Palace: It’s up to the Senate panel whether to make public Purisima’s disclosures

By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, Feb. 19 (PNA) – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said on Thursday it is up to Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs whether to make public the disclosures of resigned Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Alan Purisima in an executive session last Tuesday.

”With regards to what Senator Grace Poe has said, we respect her as chairperson of the committee and it’s up to them how they would assess the information given to them by General Purisima,” Coloma said in a phone-patch interview with the Malacanang Press Corps.

Last Wednesday, Poe said the disclosures of Purisima during the Senate executive session on the Mamasapano incident may even favor President Benigno S. Aquino III.

”We will just wait for the report of the Senate regarding the results of their investigation,” Coloma said.

Coloma also said the Palace won’t stop Purisima from telling the truth behind the Mamasapano encounter that left 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos dead and 15 others wounded last January 25.

”We expect him to do what is proper that will help the country,” Coloma said.

Poe had said the senators who attended the executive sessions have agreed to release summaries of the testimonies of Purisima, two Mamasapano survivors and relieved SAF chief Getulio Napenas.

In the previous public hearing, Purisima said he had to seek clearance from the President when he was asked about the specific time that the President informed him about the Mamasapano incident.

The Senate will resume its inquiry into the bloody encounter between the SAF troopers and the combined combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

The deadly encounter took place while the 392-member SAF team was carrying out a mission to capture two high-profile terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, and Basit Usman, the BIFF commander. (PNA)