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SAF 44 kin seek closure amid calls to reopen Mamasapano probe

FILE PHOTO: Senator Grace Poe

MANILA, July 17 — Sen. Grace Poe on Monday said that she saw the need to reopen the Senate probe into the 2015 Mamasapano clash noting that the families of victims were looking for closure.

“Narinig ko rin yung sinabing apila ng isang byuda ng Mamasapano, malaking bagay rin ang pag-usad ng kaso (I heard what a widow said about the case advancing being a big deal for her),” Poe said in a radio interview.

“…Pag meron talagang pagtulak mula sa ating pangulo, siguro dapat ipaalala ang paghilom ng ating bayan ay napakahalaga dito sa usaping ito kaya dapat unahin din ang kaso at tapusin na agad (If there is really a push from our President [Rodrigo Duterte] then we should remember that the healing of our country is a very important issue that is why it should be prioritized and completed),” she added.

Last year, it was Pres. Duterte who first expressed interest in reopening the probe to know what really happened.

Poe also welcomed the decision of the Ombudsman to recommend the filing of charges against former Pres. Benigno Aquino III and other key officials.

“Mabuti na meron na ring kaso ang Ombudsman na isasampa sapagkat unang-una, dapat magkaroon na ng pagtatapos ito, pangalawa, pagkakataon na rin na marinig mismo sa bibig ng dating pangulo ang kanyang punto at ang kanyang naging partisipasyon ukol dito (It’s a good thing that the Ombudsman recommended the filing of charges because first, there should be closure and second, this would give the former President to explain his involvement in the case),” Poe said.

She further said that she sees no problem with the decision of colleague Sen. Richard Gordon to reopen the probe especially if there was new evidence to present.

“…Kung merong maaaring ipresenta na hindi namin natalakay noong nakaraang pagdinig, bakit naman hindi, katotohanan ang puno’t dulo nito (If new evidence can be presented that wasn’t discussed during the previous hearings, why not, if the search for truth is the main objective?” the senator said.

“The decision to reopen the Mamasapano inquiry is the prerogative of the chairman of the blue ribbon committee,” she added. “Whatever new and relevant information that can be unearthed from this inquiry, in aid of legislation, will be beneficial not only to the families of the SAF 44, but also to the Filipino people.”

Poe, however, said that the Senate panel should be prepared for the possibility that when called to testify, President Aquino could invoke his right not to talk about the case as it is already being handled by the court. (Azer N. Parrocha/PNA)

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