Press Release
January 10, 2016

Cayetano to Poe: Inhibit self from Mamasapano probe

Presidential candidate and Commitee on Public Order Chairperson Senator Grace Poe should inhibit herself from the reopening of the Senate investigation into the Mamasapano tragedy, according to vice presidential candidate Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.

Cayetano, who will also inhibit himself from the probe, said that all senators running for top posts should do the same to ensure that the inquiry remains impartial and free from partisan politics.

"It would be better if Sen. Poe passes it to the vice chair [of the committee] or to a senator who is not running, and she could just monitor the hearing. I would do the same," Cayetano said.

Cayetano said he will just submit his queries to the committee. He explained that he intends to have a counsel to ask questions on his behalf, a system, he says, the US Congress follows. The senator said that 80% of his questions would be from those directly affected by the tragedy, such as the families of the victims.

"Ayoko lang naman kasi na mawalan ng boses 'yung biktima na mga SAF 44, ayokong mawalan ng boses 'yung ibang mga grupo sa Mindanao, 'yung Christian o Muslim na may concerns about BBL and about Mamasapano," Cayetano stressed, who has been pushing for the reopeningnof the probe since July 2015.

Cayetano lamented that had the Mamasapano case been reopened earlier, the allegations that it is politically motivated would not have surfaced. It is recalled that Cayetano sent a letter to Poe back in July 2015 to reopen the Mamasapano case, only to be declined. Poe, however, gave the approval when it was Senator Juan Ponce Enrile who called for the reopening.

"If only the committee chaired by Sen. Poe heeded my request, the Senate will not be reopening the inquiry so near the opening of the campaign period and its intention doubted by certain quarters," Cayetano said.

He however said the reopening of the probe is necessary and assured the public that all he is seeking is justice for those who had been asking for it since the hapless tragedy happened.

"On January 25, the country will mark the first year of the Mamasapano tragedy. I hope my colleagues at the Senate see the reopening of the inquiry as an opportunity to finally hold accountable all those responsible for this tragedy and render complete justice to the victims and their families, who a year after this gruesome event, are still looking for closure," Cayetano concluded.

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