Cayetano slams Poe’s ‘inconsistency’
Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano hit Senator Grace Poe on Friday for her continued refusal to inhibit from the Mamasapano hearing slated next week.
Poe chairs the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, which is set to reopen on January 27 its investigation on the Mamasapano incident that left 44 Special Action Force (SAF) men and several others dead on January 25, 2015.
“Sabi nga ni Senator Grace, hindi n’ya pina-inhibit ang mga justices sa SET (Senate Electoral Tribunal) noong naghe-hearing pa lang kasi wala pa silang decision. Pero once na nagdecision na ‘yung mga justices sa SET, hinihingi n’ya ngayon sa SC na huwag na kayong sumali kasi may decision na kayo,” Cayetano said in a press conference in Taguig on Friday.
(Like what she said, she did not ask the SET justices to inhibit from the hearing because they have not decided back then. But once they have made the decision, she asked them not to join the SC hearing because they have decided already.)
He was apparently referring to Poe’s lawyers petition at the Supreme Court, seeking the inhibition of the three justices— Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo de Castro and Arturo Brion, who voted at the SET in favor of a quo warranto petition, seeking to unseat Poe as senator.
Voting 5-4, however, the SET dismissed the case but the petitioner, Rizalito David, elevated the case before the high tribunal.
“It’s not about whether or not objective kayo, may decision na kayo e. Hindi ba ganun din naman sa kanya (Poe)? Pumirma na s’ya ng committee report na liable ang Presidente, so kung bubuksan mo ang hearing, meron na s’yang decision du’n e ‘di ba?” said Cayetano, who earlier called Poe and other colleagues running in May to inhibit from the reopening of the Mamasapano probe.
(It’s not about whether you are objective or not, but you have already made a decision. Isn’t that the same in Poe’s case? She already signed a committee report saying that the President is liable. Now, she’s leading the reopening of the probe, didn’t she make a decision already?)
Poe’s committee, along with the committees of peace, unification and reconciliation, and finance, had already come up with a report that found President Benigno Aquino III “ultimately responsible” for the Mamasapano incident.
But on Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile’s motion, the Senate decided to reopen the investigation.
“So that’s what I’ve been pointing out sa ating mamayan, mukhang yung Poe-Chiz tandem, may galing at puso pero inconsistent. ‘Pag sa iba, inhibit kayo, ‘pag kami okay. ‘Pag programa nila it will work, ‘pag program ng iba it won’t work,” Cayetano said.
(That’s what I have been pointing out to the people: that the tandem of Poe and Chiz has competence and heart, but it’s inconsistent. They ask others to inhibit, but they won’t inhibit. They think that their programs will work, but not the program of others.)
“So I’m very concerned about the hearing next week because we owe it to the SAF 44 to get to the bottom of the truth. We owe it to the whole PNP, and AFP na nagbuwis ng buhay nila (who sacrificed their lives)…We owe it to them na objective ang hearing,” he added.
Cayetano then reiterated his call for his colleagues, especially those running for president and vice president in May, to inhibit from the Mamasapano hearing.
“Allow me to make one last appeal sa mga kasamahan ko, na kung we want to honor the (SAF) 44, the PNP (Philippine National Police), AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), let’s make this hearing non-partisan…our presence there will affect this. Pabayaan na natin ‘yung mga hindi kandidatong president at vice na itutloy itong hearing na to,” he said.
(I appeal to my fellow candidates, that if we want to honor the SAF 44, the PNP and the AFP, let’s make this hearing non-partisan. Our presence there will affect this. Let us let those not running for president and vice president to continue this hearing.)
Cayetano earlier said that he would inhibit from Senate inquiries now that he is running for vice president in May. IDL
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