• Palace rejects Enrile-Aquino debate

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    Malacañang on Monday ruled out a debate between Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile and President Benigno Aquino 3rd, saying the latter has already spoken on the Mamasapano bloodbath that left 44 police commandos and 23 others dead.

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    Enrile, who grilled police and military officials at the reopening of the Senate inquiry into the issue last week, said the President allowed the massacre of the member of the Special Action Force by not making any effective decision.

    Enrile said Aquino and his “minions” are free to debate with him to explain their “failures” in the Mamasapano mission.

    But Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said there was no need for a debate on the Mamasapano incident.

    “Perhaps, the result of the Senate reopening of the Mamasapano should speak for itself,” Lacierda told reporters.

    “All that were needed to be asked by the senators have been asked. All that were needed to be answered by the resource persons have been responded to,” he added.

    Enrile called for a debate in a radio interview Sunday, insisting that Aquino was to blame for the death of the policemen who were on a mission to arrest Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and two other terrorists in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25, 2015.

    “Again, I say to all of you listening now, whoever you may be, even if you’re the President of the Philippines, down to the lowest strata of society, all of you, if you wish to debate the Mamasapano case, just tell me when, and I’ll debate with you—especially if you’re the President,” the 91-year-old Enrile said.

    “Lalampasuhin niya ako o lalampasuhin ko siya [He will either trounce me or I will trounce him],” he said, adding that he would also debate Palace spokespersons.But Presidential Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. insisted that Enrile had an opportunity to present his case but failed.

    “It is best that our people focus their energies instead on how to sustain the momentum of our reform and transformation efforts that have gained the respect and admiration of the global community,” Coloma added.

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