Palace respects Senate’s decision to revive discussions on Mamasapano incident

By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, Oct. 8 (PNA) — Malacanang on Thursday said it will respect the decision of the Senate to bring back to the floor the committee report on the Mamasapano incident investigation.

”We respect the autonomy of the Senate and it’s up to the decision of the senators,” said Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. in a press briefing.

During the last Senate session day on Wednesday, Senate minority leader Juan Ponce Enrile delivered a privilege speech where he called for full plenary debates on the committee report of the Mamasapano incident that killed 44 Special Action Force (SAF) troopers.

Senator Grace Poe, sponsor of the Senate committee report on the Mamasapano incident inquiry, agreed with Enrile’s move.

”I fully support the transparency call of Sen. Enrile. In fact, as I mentioned, we submitted this committee report already and we are waiting for the majority leader to schedule this for plenary debates,” Poe said.

The lady senator has conducted five public hearings and five executive session before filing her committee report signed by 21 senators on March 17.

Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano said he has no objection of scheduling the committee report for plenary debates when the Senate resume sessions in November.

Cayetano clarified that the Senate is not taking lightly the Mamasapano incident committee report.

Enrile was still in detention when the Senate conducted investigations on the bloody encounter involving combined forces of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and private armed groups.

The 91-year-old lawmaker is facing plunder charges in connection with the alleged Php10-billion pork barrel scam.

The SAF troopers were on a mission to neutralize Malaysian international terrorist Zulkifli Abdhir also known as “Marwan” and Filipino bomb expert Ahamad Akman Usman when the encounter took place on January 25 this year.

Last August 16, Enrile has been granted by the Supreme Court to post bail for his plunder case. (PNA)