Mamasapano under ‘siege’ again
“THERE’S an alternative version of the events in the Mamasapano incident,” the President told a shocked audience during a private media forum fortnight ago.
The curt announcement left everybody falling from his seat. Almost promptly, and expectedly, the public was in the mood of engaging in wild speculation – did the 44 SAF fighters shoot themselves to death, or the target, wanted bomber Marwan, commit suicide?
“The only truth on the Mamasapano is Marwan was killed by his bodyguards,” volunteered chief MILF negotiator Mohagher Iqbal a few days after the revelation by the Chief Executive. If so, the public wanted to know whether the close-in aides had earlier became police assets.
“SAF commandos killed Marwan,” if the police officials were to go by the findings of the board of inquiry of the Philippine National Police.
“Same here,” if probers of the Senate Committee on Public Order which conducted a series of public hearing were to join in the altercation.
Now the public has become more perplexed after the January 25 tragedy that saw 44 Special Force commandos and some MILF fighters die in that Maguindanao botched operation.
Who will the people believe as the one that is telling the truth?
The presidential disclosure two weeks ago was just as bizarre as some of the episodes uncovered during the Senate hearing, the PNP Board of Inquiry report and newspaper accounts.
Further, what could be more presumed doubtful than the findings of the MILF investigation that we have not seen.
Flashback – The President’s socalled “alternative version,” it appears, was essentially based on the photograph of an ostensibly lifeless Marwan inside a hut that served as his living quarters.
Obviously, the bullet holes inside the hut, the wounds of Marwan and his pool of blood invited quizzical posers. “Those must be resolved,” he said. And clarified, I might add.
But the MILF chief negotiator insisted, “Marwan was killed by his security aide.” And his bombshell remark: “He was already dead when the SAF arrived in his hut.” These are parts of his statement to media on September 12.
Here’s why he believed Marwan’s aide finished off the Malaysian bomb expert, as mentioned in the group’s own investigation a copy of which was furnished the government:
“There were few bullet holes in the wanted man’s hut. The trajectory of the bullets indicated the fatal shot did not come from shots fired outside his dwelling, as the holes were roughly 146 centimeters above the floor,” the MILF report was said to reveal.
“So the shot that killed him must have been fired at close range, while Marwan was lying on the floor.” it continued.
The PNP board of inquiry report: Director Benjamin Magalong, former CIDG chief, who headed the board is standing by the police documents compiled and submitted to some appropriate government agencies.
He insisted SAF commandos killed Marwan inside his hut.
The board did not receive any evidence from the MILF that would support its claim. Anybody can simply generate claims, allegations or false information, and make them appear to be true, Magalong said.
He furthermore noted that the MILF never mentioned its findings at the Senate and House inquiries. Its allegation was an insult to the PNP’s credibility.
Recall that the BBL was being considered and evaluated in separate committee hearings in the Senate and the House when the tragedy struck. The armed skirmish imperiled the prospects of the proposed measure from being enacted into law.
Not a few expressed their dismay. They doubted the sincerity of the MILF in standing by their apparently docile pledges before and after the incident. The repulsive event somehow gave propriety to the remark, “We told you so,” that became widespread.
And as an old trite expression among theatrical critics goes, “the plot thickens.”