Mar mum on calls for Poe to inhibit from Mamasapano inquiry
Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - January 11, 2016 - 2:41am

MANILA, Philippines - Liberal Party (LP) presidential candidate Manuel Roxas II declined to comment on calls for Sen. Grace Poe to inhibit from the Senate inquiry on the bloody Mamasapano clash that left 44 police commandos dead last year.

Sen. Poe, a rival of Roxas at the 2016 presidential race, is the chair of the Senate public safety committee which conducts hearings on the encounter.

There have been calls for Poe to inhibit herself from the probe to dispel notions that the inquiry would just be used for political mileage.

Poe’s camp, however, rejected the calls and assured the public that the senator would be impartial in performing her duties as committee chairperson. Poe previously said that she would just be a moderator during the hearing.

When asked if he agrees with calls for Poe to inhibit, Roxas distanced himself from the issue.

“You know, it's not for me to comment on somebody else's conduct especially if she is my rival,” Roxas told reporters in Cavite last Sunday.

“If they invite me, okay. I’m not hiding anything. And after several hearings and they still want to know something, why not?” he added.

Roxas was interior secretary when the Mamasapano encounter between the Special Action Force (SAF) and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters erupted on Jan. 25, 2015.

Last October, Roxas disclosed that he considered resigning from his post after he was kept in the dark on the SAF operation that targeted high-profile terrorists. President Aquino, however, did not allow him to quit. 

Roxas said he decided to stay as interior secretary to help the families of the slain SAF troopers. Aside from Roxas, then Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge Leonardo Espina was also not informed about the operation.

A PNP Board of Inquiry created to investigate the incident said the president had violated the chain of command when he allowed then suspended police chief Alan Purisima to take part in the planning and execution of the operation.

Roxas said he would not ask members of his senatorial line-up to inhibit from the Mamasapano probe, which will resume on January 25, exactly a year after the encounter.

“Why should they inhibit if they want to ask questions? It's not for me to tell the senators how to conduct themselves,” he said.

Three senatorial candidates of the Koalisyon ng Daang Matuwid are incumbent senators namely Senate President Franklin Drilon, Sen. Ralph Recto and Sen. Teofisto Guingona III.

ACIRC ALAN PURISIMA BOARD OF INQUIRY DAANG MATUWID GRACE POE LAST OCTOBER LEONARDO ESPINA LIBERAL PARTY MAMASAPANO MANUEL ROXAS ROXAS
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