A travesty of a Senate inquiry


No, I am not referring to the unending Senate inquiry into the Binays’ alleged corruption in Makati government affairs, as stage-managed by Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Antonio Trillanes 4th and Aquilino Pimentel 3rd.

I mean rather the Senate inquiry into the Mamasapano incident that was conducted last February and March and led by Sen. Grace Poe as head of the Senate Committee on Public Order.

Both inquiries had their moments, but what has happened to the Mamasapano investigation, in my view as a longtime Congress watcher, is one of the most deflating and embarrassing spectacles in congressional history.

Some senators will always grandstand, but in the end the statesmen get separated from the political entrepreneurs.

From competent to ridiculous
The Mamasapano probe started with a bang, then it descended to cowardice and, finally, to travesty.

First, in getting the Senate to approve a separate probe of the Mamasapano incident, in spite of the widespread public clamor for an independent commission to conduct the inquiry, Poe showed deftness in grabbing public attention.

Second, in declaring that President Aquino is “ultimately responsible” for the tragedy that befell 44 SAF commandos, but without calling Aquino to testify, the senator showed boldness and political shrewdness.

Her exact words were: “The President is ultimately responsible for the outcome of the Mamasapano mission.”

Then Poe’s evident competence got lost in her ridiculous and exasperating announcement during a news conference on March 17 that her committee would be presenting to the nation only an executive summary of the panel’s findings, not a report from the committee.

Last June 18, she also announced that her committee will not present a report to the Senate. This was a complete shock to everyone who thought that at the end of the investigation, there would be a report that the Senate, the media and the public can peruse.

In announcing what evidently was a unilateral decision, Poe was haughty. She declared that she has no intention of reporting out her committee’s findings on the Mamasapano incident.

She said: “A report is about facts and findings. The Ombudsman acknowledged receipt of our recommendations. I will no longer present in plenary. The BBL [Bangsamoro Basic Law] plenary discussion can tackle any remaining questions on Mamasapano.”

Reporters followed up with the senator by saying many relatives of the dead commandos persist in demanding justice five months after the incident. The senator had nothing to say to them.

Suprisingly, Senate President Franklin Drilon came to Poe’s rescue by saying gratuitously that the Mamasapano report is considered submitted before the plenary even if Poe has not officially reported it out.

“It’s submitted and if Sen. Grace would want to calendar it during the break for adoption, she can. But right now, it is already filed,” Drilon said. This is beneath the ridiculous.

But there are many, especially in the media, who believe that Poe’s refusal to write a report is her way of shielding the President.

Honoring the dead
Some people will say I am writing this because Grace Poe has become the frontrunner in preferential surveys, and that I am doing it at the behest of her rivals. That is nonsense.

I wrote this piece because the senator springing surprises on the Mamasapano probe will turn the much-heralded Senate committee inquiry into a travesty.

This dishonors the memory of the SAF dead. It is a direct slap against their families who clamor for answers and for justice.

If this travesty is not reversed, if we allow this bizarre closure of the Senate inquiry to stand, then what the Senate stands for comes to nothing, all the public money spent on the investigation goes to waste, and all the labors exerted by senators and resource persons were much ado over nothing.

Independent commission a better approach
We in The Manila Times take seriously the Mamasapano investigation becoming a travesty and a joke, because we were among those who lobbied hard for the appointment of an independent commission to investigate the massacre, in the same way that in the US, Congress created commissions to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the terrorist attacks on the twin towers in New York City on 9/11.

The PNP inquiry into Mamasapano produced a thorough, unsparing and professional report that is unquestionably better than the non-report of Poe’s committee.

An independent commission would undoubtedly have reached firm conclusions, and enabled the nation to reach closure in this tragedy.

We lost our moral grip on Mamasapano because the inquiries failed to get to the whole truth. The probers were not courageous enough. The nation got distracted also by the big debate over the BBL.

There should be an uproar about the failure of the Senate to come up with a report on the Mamasapano incident. For this, Poe must shoulder a large part of the blame. But Drilon and the Poe committee members must also share blame for not insisting that Poe write a report and report it to the nation.

