Honasan: 'Chain of command vital in Mamasapano Senate probe'

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Gringo Honasan insisted a chain of command exists and it is not just a concept, but an institution.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Senator Gringo Honasan wanted one topic to be addressed when the Senate reopens its probe on the Mamasapano encounter on January 27: the chain of command.

Honasan, vice chairman of the committee on public order and safety, said there's a need to clarify the scope, authority, and accountability of the officials involved in the chain of command.

It's been almost a year since 44 Special Action Force (SAF) Commandos died in a bloody encounter with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and other rebels in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

The Aquino government has repeatedly stated there is no chain of command in the police force.

But Honasan disagreed, insisting a chain of command exists and it is not just a concept, but an institution.

Honasan, who was soldier for over 17 years, said the chain of command is important. When it fails, he stresses, the consequences are grave.

On Monday (January 18), Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, who moved for the reopening of the case, said he has evidence proving that President Benigno Aquino III was directly involved in the planning of Oplan Exodus. He accused the president of doing nothing to save the SAF commandos during the horrendous encounter.

Honasan clarified that although it's not the Senate's duty to pinpoint culpability, the chamber should identify laws that should be amended, repealed, or passed to ensure the safety of men in uniform.