“The matter has been investigated by the Senate. Charges have been filed and the courts are now handling the matter. Let’s allow the judicial processes to proceed and give the persons involved their day in court. That is where accountability is ultimately determined,” Sen. Francis Pangilinan, who is also the president of the Liberal Party, said in a statement.
The STAR/Geremy Pintolo
Pangilinan to Duterte: Blaming Mar for Mamasapano ‘simple politicking’
(Philstar.com) - April 20, 2019 - 5:26pm

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan on Saturday slammed President Rodrigo Duterte for accusing opposition senatorial candidate Manuel "Mar" Roxas II of "wasting" the lives of the 44 police commandos who died in the 2015 Mamasapano clash, saying such remarks from the chief executive were “politicking” and a form of “diversionary tactic.”

“The matter has been investigated by the Senate. Charges have been filed and the courts are now handling the matter. Let’s allow the judicial processes to proceed and give the persons involved their day in court. That is where accountability is ultimately determined,” Pangilinan, who is also the president of the Liberal Party, said in a statement.

“Raising the matter anew is pure and simple politicking, and a means to shun important and pressing issues affecting the Filipinos such as poverty, lack of opportunities, indignation over China’s aggression, and corruption hounding many of the administration candidates,” he added.

“The public should remain vigilant and not be misled by these diversionary tactics meant to confuse and keep voters from scrutinizing the administration's failures and their candidates' track records,” he continued.

Duterte’s tirades against Roxas came despite Senate hearings and parallel government investigations showing Roxas, who was then the local government secretary when the deadly encounter happened, was out of the loop on the operation that left 67 Filipinos dead.

"He (Roxas) wasted 44 lives for nothing. They could not even explain...why it was the police who went there who were totally ignorant of the topography and the physical arrangement of the area?" Duterte said in campaign speeches this week.

The operation involving units of the elite police Special Action Force in a remote town in Maguindanao in January 2015 led to the death of wanted terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias "Marwan" but 44 police officers, 18 Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters and several civilians were killed in a clash as the troopers were leaving.

The clash has been blamed on poor planning and a lack of coordination with the MILF despite ceasefire protocols on operations near MILF communities.

The Mamasapano encounter was one of the issues that confronted Roxas during his unsuccessful presidential bid in 2016. 

2019 MIDTERM ELECTIONS FRANCIS PANGILINAN MAMASAPANO CLASH MAR ROXAS RODRIGO DUTERTE
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