Press Release
June 9, 2015


Challenges MILF to bring killers to justice

Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" R. Marcos, Jr. today asked President Benigno Aquino III to not only fire former Philippine National Police Chief Alan Purisima but also to file appropriate charges against him to bring justice to the 44 SAF (Special Action Force) commandos killed in the Mamasapano incident.

In a privilege speech Marcos noted that Purisima, one of the primary planners of the Mamasapano incident will return to active duty after serving the 6-month suspension the Ombudsman imposed against him on charges of graft.

"How in heaven's name can we even allow this man to remain as a Police Officer? Why can't we do the only decent thing of removing Purisima and hauling him to court for leading our SAF 44 to their graves?" Marcos said.

"Why is our President holding the PNP hostage to the whims and caprices of a few? Why doesn't our President heed the call of the people for the outright removal of Gen. Purisima from the service, and not just from his perch as PNP Chief?" he added.

Marcos said he is one of those who applauded the President when he went on live television on February 6 to announce he was accepting Purisima's resignation.

Eh, bakit ngayon ay naririyan pa siya?" Marcos said, adding that apparently, what's holding the President from appointing a permanent PNP chief is that there is a special plan for Purisima.

"I admire our President's fidelity to Gen. Purisima. I salute him and give him credit for standing by his man to show gratitude for his service and loyalty," Marcos said.

However, Marcos said the bloody Mamasapano incident and Gen. Purisima is not just an issue between friends but has become a larger issue for the entire Filipino nation.

"Napapanahon na, Mr. President, na mabigyan ng katarungan ang ating magigiting na SAF 44. Fire Purisima. Charge him in court for usurpation of authority or official functions, for violating the chain of command, for gross misconduct and negligence that needlessly cost the lives of our policemen, among other serious violations. Throw the book at him. Appoint a permanent PNP chief," Marcos said.

Marcos said there's nothing in the law that ties the hand of the President from appointing a new PNP Chief.

The senator said that apart from costing the lives of the 44 SAF commandos, the bungled operation in Mamasapano where Purisima played a large part also affected the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, meant to embody the government's peace pact with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Marcos urged the MILF to join the entire nation in the search for peace and renounce violence to demonstrate their sincerity in their peace talk with the Philippine government.

"I challenge the MILF to demonstrate their sincerity in achieving peace by helping our Department of Justice in the speedy investigation of the Mamasapano massacre. I challenge the MILF leadership to identify and bring the killers of our SAF 44 to justice. I challenge the MILF to demonstrate that they are our partners for peace by bowing to the force of reason rather than the reason of force," Marcos said.

Marcos also appealed to the MILF to make good on its promise not to resort to violence in the event Congress amends or revises the original BBL, noting that lawmakers are bound by the constitution.

However, he noted that the draft BBL violates numerous provisions in the constitution.

Likewise, Marcos said that when the BBL was drafted, no consultations were held with other important stakeholders, such as the MNLF, the Lumads, the Indigenous people, the Sultanates, the business sector, among others.

"My task, therefore, as Chairman of the Committee on Local Government is to ensure that our proposed law for the Bangsamoro is inclusive, and that all affected sectors of society are heard. Moreover, we have to ensure that the various provisions that run counter to our Constitution are rectified. It won't be easy. But it has to be done if want peace in our time," Marcos said.

He said he is willing to listen to the MILF and all those who have something relevant to say about the BBL to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao.

Marcos said he is readying a substitute bill to the draft BBL that he expects to submit when the Senate resumes session in July.

"As a Filipino, I do not want any more blood to be spilled between our soldiers and the MILF. We are all Filipinos. We should welcome the clash of ideas no matter how challenging they may be, in the spirit of brotherhood. We should embrace our disagreements as a demonstration of our commitment to an equitable and enduring peace; peace in Mindanao; peace in the land," Marcos said.

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