In sum, a report on Mamasapano must still be written. If Poe cannot do it, let other senators take up the task.

The 2016 elections and the possible candidacy of the senator for President cast a shadow over the inquiry, but not so big that the writing of the report should be avoided.

From a committee head who bravely declared that the Mamasapano incident was a massacre, not a misencounter, Poe became one who got distracted by political gossip and speculations.



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  1. marahil mga kababayan, marami sa congress at senado ang hindi tunay na Filipino. Kung tunay na dugong Filipino ang nananalaytay sa kanila ugat iba mararamdaman mo lalo na kung ating mga sundalo ay nagagapi ng kalaban sa ating bayan. Esp. sa case ng China.. Itong si Abnoy na presidente hindi ko nakitaan ng pagmamalasakit sa ating mga navy na nagbabantay ng ating kapuluan..Parang wala siyang pakialam . Kaya masasabi ko na hindi tunay na filipino ang mga taong ito…Filipino lang sa salita pero wala sa gawa at diwa..To hell with him..at sa mga taong nagkukuwaring filipino, pero ang pakay lang nila ay pahirapan ang mamayang filipino.. Nakawin ang kaban ng bayan..

  2. ur’e right yen, and ‘thank u for REMINDING the people again for how grace Poe shamelessly shielded Aquino when he ordered his army to stand down and leave the 44-saf to be Butchered by the rebels in exchange for getting the credit of Noble peace price …grace shamelessly announced that Aquino need not be present for investigation or be investigated … DO NOT VOTE FOR GRACE POE we will again be in the same PALPAK Philippines …. MY FELLOW FILIPINOS , VOTE FOR BbMARCOS FOR PRESIDENT 2016

  3. So young and already a TRAPO !!!!
    Akala niya makakalimutan na ng Bayan ang Mamasapano !!!
    Hindi ito istorya ng PANDAY at PEDRO PENDUKO !!!
    Nagkakamali ka Grace Poe or whatever your name is or should be,
    malalalim ang alaala namin , hindi survey ng Tiyohin mo or pinsan ng Amain mo
    ang solusyon sa pagkukulang mo ng pagkaPILIPINO at ang karapatang magkandidato !

  4. Tanong ko Lang, bakit hindi nag
    Submit ng report si Poe sa plenary.
    Maliwanag pinuprotektahan nya si
    pnoy.Bakit pa nagimbestigasyon kung wala namang final report.
    Papogi points Lang ba ito? Sayang
    naman ang oras at nagastos dito.
    Yan ang hirap pag may pinagtatakpan lumabas ang tunay na Kulay Yellow. Ang laro ng mga traPOE ay malinaw na “Political Convenience,” kaya may bahid ng
    Deception o insincerity

  5. P.Akialamiro on

    If and when Grace Poe runs for any office, especially for a higher one, I hope the people will always be reminded of this ‘travesty’. Looks like, “puro panloloko na lang sa mga tao ang ginagawa ng mga miyembrong Kongreso”. She is ‘incompetent’ to be a senator and, muchless, a VP or president. First of all, she doesn’t have the necessary track record to be one. What did she do before becoming a senator? This is assuming that she isa natural born Filipino Citizen. Sinasamantala lang ang papularidad ng kanyang adoptive father”. Let’s be realistic; mag-artista na lang siya”…mabuti pa!

    • Nahawa yata sa kanyang adoptive father na si Fernando Poe, Jr. – porke sikat minsan, iniisip na pwede siya maging presidente ng Pilipinas dahil malakas pa mandin ang name recall nya sa mga bobotanteng pinoy? She must have felt sorry about her earlier declaration that PNoy is ultimately responsible for the Mamasapano fiasco and now is conveniently hoping that pinoys have already forgotten everything else, but her ‘bravery’ (which I bet many of us applauded) in making that statement – open ended and without closure as it was? Was she just after ‘pogi points’. How despicable!

