DAVAO: A PRIEST TO HEAD PROBE ON DAVAO BOMBINGS
DAVAO CITY, September 24, 2003 (STAR) By Edith Regalado - "Please pray for me."
These were the exact words of Fr. Peter Maniwang, vice vicar-general of the Sta. Ana Parish here after his appointment by President Arroyo as head of the five-man commission that would investigate the twin bombings that struck the city this year.
Maniwang told The STAR he needed God’s guidance in conducting the inquiry of the bombings that left 39 people dead and over 200 others wounded.
"The task is very important. We have to act properly," he said.
Maniwang, who was reportedly a former member of the Army‘s 45th Infantry Batallion before he became a priest, said he received the official communication regarding his appointment from Malacañang only last Monday.
He said his appointment was based on Administrative Order No. 84, which created the commission to investigate the alleged involvement of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the Davao bombings.
"We have not actually started anything yet. So I cannot say anything on how the body would work. But definitely, it would be a collegial body and I would not do things alone," he stressed.
Maniwang is set to convene the members of his commission, which include retired Regional Trial Court Judge Anita Alagaban, Mindanao Business Council chairman Joji Ilagan Bian, Office of the Muslim Affairs legal officer Naguib Sinarimbo and an unnamed representative from the Department of Justice.
Maniwang’s appointment was welcomed here by several sectors, which cited his credibility.
Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said he is hopeful that the five-man fact-finding commission would finally unmask the perpetrators of the terrorist bombings at the Davao International Airport on March 4 and the Sasa wharf on April 2.
The Senator said the creation of the commission is "better late than never." —With Jose Rodel Clapano
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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