Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Not US, but DFA execs will be called to Mamasapano probe, says Poe

From InterAksyon (Feb 17): Not US, but DFA execs will be called to Mamasapano probe, says Poe

Officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), not the US Embassy in Manila, will be summoned to the next hearing on the Mamasapano incident to explain the country's commitments in the campaign against international terrorists, Senator Grace Poe said on Tuesday.

In an interview before the executive session began, Poe said “as much as the public needs to know the involvement of the US in the Mamasapano incident, the panel is just being careful not to taint the country’s relationship with other countries.”

Right now, she added, no one has moved to summon US officials, but there is a suggestion to call the DFA to explain what kind of agreements the country has entered into with regard to the interdiction of terrorists.

 The DFA officials "will be part of the next hearing," she added.

Poe stressed the senators are treading carefully, “for it involves also diplomatic relations. We want peaceful ties with countries; we want their cooperation to be able to help us secure ourselves as well. We’re not trying to make more enemies in this thing but we also have to be accountable.”

She insisted the panel is not trying to hide anything on the alleged US participation - a subject of speculation - but still wants to know the extent of foreign involvement. “But we are with you in wanting to know the extent of foreign involvement because if there’s nothing to hide, if there’s nothing wrong, then there’s no reason why we should hide the information. We’re just being careful on when we’re going to release and to what extent,” she explained.

Meanwhile, Poe said the panel will weigh issues of national security, justice and sovereignty in the Mamasapano incident, saying every issue is important.

 “There’s always that precarious balance of all and that we really have to weigh which one at the particular moment is called for,” Poe said

 “I’m sorry I cannot say categorically [whether] one is important over the other, because that will already [signal] our points of view with regard to this,” she added.


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