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Palace to House: Respect executive branch

Louis Bacani - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang on Tuesday reminded the House of Representatives to respect the executive department after the Makabayan bloc insisted on inviting President Aquino to the hearings on the Mamasapano tragedy.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the Makabayan bloc's request to invite Aquino to the Mamasapano hearings and answer 20 questions should go through the House procedures.

In deliberating the request, Lacierda said lawmakers and the House leadership should ensure that the respect for the president and the executive department is maintained.

"Again, this is a procedure where the House should work itself out mindful of the separation of powers and the respect for the co-equal branches of government," Lacierda said in a press briefing.

In a letter to Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., the Makabayan bloc maintained that Aquino should be invited to the House probe on the Mamasapano incident on April 7 and 8.

The Makabayan lawmakers listed 20 questions for Aquino to answer. Most of them were about the role of former police chief Director General Alan Purisima in the planning and execution of the Mamasapano mission.

RELATED: Palace: PNoy already answered solons' 20 questions on Mamasapano

Lacierda reiterated an earlier Palace statement leaving it to lawmakers to determine the means that will aid their investigation.

He said lawmakers should also remember that the House probe should remain focused on obtaining the truth on the Mamasapano incident.

"In this manner, the process will not be abused by those who might be inclined to take advantage of the occasion to advance personal motives," said Lacierda, reading a previous statement.

Lacierda did not give a categorical answer on whether Aquino will grant the Makabayan bloc's request, but he emphasized the "commitment of the President to uncovering the truth."

He cited Aquino's consent to a Senate request concerning the release of the transcription of his text exchange conversations with Purisima in the early hours of January 25, the day of the Mamasapano operation.

AQUINO ATILDE DIRECTOR GENERAL ALAN PURISIMA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES LACIERDA MAKABAYAN MAMASAPANO PRESIDENT AQUINO PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON EDWIN LACIERDA QUOT SPEAKER FELICIANO BELMONTE JR.
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