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Romualdez bloc dares Aquino to stop ‘restructuring the truth’

  • Written by Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 2759

THE House independent bloc challenged yesterday President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to stop “restructuring the truth” on Mamasapano carnage, stressing his latest narrative that he was fed “lies” by the text messages from resigned Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Alan Purisima was incomplete and unbelievable.
At the same time, the bloc hit the supposed marching order from President Aquino to pass the Malacañang version of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
House independent bloc leader and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Buhay Hayaang Yumabong (Buhay) party-list Rep. Lito Atienza and Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz said President Aquino should look for a new “scriptwriter” that would tell the whole truth.
“We are appealing to President Aquino and the rest of the key players in the ill-fated Mamasapano operation of the PNP-SAF (Special Action Force) to stop restructuring the truth and come out instead, once and for all, with the complete story in the interest of truth and transparency,” Romualdez stressed.
“As we remember our brave and gallant PNP- SAF 44 who sacrificed their lives exactly one month after the tragedy in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, the piecemeal revelation of the details and the twists and turns we see in the involved officials pronouncements as the days go by only add more confusion to the story than clarity,” said Romualdez.
President Aquino asked the estimated 30 lawmakers during Monday’s briefing in Malacañang that he was not only given inaccurate information, but was fed “lies” regarding the urgency to rescue government troops in the Mamasapano clash.
Atienza said their group is not for the ouster of President Aquino, but the people deserve to know the truth as they opposed plan to resume the hearings of 75-man ad hoc committee on the BBL on proposed law creating the Bangsamoro juridical entity.
“Under lies, lies and more lies, ngayon may kasalanan pala iyan (Purisima). Bakit nasa tabi pa ninyo, under clouds of dubious and doubtful statements,” said Atienza, adding that their group is supportive of peace also and support President Aquino to finish his term.
“We cannot, in conscience, talk peace to a group whose fighters killed 44 of our policemen peacekeepers on a legitimate mission without seeing anybody of them being held accountable for their cold-blooded act,” said Atienza, adding President Aquino should not force the passage of BBL.
De la Cruz said Malacañang should hire a good “scriptwriter” that can convince the people about the true story behind reinforcing SAF members who were caught in a fierce battle with the Moro rebels.
“Palitan na ang scriptwriter kasi hindi kapani-paniwala talaga,” said de la Cruz as he vowed to elevate the Mamasapano clash before the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
“We also want to appeal to President Aquino to make public the detailed explanation on his actions during the height of the Mamasapano incident which he gave to some of our colleagues in Malacañang last Monday night. If the President felt our colleagues had the right to know, the more do the people,” said de la Cruz, adding that the House of Representatives should not railroad the BBL.
Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, the chairman of the ad hoc committee on the BBL, denied that President Aquino ordered lawmakers during Monday’s briefing in Malacañang to pass their version submitted to the House of Representatives.
Rodriguez said President Aquino appealed to them to pass the BBL, but not to dilute much of its contents, saying there is no better alternative in pushing peace in Mindanao.
In a related development, 1-BAP party-list Rep. Silvestre Bello III, Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate, Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio and Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon urged the House leadership to resume its probe on the bloody January 25 Mamasapano incident to avoid covering up the truth.
“We should resume the House probe into the Mamasapano incident. Kaya magulo because everybody wants to ask questions in search for truth, walang tinatago unlike other investigations where some information should have been disclosed in an executive session,” Bello told reporters at a news conference.
“You cannot put roadblock to this. The Mamasapano debacle should serve as an additional reason to pursue peace talks because the reality is we have existing armed conflicts with the rebel groups,” Bello pointed out.
Zarate said the alleged effort of the House leadership to cover up the truth would not succeed.
Tinio also said the Mamasapano hearing should resume at the soonest possible time to allow all congressmen to provide input in finding the truth.
Ridon said it is “apparent” that there is an alleged ongoing cover-up operation to clear the President of any liability from the botched Mamasapano operation.
“From the changing script of Cabinet members to the attempts of his allies in both the Senate and the House to shield him from accountability, it is apparent that there is a massive cover-up plan that’s now being implemented,” Ridon said.