All is quiet in Malacanang with on-going Mamasapano Senate hearing.
MANILA, Feb 11 — Malacanang on Tuesday declined to comment on the on-going Senate hearings regarding the Mamasapano incident.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said “it may be inappropriate to give comments at this time because the testimonies given by individual resource persons need to be understood in proper context.”
”It is also important to await the findings of the PNP-Board of Inquiry and other fact-finding bodies which are conducting similar inquiries,” he said.
Some sectors have raised questions on why President Benigno Aquino III allowed Philippine National Police chief General Alan Purisima, who was under suspension at that time to be part of the PNP’s Special Action Force (SAF) operation.
The SAF operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao was aimed at serving the warrants of arrest and capture Malaysian Zulkipli bin Hir, a.k.a. Marwan, and Filipino Abdul Basit Usman. Both bomb experts are linked with the terror group Jemaah Islamiya (JI) and being hunted by the United States.
Marwan has a $5 million bounty, was allegedly killed during the police operations in Mamasapano on Jan. 25, 2015.
However, 44 SAF members also died during the said operations after what the government said was a “misencounter” with members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Reports said the President discussed high-level, covert operations with Purisima in the Chief Executive’s official residence, Bahay Pangarap.
Coloma said it is normal for the President to receive visitors and conduct meetings at Bahay Pangarap.
He reiterated the President’s statement on Purisima’s involvement on the operation, that Purisima was then the head of the PNP and was the one who knew specific and confidential details about the operations since it was formulated in May 2014.
Earlier, Aquino said he was in direct contact with SAF chief police director Getulio Napeñas Jr. for the Mamasapano operation.