FORMER President Benigno Aquino III said Friday he was ready to face the revival of the Mamasapano case that left 44 police commandos dead and derailed the peace negotiations with the Moro rebels.
“For me there’s no problem. If they want to investigate, why not?” Aquino said in a chance interview at the Thai Embassy after signing the Book of Condolences for the passing of the Thai King.
Aquino made his statement after his successor, President Rodrigo Duterte, said he wanted to find where the $5-million reward for the tipsters who helped security forces track down high-profile terrorists had gone.
“In the days ahead I will order the opening of that issue again. Not really to prosecute people but just to know what happened,” Duterte said in Beijing.
He likewise questioned details of the Mamasapano operation, which was kept secret even to some Cabinet and police officials.
“[Was] the tip of the finger of [wanted terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias] Marwan [taken] by the Special Forces of the United States or was it really brought to the forensic division in [Camp] Crame?” Duterte said.
“These are the lies that are imposed upon the people, which is not good. Let us go for the truth. Let it out. Never mind corruption. Too late in the day.”
While insisting that the case was already a “case closed,” Aquino said he was ready to face any possible probe in the future.
The 44 commandos of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force were killed in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, following an anti-terror operation in January 2015 to go after high-profile terrorist Marwan.
During the presidential campaign, Duterte claimed that he was with Aquino and losing presidential aspirant Manuel Roxas II in Zamboanga City when the incident happened.
Former SAF chief Getulio Napeñas maintains that it was Aquino who ordered the ill-fated mission.