    • Roldan Guerrero on

      Kong kamukha sana nya si adoptive mother nya. Kaso hindi naman. Gustoba naman nya yong sinasabunutan at sinasampal sa pelikula? Mabuti nga inadopt sya nila FPJ at Susan ee. Kong hindi nasaan kaya sya ngayon?.Ngayon? akalamo kong sino sya….sinungaling pa na nagmamalinis AMBISYOSA!!!!!

  6. Bert O. Romero on

    Just as Poe’s chairing of the Mamasapano inquiry afforded her a shining moment to be considered a presidential hopeful, the non- conclusion of the same exercise has cast strong doubt on her ability to withstand presidential and perhaps other equally execrable pressures if she becomes president. Naiwang bitin ang taong bayan at katotohanan. If she cannot hack it at this time, she should be honest enough to so publicly admit that she needs more time to prepare herself for a higher position. The Filipino people have suffered enough. Inflicting herself as an ill- prepared president is an unconscionable act to the nation. Campaigning is easier than governing. Campaigning is poetry, governing is prose.

  7. Poe is just another corrupt senator, talks the talk but does not deliver on any of it.
    Her investigation was just another whitewash coverup that the government is known for.
    It’s really no surprise when one of the government officials starts talking about how honest and transparent their investigation will be then turns out to be neither one.

    Did anyone really think that self serving congress was going to do anything ?

    It’s time to get rid of the plundering senate and house and start over with a government that will abide by the constitution.

    MRT is down to 7 trains out of 60 due to lack of maintenance
    No political dynasties that the 1987 constitution prohibits.
    Where is the Freedom of information law promised 5 years ago ?
    What happened to the missing billions of Pork barrel and Dap fund money ?
    When is a real investigation into the deaths of the SAF 44 going to happen ?
    Why is the Liberal Party not being charged for plunder and graft of their pork barrel and dap fund giveaways ?

    The only thing improving is the senate and house members net worth.

  8. genesisbughaw on

    Peddling under grace of temptation.

    The yellow bird and the graceful parung parung ligaw.

    In the field of political contest Philippine setting, human turned an ugly animal, instinct of survival and wresting for more power are the controlling obsession of our political animal.

    On Binay’s empire and how smart he is.
    He is for economic sell out telegraphing to lobbyists to get more funding support.
    Oh my gush!
    What’s happening to our Country?

  9. A Senate committee report never submitted to the Senate is something that has been put into a drawer and never to be seen again. The house committee should have done the same with the BBL.

  10. Leodegardo Pruna on

    It seems that Grace after all isn’t grace but doom. And, Grace is about to make a second fool of the people of the nation if she is not able to clear the issue of her nationality or residency. I am afraid that the saying “Some people can fool all the people all of the time” is being forced into our mouths. God bless the Philippines.

  11. Ogold Azures on

    Ito na nga ba ang sinasabi ko. Pag dating sa politika ang puti nagiging itim. Nasaan na ang integrety kunoh ni Poe? Kinausap siya ni Abnoy para gawing standard bearer para sa pagka presidente, kaya ayun, protektado na ito sa kanyan kabalastugan sa Mamasapano. Paano natin iboboto ang weakling na ito…

  12. She’s just an opportunist, this American citizen who lied to become a senator and has now sold out to Malacanang’s Lying Psycho.

  13. Maxwell Alvarez on

    I had such hopes for her.
    Now she’s slowly turning into the Filipino (?) version of Sarah Palin. Only with less credentials. Now that’s scary.

  14. With Pnoy’s endorsement hanging, Poe has decided wasting the people’s money on her committee’s investigation of the Mamasapano massacre is money ‘well-spent.’ We now have a sneak preview of a Grace Poe presidency, not very unlike Pnoy when it comes to providing service to the people.

  15. Grace poe’s lack of integrity and independence is highlighted by how quickly she has forgotten the SAF 44, and how they were simply cannon fodder for her salivating ambitions. An insult to the families, and to justice.

    Her duplicity has shown her to be another political hypocrite, and since any friend of pnoy aquino’s is now a friend of hers, she also has nothing more to say about the immunity protecting purisima. An insult to the nation.

    She has shown little thought for the victims, just for her own self-agrandissment and inflated sense of importance. Attention seeking, and emotionless, and happy to jump on the FJP gravy train.

