Two Senate leaders contradicted each other during a public hearing on Wednesday whether or not President Benigno Aquino III had intervened on the Mamasapano operation.
At the reopening of the Senate probe on the incident, Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile directly accused the President of dipping his hands in the police operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25, 2015 that resulted in the deaths of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) men and several other people.
“With the permission of the body, that’s alright, kung hindi makikiaalam yung president (if the President wouldn’t intervene). E sya ang nakilaam dito e… (He was the one who intervened here…)” Enrile said at one point while a resource person was being questioned.
Senate President Franklin Drilon immediately came to the defense of the President, saying no one has made any statement yet in the hearing that Aquino interfered in the said police operation.
“Just for the record, there’s nothing in the testimonies so far that the President made pakialam (any intervention)…” Drilon said.
“Because from the start, General Napeñas said plano ko ito, ako ang nag approve (this was my plan, I approved of it),” said the Senate leader, referring to former SAF Director Getulio Napeñas.
The reopening of the investigation was initiated by Enrile, saying he has evidence to prove that the President was “actively” and “directly” involved in the debacle. CDG
On January 25, 2015, 44 members of the Philippine National Police’s Special Action Force (SAF) were killed in the hunt for Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli Abdhir, aka “Marwan,” in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province. Their mission may have succeeded, but one year later families of the slain SAF44 and affected civilians today continue to seek justice from a government which allegedly broke chain of command and poorly handled the mission. Visit the INQUIRER tribute site at inquirer.net/mamasapano.
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