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Poe lists questions for PNP-SAF and MILF

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Grace Poe visited the remains of the fallen police Special Action Force (SAF) Friday night, January 30, ahead of the Senate probe she called on the Maguindanao bloodbath.

"We want to know who was directly responsible for this," Poe told Rappler in an interview after she left the multi-purpose hall in Camp Bagong Diwa, where the caskets were lined up for public viewing. (READ: Maguindanao bloodbath: Unanswered questions)

"It's devastating. When you look at their faces, when you look at their families, can you just imagine these are young men with a bright future ahead of them? It seems like they were really, really hit hard during battle. You can still see how deformed their faces are. It's just really disheartening. I can imagine that what they really want is justice to find out who should be responsible for this," she added.

The Senate committees on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs and Peace, Unification and Reconciliation will look into the incident on Wednesday, February 4.

Questions for PNP

Poe has questions for government officials and demands from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The bloody clash that erupted on January 25 threatened to endanger the peace talks with the Muslim rebel group that has observed the ceasefire for a long period of time. (READ: Inside story: SAF kept the military out of the loop)

"How was it coordinated? Or uncoordinated? We need to hear exactly from the leaders what their possible non-involvement or involvement are," Poe said.

"We'll also find out, hopefully, from the side of the MILF what their story is. Both of them (government and MILF) should be able to explain their involvement," Poe added.

Demands from MILF

Poe also demanded a number of things from the MILF:

"I think we should all show our sincerity in wanting peace to succeed. Because they always say you can't have peace without justice right?" Poe said.

Napeñas took the fall for whom?

In an exclusive interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirerrelieved SAF commander Police Director Getulio Napeñas Jr, took responsibility for the operation that they believe killed top Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist Zulkifly Abdhir or "Marwan." He is a member of the JI central command which carried out the 2002 Bali bombing, tagged as the 9/11 of Asia.

But Poe said this has to be investigated. "It's the culture of the PNP (Philippine National Police) and the military. They will take the fall. This is not just about taking the fall for each other. It's also to provide justice for everybody and then hopefully, it won't be repeated," Poe said.

Reports have tagged suspended PNP chief Alan Purisima as the one who gave the go-signal for the operation.

"We will find that out. Right now it's hearsay but I'm not surprised. It seems we really have to investigate further to see the involvement of others. But again we should not make rushed decisions or judgment. Sobriety should prevail especially because a lot is at stake," Poe added. – Rappler.com