Cayetano to peace panel: I’m not lying, we have same intel sources
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Saturday pointed out that he and the government peace panels have the same sources of information on the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Cayetano said this after members of the peace panel criticized him for claiming that the MILF, which is pursuing the peace process with the Philippine government, protected international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, before he was killed by members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) last January 25.
“Ang nagbibigay sa akin niyan, pulis at militar, active at retired, at ‘yan ay nasa intel. Bakit hindi nila pinansin ang intel? (The ones who gave me that information are police and military, active and retired, that was in their intel reports. Why did they not pay attention to the intel?)
Cayetano said the peace panel, which he accused of siding with the MILF, was only trying to confuse the public.
“The most important question is, was I telling the truth? If I was lying and all the materials I presented were not true, the peace panel should have said it outright,” he added.
In an earlier interview with the Inquirer, peace negotiators Yasmin Busran-Lao and Senen Bacani said it was the responsibility of government intelligence agencies to validate Cayetano’s accusations against the MILF.
“All of that is factual,” the Senator said, pointing out that the emails he presented during his privilege speech at Congress were used by US prosecutors.
He also slammed the peace panel for saying that he was not active in the Senate hearings on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
He said he regularly sent his staff to the said hearings because of “numerous activities in the Senate.”
Cayetano said he signed as a co-author of the BBL “subject to the formulation of a Mindanao development plan,” believing in the promise of the MILF and the peace process.
However, with the Mamasapano debacle, he said the MILF must now “put down their arms and prove that they have truly turned their back on terrorism,” as well as join government forces in hunting down Marwan’s Filipino associate Basit Usman and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) founder Umbra Kato.
The MILF has denied that it had protected Marwan and that it was working with its breakaway group BIFF.
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