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Senate closed-door divulgence may clear Aquino of Mamasapano blame–Trillanes

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 01:41 PM January 26, 2016
Senator Antonio Trillanes. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Senator Antonio Trillanes. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

President Benigno Aquino III would be cleared from any liability on the Mamasapano operation if the information given in closed-door hearings of the Senate would be released to the public, Senator Antonio “Sonny’ Trillanes IV said on Tuesday.

At the reopening of the Senate probe on the incident on Wednesday, Trillanes said he would move that the testimonies during the executive sessions conducted by the joint committees on public order; peace, unification and reconciliation; and finance, be made public.

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“Yes, I will make that motion tomorrow para makita yung picture talaga (so that the whole picture will be seen). We left it hanging e pero (but) as far as the senators are concerned, nakita namin, nabuo namin yung storya (we have seen and pieced together the story),” he said at a press conference.

Asked if it would change the story that was earlier presented in open hearings, the senator said: “Ibang-iba . Ibang iba ang makikita ng media at ng mga kababayan natin (Drastically different. What the media and our countrymen will see will be very different). Hindi nyo na iisipin na liable si President Aquino (you wouldn’t think that President [Benigno Aquino III] was liable). You won’t even consider that.”

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Senator Grace Poe, who led the investigation as head of the public order committee, earlier released a report that found Aquino “ultimately responsible” for the incident that left 44 Special Action Force (SAF) men and several others dead.

READ: Senate draft report: Aquino ‘ultimately responsible’ for Mamasapano mission

Asked then if President’s name would be cleared once the information from the executive sessions is made public, the senator answered in the affirmative.

“Definitely. Maliwanag yun (That’s certain),” Trillanes said. “Di ba tinatanong, bakit walang ginawa ang Presidente (Was it not asked, why is the President not doing anything)? E the thing is yun nga mismong mga SAF na nandoon walang ginawa (even the SAF troopers who were there did nothing). Bakit wala silang ginawa (Why didn’t they do anything)?”

“Ang sinabi noong isang enlisted man from the Philippine Army, hinihila nya yung mga SAF members, yung mga blocking force, na saklolohan yung SAF. Yung 55th SAF, ayaw nila dahil natatakot sila. That’s it . That solves the whole problem.”

“Kasi kung pumasok sila dun, di ba dapat ang storya nasaklolohan nila dapat yung mga kasamahan nila? Hindi ka na aakyat pa sa Army, hindi ka na pupunta sa Army , hindi ka na pupunta kay PNoy (Aquino’s nickname) lalo na kasi doon pa lang tapos na ang problema kung hindi natakot yung mga SAF na kasama nila,”said Trillanes, a former navy officer.

(The enlisted man from the Philippine Army who was mentioned before, he pulled the SAF members, the blocking force, to help the SAF. The 55th SAF, they refused because they were afraid. That’s it. That solves the problem.

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Because if they had entered there, wouldn’t the story have been that they had helped their comrades? You don’t have to go up to Army level, you don’t have to go up to [the President’s] level, precisely because the problem ended there if the SAF troops with them were not afraid.)

Asked then if the information from the closed-door meetings would contradict the committees’ report, Trillanes answered “definitely.”

When asked again why the committees had found Aquino liable if it was true that this was not the same story during the executive sessions, he pointed out that at that time the SAF as a group was being considered “heroes” and the senators were “influenced by external factors.”

“We treated General Napeñas as a hero tapos yung (and) SAF as a unit parang (seemed) untouchable so it’s politically difficult to touch them pero ngayon (but now), objective na lahat, humupa na yung emotion (everything’s objective, emotions have subsided), we can now dissect the issue and those circumstances objectively,” the senator added.

Napeñas is former SAF head Getulio Napeñas, who is now running for senator under the slate of Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Napeñas was among those invited in the reopening of the Senate probe on Wednesday, which was initiated by Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile. CDG

READ: Duterte, Valeroso ‘should voluntarily appear’ at new Mamasapano probe

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TAGS: Antonio Trillanes IV, Benigno Aquino III, Getulio Napeñas, investigation, Mamasapano, SAF 44, Senate
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