    A single lie destroys the pretence of integrity, and a deal with the opposition lacerates any shred of independence.

    And suddenly her talk of honesty and openness has been hidden behind trite lawyers statements when it comes to her residency issue. A sure sign of not telling the truth.

    Grace poe is clearly not fit to lead, and without any experience is simply another ‘story’ to sell to the electorate, and another disaster in the making.

    A life-time track record of mediocrity, devoid of motivation or even passion for the philippines.

    The only thing she seems to want to talk about is FJP. Her ‘father’ complex is as transparent as her naked ambition, and love of magazine photoshoots. A frustrated actress now putting on an act.

    No doubt she will be talking about her ‘desire to serve’, and to help the poor, but she has never shown any such interest before, despite having the time and opportunity to undertake charity work – (dinners at the fairfax country club don’t count!)
    And being married to a senior executive at San Miguel only reinforces her privileged trapo life-style and disdainful attitude to those she looks down upon.

    Grace poe adopts the principle that poor people are good for votes, and cleaning her mansion, but must be kept in their place, which is far away from her neighborhood, and the tennis club.

    She is quick to talk, but slow to act. A perennial fence sitter looking for the validation and approval which she never got from her fathers – real, or adopted.

    • Paano, hindi naman siyang Pilipino citizen,, kaya forget SAF….!If she is really Pinoy and really cares her fellow Pinoy(SAF} kahit sinong herodes a mangdikta sa kaniya……!Yan ang maliwanag..di ba?

  16. Felimon A. Soria on

    And here is a person who wants to be a President claiming that honesty and integrity are qualities of a leader. She even invoked her adopted father’s when she said “moral standards and principled. What a joke this Senator is. But then Mr Makabenta she is going to be the president for sure whether a lot of people like it or not because Filipinos have this character to vote somebody even if someone is a make believe hero. And to top it all, she is not even qualified because of a questionable citizenship which she ignores to answer.

  17. Senator Poe is really in a trap. The Liberal Party wants her to run against Sec. Mar Roxas , VP Binay and others. I tihink the Liberal Party has articulated that Sec. Mar can sneak a win if Sen. Poe runs in 2016 as President. Of course the Mamasapano
    Report will be the guiding tool if Senator Poe prefer to keep her mouth shut of same.
    How much of a principled ally can she be? In the end the Liberal Party will tell her,
    “just wait for 2022″ until your eligibilty to run can never be an issue lets give way to Mar.”

  18. We lost our moral grip on Mamasapano inquiry according to you? Why because all the reports did not blame PNoy of the incident. Can you cite any democratic country that blames its failure on military missions directly to their President.


    No baggage, no corruptions allgations filed,against her.

  20. Ramses Sales on

    Eto na… Binay’s henchmen are laying down the predicate for their all-out attack against Grace Poe and PNoy.

    Napaka predictable talaga ni Nay-Bi! Pagkatapos niyang pakinabangan si PNoy ng mahigit sa limang taon, ngayon nag resign siya at babanatan niya para lang maisalba yung kanyang bagsak na rating sa surveys… Ang kapal ng mukha at maliwanag na walang utang na loob!

    Unfortunately for him, he does not have the credibility and everything will back fire at them!

    • even without binay, would you allow someone who is not a pinoy citizen as written in our constitution run our country? whether binay opens his mouth or not, facts surrounding Poes eligibility should be pursued by any pinoy with common sense. Maybe it was not binay ang nakinabang, maybe it was cory who made pakinabang with binay. I am not for binay but for heaven’s sake you are creating reasons that are out of this world for his resignation. you cannot see it as black and white, you see it as the color you want it to be, where is common sense? where is a little of that brain cell? it is not binay who is bagsak sa survey, your idol pinoy is the one who has been tailing in surveys recently. wow, where are the facts? you don’t listen to the facts, you listen to what is in your head. ganyan mentality ng feudalism. loyalty kahit inaapakan ka na. sus, wa na ko say oy!

  21. As we say, the true color of Grace Poe is showing, its YELLOW and she will shield Pnoy from any investigation if and when she is elected. Ho-hum