basit Usman. (MNS)