The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Vice President Jejomar Binay has withdrawn its support for President Benigno Aquino 3rd, calling the President a blatant liar regarding what transpired in the Mamasapano clash that left 44 elite police forces dead.
In a statement on Friday, UNA interim president and Rep. Tobias Tiangco of Navotas City (Metro Manila) said that the Palace virtually admitted that Aquino was lying since Secretary Hermino Coloma Jr. of the Presidential Communications Operations Office himself said that the President will tell all “at the right time.”
“So, the President wasn’t telling the whole truth about Mamasapano all along? This [Coloma’s statement] is a direct admission that President Aquino is yet to tell us the truth about the Mamasapano incident in his two speeches. There is no such thing as the truth at the right time. The truth has to be told now,” Tiangco said.
Vice President Binay has been repeatedly claiming that he is in support of the President but UNA has been taking potshots at the President’s allies and Cabinet members alike.
But in an unprecedented move on Friday, UNA did not mince words on Aquino.
“The first and foremost thing that the President should have said was the whole truth about the incident. A half truth is a lie. He owes the truth to the family of the 44 and the whole nation,” Tiangco said.
It has been almost a month since the police commandos from the Special Action Force (SAF) were ambushed by rebels from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, on January 25.
The attack came after the commandos killed top-ranked terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan.
It remains unclear, however, who ordered the SAF operation, which turned out to be disastrous for the national police.
“We are yet to make any headway in the search for truth, accountability and justice. And here we have Malacañang admitting that the President has not been forthcoming about what he knows,” Tiangco pointed out.
The House of Representatives this week suspended the congressional hearings on the Mamasapano incident, saying it will be more efficient to wait out results of investigation by the Philippine National Police’s Board of Inquiry of the incident.
But Tiangco argued that the suspension was part of Malacañang’s strategy to hide the truth and divert attention to other issues.