LUNA, La Union – Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said President Aquino should apologize to the families of the 44 slain Special Action Force (SAF) and give them all the benefits due to them as they are being remembered during the All Saints Day.
“The ultimate blame (on the death of SAF 44) lies down with the President. If that is the case, the conclusion that we come to is that the President will not only apologize but to give all the demand, all those that what they have promised to the surviving families and file charges to those involved in the massacre,” Bongbong said when asked if the President should apologize to the SAF 44 families.
Marcos visited here Thursday morning the tomb of PO3 Omar Nacionales, one of the slain SAF 44, and met with his family and relatives. Nacionales hailed from Marcos town in Ilocos Norte but grew with his relatives at Barangat Sto. Domingo Sur here.
Marcos said that the report of the Senate’s investigation on the Mamasapano incident disclosed that the Philippine National Police’s chain of command was broken when Aquino, dismissed PNP chief Alan Purisima and then SAF chief General Getulio Napeñas acted on the operation and did not involved then PNP officer-in-charge Leonardo Espina.
“He (Aquino) is the Commander-in-Chief and it seems that they have broken the PNP’s chain of command that’s why it (operation) caused problems. So if there is anybody responsible (for the problem) and I think those identified in the Senate report should be included (in the case),” Bongbong said.
Marcos also criticized the snail action of the government on the cases against suspects involved in the killing.
“There is already a report by the National Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice (DOJ) already identified the suspects. I just don’t know why there is no case filed yet. Justice delayed, justice denied. That’s why we have to remind them on the heroism of SAF 44,” he said.
DOJ has summoned 90 commanders and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and private armed groups who were tagged in the killing of the SAF 44 commandos pursuing international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, on Jan. 25.
In a subpoena earlier this week, the DOJ panel of prosecutors ordered the 90 to answer the charges of direct assault with murder and theft filed against them by a government fact-finding team last month. The 90 have not been named.
Prosecutor General Claro Arellano has set the preliminary investigation hearings on Nov. 11 and 27, both at 10 a.m. at the department’s executive lounge. JUN ELIAS/NorthboundPH