• For a thorough, honest, impartial inquiry, Ms. Poe must stand aside


    TO resolve the tug-of- war over the projected reopening of the Senate’s Mamasapano inquiry, it is important to recall the history of the earlier inquiry and why it dismally failed in finding facts and reaching closure.

    It is equally important to keep the new hearings focused on the  questions and  issues that were not probed and answered in the inquiry last year.

    Finally, it is best for the nation not to be distracted by the confusion being deliberately sown by the administration to keep President  Aquino’s accountability sealed.

    Inquiry hijacked by two senators

    In the immediate aftermath of the  massacre of the martyred 44 PNP SAF (Special Action Force) commandos, there was wide public clamor for a full and independent inquiry into the incident. Public outrage was so deeply aroused, that there were demands for Congress to form an independent commission to investigate, similar to the commissions created in the United States to investigate the John F. Kennedy assassination  and the 9/11 bombings. We in the Times took the position that this was the correct  and constitutional  way forward to bring closure to the tragedy.

    To mollify the clamor, Congress proposed a joint inquiry by the House and the Senate, for which there was some consensus.

    But suddenly, from out of the blue, two newly-elected senators –  Sen. Grace Poe  and Sen. Francis Escudero – with support from Senate President Franklin Drilon and Malacañang,  hijacked the inquiry, by pressing for the immediate convening of a Senate inquiry to be led by their respective committees.  Suddenly, the nation woke up to discover that an inquiry on the grave matter of national concern was to be led and directed by a neophyte senator absolutely bereft of any background in peace and security issues.  Then, we the public saw the Senate finance committee, with Escudero calling the shots, take a major role in the inquiry–even though the Mamasapano massacre had nothing specially   to do with the appropriation of  public funds.

    As things turned out, Poe and Escudero had  their way with the hearings.  They secretly cooked a deal with the leadership that, in exchange for their leading roles in the hearings, the inquiry would not press for President Aquino to testify.

    The inquiry proceded in helter-skelter fashion, jumping from one  witness to another, and one topic to another.  Then suddenly, when the hearings were getting somewhere, Ms. Poe   announced  that she was adjourning  the inquiry.

    A committee report cooked by Poe and Escudero was officially prepared. But then surprisingly, it was not submitted  to the Senate plenary for debate and approval as all such reports should be.

    Cryptic finding: ultimately responsible

    Instead of releasing the report to the media and the public, Ms. Poe presented the nation an executive summary. In that summary, she issued her cryptic finding that President Aquino is/was “ultimately responsible”  for what happened in Mamasapano.

    For this meaningless finding of ultimate responsibility, and her dogged  refusal to  demand/request President Aquino to testify, Ms. Poe was accused by many, including this paper, of turning the Senate inquiry into a travesty.

    Poe is hustling us again

    Now, with the Mamasapano inquiry slated to resume within a week, the nation is again being hustled by Ms. Poe into tapping her to call the shots in the reopened inquiry.

    Without being  given the assignment, she told the media that the reopening of the Mamasapano inquiry would not push through on Monday, January 25, the date that the Senate had earlier formally set.

    She declared her opposition to the reopening of the inquiry, saying that  all the questions had already been answered  in the inquiry that she abruptly closed last year.

    She then suddenly pre-empted the Senate in announcing that the Senate committee on public order, with her as chair, would reopen the inquiry. And then imperiously, she announced that she would move the start of the new hearings from January 25 to Jan. 27.
    This is hustling and deception compounded many times over.

    For her opposition to the reopening of the inquiry,  for her dismal failures in the first inquiry, and for her subservience to Malacañang, Ms. Poe is the last senator who should be tapped to lead the new Mamasapano inquiry.

    She may fantasize in her sleep that she is ready to be president of our republic. But she is absolutely not the one who can bring closure to the Mamasapano tragedy.


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    1. Poe looks like someone who is sickly deranged ambitious person who does not deserve any position in government. She argues for inhibition of justices for a reason that the justices have already prejudged her. But look here, she will not inhibit herself on the reopening of mamasapano when she had already prejudged it on the first hearing. What a pretender this lady is!!!

    2. Why are you so against Poe leading the re-investigation. Can not the members of the committee do their duties just as well and as effective with any one chairing? Is she the problem really or you just want someone you like and can persuade/influence to side with you, your ideas, your directions. I hate writers like you who make use of their pens and space not to inform with absolute fairness and neutrality but to pursue their personal interest and advantage!

    3. Chris Espiritu on

      it seems Sen. Grace Llamanzares and Sen. Chiz Escudero are attempting to harvest political hay to gain brownie points and fan their ebbing chance of bagging the two highest positions of this country. They were already given their chances before and sadly bungled the opportunity to make a mark and now these misfits wanted another crack! I mean knowing their capabilities in cutting negatives (Llamanzares) and being a deadringer to a local rock star (Escudero) they have no other capabilities to lay on the table. What will they do in that Mamasapano Inquiry – threaten the lameduck presidential pretender by putting him in hot water in exchange for political support? Come on, this is just another grandstanding on the part of trapos to make them look good on TV. So, for the benefit of this country let us leave this witch-hunting expedition to someone who knew well – Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile.

    4. For her opposition to the reopening of the inquiry, for her dismal failures in the first inquiry, and for her subservience to Malacañang, Ms. Poe is the last senator who should be tapped to lead the new Mamasapano inquiry.

      She may fantasize in her sleep that she is ready to be president of our republic. But she is absolutely not the one who can bring closure to the Mamasapano traged

      Exactly right, Poe’s job in the first hearing was to protect the president from answering for the deaths of the SAF 44, What did she get in return i wonder.

    5. she should no sit as chairman anymore. with all her blah blah blah kala mo kung sinong matino, no body cares to listen to her much more believe in her. kinain na rin siya ng systema. at this early of her political career, she tends to be very abusive. never mind the laws basta masunod lang ang ambisyon niya. nakakaturn off yung way of reasoning niya.