Press Release
February 2, 2015

Transcript of Ambush Interview with Senate President Franklin M. Drilon

Q: On the call for a Truth Commission to deal with the Mamasapano incident

SPFMD: We will support any process that will uncover the truth in the Mamasapano incident. Having said that, at this point we will see which process is most effective. There are already effectively three ongoing hearings on the Bangsamoro issues, one is the one that will be conducted by Grace Poe. There were two resolutions on that, and they were referred to the committee of Grace Poe.

There are the two ongoing hearings on the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which will inevitably touch upon this issue. In fact, Sen. Bongbong Marcos had expressed the view that he wants to know what exactly happened before he resumed hearings. The commission will be another process.

As I have said, I support the process to find out the truth. But let us not have so many inquiries. The establishment of a commission could be one of the recommendations of the Committee on Public Order. I repeat, I support the process of finding out the truth, so justice will be done. The first premise is that kailangan natin malamn kung ano ang nangyari.

Q: On President Aquino's possible liability for the Mamasapano event

SPFMD: What we are interested here is kung ano ba talaga ang nangyari dito. I do not agree that President Aquino has incurred any liability on the principle of command responsibility under international law. Under the Rome Statute, command responsibility will apply if the superior, knowing his subordinates will commit a crime, fails to stop the commission of the crime, or knowing that his subordinates committed a crime, but fails to punish them.

In this particular case, the Special Action Force of the PNP was there to serve a warrant of arrest, not to commit any crime, so the principle of command responsibility does not apply. The command responsibility has no application with President Aquino under the Rome Statutes. It does not provide any basis for any charges in the International Criminal Court.

Q: Even under Philippine law?

SPFMD: Even under Philippine laws. There is no such application. There is no war going on. This is an enforcement of the processes of our laws.

Q: Your take on suspended PNP Chief Alan Purisima calling the shots on that operation with SAF Director Napeñas? Napeñas said he was getting instructions from Purisima.

SPFMD: Totally improper. Totally improper for Purisima to give instructions if that is what happened. He is suspended. He should not be doing that.

Q: Ano po ang magiging impact on that suspension?

SPFMD: I would not know. But certainly the suspension clearly calls from him to inhibit himself from official activities. And it is totally improper for him if that is true, if he was giving directions.

Q: May legal liability po ba iyon? For a suspended officer to do that?

SPFMD: I haven't studied that. But certainly, Purisima was wrong in giving instructions if that is the case.

Q: Pinayagan daw po siya ni Presidente Aquino.

SPFMD: I don't think that there is any evidence na pinayagan siya ng Presidente.

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