MANILA, Philippines – After President Benigno Aquino III insisted there is an “alternative version” of what happened during the Mamasapano encounter, Senator Grace Poe now said she is “considering” re-opening the probe.
“In light of President Aquino’s revelation the other day that he was pursuing a new lead in the Mamasapano debacle, we are considering re-opening the Mamasapano probe in the Senate,” Poe said in a text message on Thursday, September 10.
Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public order that previously conducted hearings, said she wants to listen to the supposed other version. After all, she said, she is all about finding the truth.
“I am interested to hear what this alternative version is all about and allow the men and officers involved to give their own assessments. Lahat tayo, kabilang ang mga naulila ng mga sundalo at iba pang sibilyan, ay iisa lang naman po ang gusto: ang buong katotohanan (All of us, including those left by the soldiers and other civilian, we only have one goal: the whole truth),” Poe said.
The senate committee on public order earlier released a report on the Mamasapano incident that killed 44 elite police forces. (READ: 20 senators sign the report on Mamasapano)
The report held the President “ultimately responsible" for the botched operation, disagreeing with Malacañang’s position that there is no chain of command in the Philippine National Police (PNP) because it is a civilian agency.
The report said the biggest mistake of the President was allowing his close friend, suspended police chief Director General Alan Purisima, to continue his participation in the SAF operation even as he served a suspension order over graft charges.
Aquino, in his meeting with the Inquirer on Tuesday, September 8, said they are “looking” for witnesses to uncover the “truth.” He added over 100 individuals would be indicted over the bloody encounter, contrary to earlier reports by the Senate and the PNP’s Board of Inquiry.
“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 said. – Rappler.com
Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email email@example.com