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Poe: Hard for me to say PNoy was 'ultimately responsible'

Patricia Lourdes Viray - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Grace Poe on Monday admitted that it was hard for her to say that President Benigno Aquino III was "ultimately responsible" for the January 25 clash in Mamasapano, Maguindanao that left 44 members of the police's Special Action Force dead.

One of the highlights of the Senate committee report on the Mamasapano incident cited the President as being responsible for the mission.

READ: Poe: PNoy 'ultimately responsible' for Mamasapano mission

In an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, Poe said that the President had good intentions on the operation to arrest terrorists Zulkifli Bin Hir alias "Marwan" and Basit Usman.

"The President is a friend, so it was hard for me to say he was ultimately responsible for the Mamasapano incident," Poe said, adding that she still highly respects Aquino.

The senator noted that she had doubts on how to reveal the findings of the Senate inquiry on the Mamasapano operation which led to the deaths of 44 police commandos during an encounter with Moro rebels last January 25.

"It was so difficult and up until the last minute I was questioning myself. Should I tone it down? Should I be more diplomatic?" Poe said.

Aware that the Senate report was "harsher" than the Board of Inquiry Report, Poe explained that it was done so in aid of legislation.

"I feel very awkward about it but of course it happened already. I released the report already," the senator said.

'Noy should say sorry'

Poe added that considering political aspects, it may be too late for the President to ask for an apology for the incident.

The senator cited former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who once apologized for an electoral scandal. Charges were filed against Arroyo after her term.

On the other hand, Poe said that it would still be better if Aquino would ask for forgiveness.

"When you say what is right, what do you need to do, it's always best to ask for forgiveness if you feel that you made a mistake, it was an error," Poe said.

She said asking for forgiveness is not just saying the words "I'm sorry" but also offering solutions to prove a person's sincerity.

Meanwhile, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte on Wednesday maintained that there is no need for Aquino to issue an apology.

RELATED: Valte: Apology not discussed

ABIGAIL VALTE

AQUINO

BASIT USMAN

BOARD OF INQUIRY REPORT

GRACE POE

MAMASAPANO

NEWS CHANNEL

POE

PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO

SHOULD I

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