Press Release
September 16, 2015


Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero said he is supporting plans by Sen. Grace Poe to reopen the Senate investigation into the bloody January 25 Mamasapano encounter to determine how "new accounts" made public recently are relevant to the deaths of 44 members of the Special Action Force (SAF).

"I am for the reopening of the Mamasapano probe in the Senate so we can exhaust all possible scenarios and ferret out the truth behind the police operation that targeted an international terrorist and led to the death of our SAF troopers," Escudero said.

Escudero said reopening the Senate investigation is also a good way to settle the issue as to who really took down terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan, after the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) came up with its own version.

An MILF source claimed Marwan was actually murdered by his own aide, contrary to the publicly accepted account that he was killed by SAF troopers. This assertion drew violent reaction from the Philippine National Police (PNP).

"The MILF has its own version as to who took down Marwan. The PNP has its own version, too, that the SAF troopers killed Marwan," Escudero pointed out.

While it does not appear good in public that there is squabble between the PNP and the MILF, at the end of the day justice must be served, he said.

"Both camps are presenting opposing versions and pieces of evidence. Each has its own interpretation of the truth." Escudero said.

"Ngunit sa kabila ng awayang ito, dapat pa rin natin makuha ang buong kwento at katotohanan. Dapat mayroong hustisya. Kailangang may mapanagot para sa mga namatay," he added.

Poe, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, earlier said she was considering reopening the Mamasapano probe in light of President Benigno Aquino III's pronouncement that there may be an "alternative version" of what transpired during the encounter.

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