Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Marcos sees reopening of Mamasapano probe to affect BBL passage

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 5): Marcos sees reopening of Mamasapano probe to affect BBL passage

Senator Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Tuesday the reopening of the Senate inquiry into the 2015 Mamasapano incident will affect the passage of the proposed Bangamoro Basic Law (BBL) if new issues will arise during the reinvestigation.

”I think it will affect if there is new information that will come out,” Marcos said in a media interview at the sideline of his visit in Barangay Commonwealth, Quezon City.

Last Monday, Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano announced that the Senate Committee on Rules has granted the request of Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile to reopen the bloody Mamasapano encounter between the elite Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Moro rebels in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Jan. 25 last year.

Enrile was in detention for plunder charges in connection with the pork barrel scam when the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs chaired by Senator Grace Poe conducted inquiries into the incident that left 44 SAF commandos dead.

The 91-year-old lawmaker got temporary freedom only last August and four months later, he moved to reinvestigate the incident to clarify what the government did during the 11-hour encounter.

Despite the reopening of the Mamasapano investigation, Marcos said the plenary debates on the BBL’s substitute bill, the Basic Law on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BLBAR), can proceed.

”We can continue our deliberations on the BLBAR,” Marcos said.

He said the reopening of the Mamasapano probe will provide justice to the families of the SAF commandos killed in the encounter that took place while the government forces were on a mission to arrest international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan. The bomb expert was killed in the operation.

”To give justice to the victims, we have to look back on what really happened, we have to know who should be charged and perhaps provide the Justice department with all the information so it can act swiftly on this,” Marcos said.

Meanwhile, Poe welcomed the decision of the Rules Committee to give go-signal for the additional hearings.

”It's good that the Rules Committee gave a go-signal that additional hearing/s can be called, in response to Minority Leader Enrile's request to call such, citing his personal information, and possibly new evidence,” Poe said in a press statement.

Poe said the reopening of the Mamasapano probe “will not affect or void our earlier findings.”

Poe set the additional hearing on Jan. 25 at the session hall of the Philippine Senate.


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