(Eagle News)–Liberal Party president Senator Kiko Pangilinan took to the defense of his partymates, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and former President Benigno Aquino III, after President Rodrigo Duterte called them out over the botched Mamasapano incident in 2015.
According to Pangilinan, “raising the matter anew is pure and simple politicking, and a means to shun important and pressing issues affecting the Filipinos such as poverty, lack of opportunities, indignation over China’s aggression, and corruption hounding many of the administration candidates.”
“If we act like a broken record, we will not be able to move forward and attend to the real issues at hand,” Pangilinan said.
He said in the first place, the “matter has been investigated by the Senate.”
He said “charges have been filed and the courts are now handling the matter.”
“Let’s allow the judicial processes to proceed and give the persons involved their day in court. That is where accountability is ultimately determined,” he said.
As for the public, he said they should “remain vigilant and not be misled by these diversionary tactics meant to confuse and keep voters from scrutinizing the administration’s failures and their candidates’ track records.”
In a speech in Batangas, Duterte accused Roxas of “wasting” the 44 lives of members of the Philippine National Police’s Special Action Force, questioning what he said was the then-Interior Secretary’s decision to send in the police instead of members of the military, who know the terrain, to Mamasapano.
Duterte also slammed Aquino for “asking stupid questions” during a crucial command conference, instead of giving orders to help the SAF, who had at that moment been trapped in a shootout with members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
Aquino had tasked his longtime aide, then-Philippine National Police Chief Alan Purisima, to head the operation aimed at arresting Malaysian terrorist Zulfikli Bin Hir.
Purisima was, however, suspended at that time due to corruption allegations.