Aquino can cooperate in Mamasapano probe even by just sending letter–Poe
MANILA, Philippines — Even a letter from President Benigno Aquino III explaining his involvement in the Mamasapano operation may help the Senate “put the pieces together,” Senator Grace Poe said on Friday.
Poe, who is leading the Senate investigation on the Mamasapano incident, issued the statement when sought to react to the President’s reported own admission that relieved Special Action Force Director Getulio Napeñas informed him about the operation as early as 7:00 a.m of January 25, the day that 44 elite policemen of the Special Action Force were killed while serving warrants of arrest on two suspected terrorists in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
The President reportedly admitted this to some families of the fallen policemen during his unscheduled visit at the national headquarters of the Philippine National Police in Camp Crame Wednesday night.
“Nagsabi na ang Malakanyang na maglalabas ng pahayag si PNoy (Aquino’s nickname) tungkol sa mga pangyayari. Magandang hakbang kung gayon na ihinayag na mismo ni Presidente sa mga kaanak na naabisuhan na sya ni Dir. Napeñas ng maaga pa lamang,” Poe told reporters in a text message.
(Malacañang has already stated that Aquino will come up with a statement detailing the events. It was a good step then for the President that he already told the kin (of the SAF 44) that he had been advised by Dir. Napeñas early on.)
Asked then if there was no longer need for the Senate to get the President’s side on the issue, the lady senator said: “Of course any additional information even a letter from the President on his involvement may help us put the pieces together.”
On Monday, Poe’s committee on public order, joint with committees on peace, unification, and reconciliation, and finance, will resume its public hearing on the Mamasapano incident.
Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., meanwhile, wants the President to again face the public and address all the questions raised about his involvement in the botched police operation.
“Dapat mag statement siya sa bansa (He should address the country again). We are in crisis and the President must demonstrate leadership. Disappearing from public view is the opposite of leadership,” Marcos said in a separate text message.
The senator specifically wants to see the exchange of text messages between Aquino and Napeñas when the latter inform the President about the operation.
“Maganda sana makita ang mga text na ‘yun. Kung nag-order nga ng reinforcements, bakit walang dumating? Anong nangyari? Hinde nasundan ang order ng President? Kung alam ng Pangulo na may casualty na ang SAF, bakit hinde niya tinawagan ang MILF para matigil ang putokan at nailigtas ang mga pulis natin?” he asked.
(It will be good for us to see the text exchange. If reinforcements were ordered, why didn’t anyone come? What happened? No one followed the President’s order? If the President already knew that there were casualties from SAF, why didn’t call the MILF and order ceasefire so our cops would have been rescued?)
Marcos though recognized that the text messages were covered by the executive privilege, which could not be made public until the President waives the said privilege.
“Oo,covered ‘yun. Pero pwedeng i-waive ng Presidente ang executive privilege in the interest of honesty and to answer the demand of the people for the truth,” he further said.
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