TACLOBAN CITY – Malacañang believes that lack of coordination is the culprit in the deaths of the six rookie police officers and wounding of nine others during the Samar “misencounter” on June 25.
“There’s lack of complete coordination as the President sees it. Though the result of investigation is not yet out, I don’t think there’s criminal intent here,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a press briefing Monday in Maasin City, Southern Leyte.
“I don’t think it’s our military’s intent to shoot their brothers in the Philippine National Police, but we will see if there are really lapses in coordination,” Roque said, when asked for comment that policemen’s families have expressed of losing hope in attaining justice for their loved ones.
Roque said President Rodrigo R. Duterte took full responsibility for the incident to put an end to the “blame game” surrounding the “misencounter” between 33 policemen and 17 soldiers at Sitio Lunoy, San Roque village, Sta. Rita, Samar.
“When it comes to justice, the President said that what is important here is to prevent a repeat of this tragic incident where government forces are fighting each other. The solution here is better coordination in every combat operations,” Roque added.
On the other hand, the Palace spokesman clarified that a proper investigation would still be conducted based on the President’s order. This is to make sure that the blunders committed during the operation would not be repeated.
Roque also assured families of the slain policemen that the government would provide them with all their needs while investigations are ongoing.
The President earlier declared he was taking the “ultimate blame” for the “misencounter” in Samar that left six policemen dead and nine others injured last week. He acknowledged that the tragic clash between the cops and soldiers was not intentional.
“You know, the Murphy’s Law operates the way it is. If things can go wrong, it will go wrong. And so I said to the police and soldiers, I am your commander and it’s all my fault. Let us forget the hurt. Allow the investigation to go on and let us see what develops in the future,” Duterte said during his speech Friday during the Sangyaw Festival in Tacloban.
The Board of Inquiry (BOI), which was formed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to probe the “misencounter” between cops and soldiers in Samar, will submit on Wednesday the result of its investigation to AFP Chief of Staff Carlito Galvez.
BOI chairman Lt. General Rafael Valencia, the Philippine Army’s inspector general, said on Sunday they are confident of completing the investigation report soon and send it to the AFP chief by Wednesday.
The investigation on the incident seeks to find out if coordination was done properly and if the information reached ground troops. (PNA)