Duterte says CIA behind 2015 clash

Manila, Jan 24 (IANS) Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday accused the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of plotting the 2015 clash in the country which left 60 people dead, including 44 police officials.

According to Xinhua news agency, Duterte slammed former President Benigno Aquino for covering up details of the operation, which, he claimed, was “an operation of the (US intelligence agency) CIA”.

He was addressing the families and widows of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force personnel who were killed in the clash.

“Let it be brought out in the open. It was an American adventure with the cooperation of some with your blessing. You fed the young men to the lion’s den,” Xinhua quoted him as saying.

“Why was it under wraps and why did you hide that actually it was an operation of the CIA,” Duterte said.

An anti-terror operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in January, 2015 that resulted in the killing of 44 elite troopers.

Duterte ordered the setting up of a commission to investigate the so-called Mamasapano massacre to probe deeper into the carnage, including the involvement of the US in the operation.

The Philippine senate launched an investigation into the operation and revealed the alleged involvement of US soldiers in the vicinity of the village.

In the same speech, Duterte said that he has no plans to visit the US

“There will never be time that I will visit America. I swear. I swear,” he said.

At one point, Duterte slammed the Philippines’s long-time ally the US for the first time after President Donald Trump assumed office.

He also said US President Donald Trump supports his administration while his predecessor US President Barack Obama did not.

He said he did not attend the Trump’s inauguration because he was not invited anyway.

“I do not need them. It’s about time that we disabuse the colonial mind,” he said.