Probe reopening may tackle ‘alternative version’ of Mamasapano clash–Poe
The Senate’s reopening of the Mamasapano investigation might also tackle the so-called “alternative version” to the deadly police operation last January 25, 2015 that left 44 elite policemen and several moro rebels dead, Senator Grace Poe said on Friday.
The “alternative version” was brought up by President Benigno Aquino III during an Inquirer forum in September last year.
“Do I have closure? I still have quite a number of questions, and there are various agencies of government tasked to ferret out the truth of exactly what happened in its entirety. There is an alternative version of events that happened there, which is undergoing very intense scrutiny. We are looking for witnesses that will prove or disprove certain observations,” Aquino was quoted as saying.
Poe, who leads the Mamasapano probe as chair of the Senate committee on public order, said the issue could be raised when the hearing resumes on January 25, exactly a year after the debacle. It was Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile who proposed the reopening of the Mamasapano investigation.
“Maaring matanong din natin sila ukol dyan sapagkat mismong ang Pangulo na nga ang nagbanggit, at sa tignin ko ito naman ay isang importanteng bagay na dapat nating matalakay,” Poe, who leads the Mamasapano probe as chair of the Senate committee on public order, said in an interview over DZMM.
“Patay na nga ba sya noong pumsok ang mga police..? Yun ang isang dapat nating tanungin,” she said.
(We may also ask them about that since it was the President himself who mentioned it, and I thinkit is also an important matter that we must tackle.
Was he, in fact, already dead when the police entered the scene…?) That’s another question we must ask.)
The senator was apparently referring to Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias “Marwan,” who was supposedly killed by the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) men during the operation. But the Moro Islamic Liberation Front reportedly claimed otherwise, saying Marwan was killed by his own aides.
Meanwhile, Poe chided former SAF chief Getulio Napeñas for claiming that he has also new testimonies to make when the Senate reopens its probe.
“Parang nadidinig ko si Mr. Napeñas na may sinasabi na may sasabihin din syang bago, ang tanong ko lang po dito e bakit ngayon lang nya sasabihin samantalang binigyan nga namin sya ng pagkakataon, ng executive session, hindi nya siniwalat yun,” the senator said.
“Ayaw natin kasi na gawing political agenda lamang ito maski na sino, opposition or administration bibigyan natin ng pagkakataon pero pag ikaw ay nagtago ng ebidensya noon pa man at ngayon mo lang sinabi at nakaapekto ito sa kalidad ng committee report, e meron ka talagang pagkakasala dyan,” she said.
(I heard that Mr. Napeñas said that he had something new to say, my question here is why would he only divulge this now when we, the executive session, had given him a chance to expose that.
We don’t want this to be used as political agenda by anyone, whether by the opposition or by the administration, we will give them a chance but if you were hiding evidence ever since and were only to expose it now, that would also affect the quality of the committee report, and you would have a violation there.)
Poe also refuted Napeñas’ claim that there were questions that were not asked of him during the previous hearings.
“Sa tingin ko, sa dami namin dun natanong ang lahat ng dapat matanong sa kanya, pero alam nyo po ang mga mismong nagtatago kasi talagang gagawa at gagawa ng paraan yan para hindi isiwalat ang katotohanan. ‘Yun po, tatanungin po sa kanya din dun, bakit hindi nya nabanggit kung meron man,” she further said.
(I think, with the sheer number of us there, all the necessary questions had already been asked of him, but you would know that someone who is deliberately hiding information would find ways just to conceal the truth. That, too, would be asked of him there, why he did not mention it [evidence] if there had been any.) CDG
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