House probe on Mamasapano clash to resume in April

House probe on Mamasapano clash to resume in April

MANILA, Philippines - The House of Representatives will resume its probe on the Mamasapano clash during the Holy Week break in April instead of May.

Basilan Representative Jim Hataman-Salliman, chair of the peace, reconciliation and unity committee, said the probe had been set to continue on April 7 to 8 or during Congress' Holy Week break.

"There is an agreement in principle with the House leadership… that we are going to resume on that date," Salliman said.

Negros Occidental Representative Jeffrey Ferrer, who chairs the public order and safety, earlier said the investigation would resume in May.

The House probe on the bloody incident in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, on a Jan. 25 was suspended supposedly due to the then-ongoing investigations by the Senate and the police Board of Inquiry (BOI).

The probe was set to resume after the Senate and BOI released their reports on the incident where 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos, 18 Moro fighters and five civilians were killed.

The new schedule prompted the resetting of the executive hearings of the ad hoc committee on the Bangsamoro basic bill, said Cagayan De Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez, who heads the body.

Rodriguez said the executive sessions would be held from April 6 to April 20.

The hearings on the Bangsamoro bill, which seeks to implement the peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), were suspended after the involvement of the MILF in the incident, which a Senate draft report has branded as a "massacre."

Congressional support for the bill has likewise waned following the deadly encounter.

Rodriguez said the executive sessions would run until April 30, after which the committee aims to approve the bill on May 11 to 12 when Congress resumes.

Congress seeks to pass the Bangsamoro bill in June so that the President can sign it on June 30.


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