Palace won’t urge Purisima to divulge testimony on Aquino’s role in clash
MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang is not set on urging resigned police chief Alan Purisima to divulge his private testimony on President Benigno Aquino III’s alleged role in the botched Mamasapano operation that left 44 Special Action Force (SAF) cops dead in a clash with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. on Thursday said it was up to suspended Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Purisima if he would make public his statement before a Senate executive session that Sen. Grace Poe believed would actually vindicate Aquino over the operation.
“Iyong pag-encourage sa kanya na magsabi ay sa kahuli-hulihan siya rin lang naman ang makakapagpasya diyan at inaasahan naman natin na gagawin niya ’yung nararapat at ’yung makakatulong sa buong bansa,” Coloma said.
Purisima before the congressional probe has refused to divulge exactly what time Aquino was informed of the debacle, invoking executive privilege. There were rife speculations that Aquino knew of the operation early on, with Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and police officer in charge Leonardo Espina kept in the dark.
Questions over Aquino’s accountability for the carnage stemmed from allegations that the President authorized the operation to Purisima despite his suspension from the PNP.
Poe, who chairs the Senate probe, has encouraged Purisima to make his private statements public to spare President Aquino from accountability.
Coloma said the Palace is leaving it up to the Senate whether or not Purisima should speak up about his private testimony.
“Doon sa mga binabanggit ni Senator Poe, iginagalang po natin siya bilang chairperson ng Senate committee at nasa kanila naman pong pagpapasya kung paano nila tutukuyin at kung paano ang assessment nila sa mga impormasyon na ibibigay sa kanila o ibinigay sa kanila ni General Purisima at ng iba pang mga resource persons na ipinagpaliwanag nila sa kanilang pagsisiyasat,” Coloma said.
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