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PNoy deposition not enough — Romualdez

  • Written by Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 2789

HOUSE Independent Bloc leader and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said yesterday the proposed deposition for President Benigno Aquino III on the House Mamasapano probe would not be enough to answer all questions about the bloody incident.
   
While the separation of powers exists, Romualdez said only the appearance of President Aquino in a congressional investigation will help lessen public uproar over his not telling the whole truth behind the incident.
   
“President Aquino can show that he is sincere by appearing before a congressional probe so that the gap in the circumstances behind the incident can be answered. The public wants the complete picture of the incident,” Romualdez stressed.
   
“A deposition is incomplete and insufficient because this may not cover all the issues to be raised during the hearing,” said Romualdez.
   
In a related development, Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte, Jr. said yesterday he will call a leaders’ caucus to discuss the possibility of President Aquino sending a written or video deposition to the House joint probe on the Mamasapano carnage.
   
Belmonte, vice chairman of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), said the deposition is a better alternative so that President Aquino can present his side on the circumstances in the Mamasapano operation that resulted to the deaths of 44 members of the Special Action Force (SAF).
   
He reiterated his rejection of the proposal to invite President Aquino during the resumption of the investigation on Monday and Tuesday next week.
   
“That’s an idea (deposition) to consider. We are against inviting him (President Aquino) in the hearing because of the principle of separation of powers,” Belmonte explained.
   
“I will take it up with other House leaders in a caucus before the resumption of the probe,” Belmonte said.
   
The House Committee on Public Order and Safety and House Committee on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity, chaired by Negros Occidental Rep. Jeffrey Ferrer and Basilan Rep. Jim Hataman, respectively, will resume its Mamasapano investigation on April 7 and 8.National Police), and substantially they already have given us the significant data,” said Hataman.

Nothing new
   
Some senators see nothing new in the statement made by President Aquino in defending himself on the Mamasapano massacre.
    
Sen. Bongbong Marcos said that the latest defense of the President still passes the blame to others.
    
“(There is) nothing new there. (Aquino) still says it’s everybody’s fault  but  his own,” said Marcos in a text message.
    
He added that the people will despair of ever learning the whole truth.
    
An administration ally, Sen. Chiz Escudero said he has not yet read Aquino’s latest statements but said that based on what he heard,  it was  just  an “amplification” of what  he had already said about his knowledge in the operation.
    
However, Escudero believes that in the coming days, the President will continue to issue statements  to explain what really happened that time.
    
Asked  if it was sufficient to satisfy those calling for  Aquino to say sorry for the  botched operation,  the senator said: “Papunta  na yata dun sa tingin ko. Pagkakataon na lang siguro para mapakinggan sya ng ating mga kababayan. Sana huwag  isara ng ating kababayan  yung kanilang isip kaugnay sa mga  salitang binibitiwan or bibitiwan ni Pangulong  Aquino.”
    
Escudero chairs the Senate Committee on Finance, one of three committees that investigated the Mamasapano operation.
    
He  reiterated  that an apology  should be given  voluntarily  and should not be imposed on  anyone.
    
Aquino , over the weekend, said that  his   fault  in the  botched Mamasapano operation that left 44 elite policemen dead was that  he  trusted certain people, apparently  referring to resigned Philippine National Police Chief  Dir. Gen. Alan Purisima, and sacked Special Action  Force  head, Director  Getulio Napeñas.
    
But Acting  Minority Leader Sen. Tito Sotto said that the mistakes of Purisima and  Napeñas  are forgone conclusions as manifested  by the President.
 
“What we should focus on also is what transpired from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m? Why was there no help?”  Sotto said in a separate text message, referring to that fateful day of January 25.

With Marlon Purificacion