By TRISHA MACAS
Showbiz personality Kris Aquino has asked President Rodrigo Duterte not to go after her brother, former President Benigno Aquino III, over the botched Mamasapano mission that led to the deaths of 44 police commandos more than two years ago.
"Si Kris nag-text. Sabi, 'Huwag mo namang ipakulong si Noynoy'," Duterte said in a speech on Monday afternoon.
The former President is facing homicide charges before the Ombudsman in connection with Oplan Exodus, a police operation on January 25, 2015 against terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir and Basit Usman in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
"No Kris. I am not out to find faults. I just want to know the truth," Duterte added.
In the same speech, Duterte said he was no longer going to push through with the creation of a commision that will investigate the Mamasapano incident.
The President said he would instead wait for the Office of the Ombudsman to finish its investigation.
"I am not going ahead with the creation of a commission because apparently the Ombudsman has said that it's still pending before them," Duterte said.
"I do not want to have a multiple incongruity especially if one finding fights with the other. So hintayin ko nalang," he added.
Duterte in January told the relatives of the fallen commandos in a dialogue in Malacañang in January that he would reopen the investigation of the Mamasapano incident.
Meanwhile, the Ombudsman has already filed graft and usurpation of public function charges against former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima and former PNP Special Action Force (SAF) director Getulio Napeñas Jr.
The Ombudsman is still in the middle of preliminary investigation proceedings in Aquino's case related to the Mamasapano incident.
Aquino was wide criticized for supposedly allowing his friend Purisima to oversee the police operation despite the latter being suspended for a graft case.
The police officers were blamed for failing to coordinate the operation with the Armed Forces and the rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the area.
The government and the MILF have signed a peace agreement months before the Mamasapano incident.
The SAF operatives, however, encountered MILF forces and other armed groups in the area after successfully killing Marwan in the operation.
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