Duterte: Let truth come out through Enrile probe
DAVAO CITY – “Let (Senator Juan Ponce) Enrile unravel the truth,” Mayor and presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday, when asked about the many questions still unanswered about the Mamasapano clash that claimed the lives of 44 Special Action Force commandos, 17 Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels and five civilians on Jan. 25, 2015.
The carnage, sparked by the failure of the Philippine government to coordinate with parties concerned, happened in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, following an operation to kill international terrorist, Zulkifli Bin Hir or Marwan.
“We have to arrive at the truth because, until now, all the results of those investigations remain convoluted,” said Duterte, who admitted he was in Zamboanga City, a day after the Mamasapano clash on Jan. 25, 2015, to campaign for federalism. He was invited by then Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas to sit inside a command conference.
“Unfortunately, di ko na alam ang nangyari (I really do not know what happened). Roxas was there all the time, but why he did not know, it is up for Enrile to unravel,” Duterte said.
“Kung walang lalabas na totoo, let Enrile investigate what he wants to discover. Ang military pati ang pulis, malapit kay Enrile, historically,” Duterte said, adding that he trusted Enrile’s capacity to unravel the truth.
But Duterte refused to talk about what transpired inside the command conference, saying that everything inside was confidential and “it will stay that way.”
“In fairness to Roxas and the President, wala akong masabi sa inyo, while I was inside the conference, can’t say what transpired in the press conference,” he told reporters late Monday afternoon.
Duterte said he could not see why the police, even if they were highly trained to combat urban terrorism, mounted the mission and not the 6th Infantry Division and 602nd Brigade of the Philippine Army, which were more knowledgeable about the area.
“There are so many loose ends, you just have to connect, I just pray that there was no malice (on the side of the President). I don’t attribute malice to the president at this stage, the riddle, why the police was there, which was the case, let’s wait for Enrile to unravel,” he said.
“The riddle was why the police was there, when there was the 6th ID, 602nd Brigade, why the police, na walang alam sa area, remains a puzzle,” Duterte said.
“In the sense that there was no reinforcement, not enough troops, it was the blocking force that was decimated, so that remains a question,” he added.
Duterte also said the administration could not rule out politics in raising the issue of Mamasapano because if the politicians allied to the administration would not talk, then their opponents would talk because they have been elected by the people in a democracy.
“You cannot erase that,” Duterte said, referring to the remark that the new Mamasapano investigation has been instigated by politicians opposed to the administration.
“If politicians in administration won’t talk about it, then you cannot get the truth because there is only one channel. If you want to cull the truth, you need the politicians to bring it up because the officials in this government are elected. Sino tatanungin ng press, the garbage collector (Who would the press ask? The garbage collector?” he asked. SFM
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