‘Time for country to move on’

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INTERIOR Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd on Tuesday said it is time for the country to move forward but not without giving justice to those who perished in a police raid and by instituting reforms to prevent another Mamasapano incident from happening again.

His call formed part of his opening statements at the resumption of congressional hearings on the January 25 commando mission that resulted in the killing of international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan as well as the death of over 60 people including 44 members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF).

“Together with the bereaved families of the SAF 44, the members of the congressional committees conducting this investigation and the Filipino people, I’m asking for justice,” Roxas said in Filipino.

The House committees on public order and safety and on peace, reconciliation and unity convened the first of the two days of scheduled hearings. The joint panel suspended its inquiry for over two months to await release of findings of separate probes conducted by the Senate, the PNP-Board of Inquiry and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) special investigation committee.


MILF officials skipped the reopening of the House hearings.

Lawmakers were “displeased” with the absence of Mohagher Iqbal, chief negotiator and vice chairman of the MILF, who was summoned to the House hearings, but opted to skip the proceedings and instead attended a forum organized by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines.

Iqbal was present during hearings conducted by the Senate.

“Nobody from the MILF is here present, so how can we really conduct a probe to ferret out the truth?” Zamboanga City Rep. Celso Lobregat asked.

“The presence of MILF is required in these hearings because they are the other party, the other side. They respected the Senate in all the hearings, Iqbal was present. But here this is the second hearing and he refuses to be here. The committee should make a stronger stand,” Lobregat said.

In a statement issued later in the afternoon, Iqbal said he will attend the second day of the House hearings set for Wednesday.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Roxas defended President Benigno Aquino 3rd, who was held “responsible” for the botched police raid by the PNP-BOI and the Senate panel and blamed now-sacked SAF commander, Director Getulio Napeñas Jr., for reading the President wrong.

He said Napeñas misinterpreted the President’s silence when he suggested the time on target concept during a briefing in Malacanang.

Napeñas said he thought Aquino agreed with his suggestion to only inform the military of the raid once the SAF troops were already “time on target.”

Former PNP chief Alan Purisima insisted before the joint House panel that he was not involved in planning and implementing Oplan Exodus.

Purisima, who was serving a suspension order in connection with a graft case with the Sandiganbayan, resigned as PNP chief after it was revealed that he had a hand in the operation. He was in his house in Nueva Ecija on the day the raid was conducted.

“I was not in command. I did not meddle in how they operated. I only relayed information to the President,” he said in Filipino.

Napeñas earlier said Purisima was present in Malacanang when the police mission was discussed with the President.

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6 Comments

  1. The Pnoy-Roxas tandem is a disaster.A classic cronyism partnership that is good for no one but for themselves and their personal gratification.

  2. Sec.Roxas should get out of the government he is weak and kiss ass to another weakling President BS Aquino who 60+ days ago abandoned and betrayed the SAF commandos result fallen 44 in favor of the BBL and terrorist MILF still no justice for the Fallen 44.Director Napenas did a good job leading his men on oplan exodus because they are able to kill the Malaysian bomb maker Marwan.MISSION ACCOMPLISH.

  3. Hopefully, “Move ON!” also means for Congress-Philippines to review carefully the BaBaLA House Bill. Compare the BaBaLA House Bill to the Republic Act that formalized Autonomous Region Mindanao to see what have been changed. One thing that will jump out — Iqbal (with Deles and Ferrer approval) has written the House Bill for BaBALA so that the “pledge of Allegiance” has been removed. Why is this so? Why did Murad and Jaffar instruct Iqbal (and Deles) to remove the pledge of Allegiance to the Republic of the PHilippines? This may be a warning that BaBaLA becomes continuation for MILF’s drive for more trouble, war and separatism.

  4. Roxas has no basis to refute Napenas wala naman siya sa planning of operation Exodus all his information are second hand from a polluted source(PNoy) who is out to save his worthless skin!

  5. All talk! Roxas was “nobody” in the operation being “out of the loop” With or without his proclamation, the country will, inevitably, move on one way or the other.There is no need for a weakling, “yes, sir” and second-fiddle Roxas.

  6. Sharon Catlin on

    Does “move on” mean handing over Mindanao territory to islamic terrorists for them to establish an indepedent nation state, where they will persecute Christians and displace millions of people?