Recto: Prove new Marwan tale
SENATE President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on Sunday challenged those who are peddling a “revisionist” version of what happened during the Mamasapano massacre to come out with solid proof of their claims, since this could devalue the heroism of the 44 police commandos who were killed in the covert operation.
“If what they are alleging will be later proven false, the damage to their reputation will be irreparable. The people will find them guilty of character assassination of the dead,” Recto said, reacting to allegations that the international terrorist Zulkifli Bin Hir alias Marwan was killed by one of his aides and not by the Special Action Force commandos.
Recto said a video of the operations should be declassified and made available to the public now.
“If there is a GoPro footage that shows the SAF killed Marwan, then it should be revealed,” Recto said.
He said the other things that should be disclosed are all communication logs including audio recordings of communication between SAF and forward bases, footage and any recording if the operation was monitored in real time by a satellite or drone circling above, terminal ballistics reports to determine the type of weapons used as well as the military reports on the death of Marwan and the Filipino bomb expert Abdul Basit Usman.
“For those making accusations, they cannot just make accusations and then just say sorry if [the story is not] true. The people may not be forgiving of those who vilify the valor of those who gave up their lives for the country,” Recto said.
President Benigno Aquino III earlier disclosed there is an “alternative version of events that happened there, which is undergoing intense scrutiny.”
“We are looking for witnesses who will prove or disprove certain observations,” he added.
Executive Paquito Ochoa declined to answer queries from Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares about the supposed new leads mentioned by the President.
Senator Francis Escudero also sought evidence that would support this so-called alternate version.
He said it would be reckless to give the nation, especially the families of the victims of the Mamasapano incident, false hopes when nothing concrete to support the claim has been presented.
He added that details of the supposed alternate version must be revealed to dispel any speculations.
Senator Grace Poe earlier said she is considering reopening the Senate inquiry into the Mamasapano massacre in light of the President’s remarks.
Poe, chairman of the Senate committee on public order and illegal drugs, has already submitted her committee report on the incident to the Office of the Ombudsman.
The Palace on Sunday said President Aquino wants “the complete truth” about the Jan. 25 Mamasapano masscre to be revealed.
“It is the President himself who clearly said it during a forum,” said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. in an interview over state-run dzRB.
Malacañang had earlier confirmed that Filipino bomb-maker Basit Usman, the target of a massive government dragnet since the Jan. 25 Mamasapano mission, is dead.
Police Director Benjamin Magalong said two Moro leaders, including a member of MILF’s side in the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities, confirmed Usman’s death. With Sandy Araneta