Philippine Opposition Lawmakers Want Investigation into Illegal Deaths in President Duterte’s War Against Drugs

 / 12:37 PM July 17, 2017
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Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV (File photo by GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV criticized Senator Richard Gordon’s proposal to revive the investigation into the Mamasapano debacle that led to the deaths of 44 elite policemen and 18 Moro rebels and five civilians last January 15.

Trillanes said the Senate should instead relaunch the probe on the thousands of deaths in the Duterte administration’s brutal war against drugs.

“Mas aatupagin pa ni Sen. Gordon ‘yung nakaraang issue na piniga na ng husto ng dating Congreso pero ‘yung mga libo-libong pinapatay na Pilipino sa kasalukuyan, wala siyang panahon,” Trillanes said in a statement.

(Sen. Gordon would rather focus on an old issue that already has been squeezed out by the old Congress but for the thousands of Filipinos being killed presently, he has no time for.)

Over the weekend, Gordon proposed the reopening of the Mamasapano probe after the Ombudsman indicted former President Benigno Aquino III for usurpation of authority during the planning of the ill-fated “Oplan Exodus.”

The senator, who chairs the Senate blue ribbon committee, said the former Chief Executive has to face the consequences of the deadly incident.

Senator Grace Poe, meanwhile, stressed that it is the prerogative of Gordon being the blue ribbon committee chair to revive the investigation.

Image result for Grace Poe, Philippines, Photo

Grace Poe

“The decision to reopen the Mamasapano inquiry is the prerogative of the chairman of the blue ribbon committee,” Poe said in a text message.

But the senator said it would be to the interest of the public and the members of the Senate to “know the clear objectives of Senator Gordon in putting forward such proposal.”

“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,” she said.

She also urged the Senate and the public to be prepared for the possibility that Aquino would only invoke his right not to to talk about the case as it is already being handled by the court.

Poe added: “Whatever disagreement anyone has with the determination of the Ombudsman, let us give her office the opportunity to review the same through the processes allowed by law and remedies given to the parties in the case.”

“As it is, we are one with the Filipino people in the pursuit of justice and truth on this matter,” she said. JE/rga

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 (Contains links to several related articles)


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