MANILA — Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday clarified the presence of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles in his office after a Senate hearing on proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) on January 26.
Marcos, chairman of the Senate committee on local governments, admitted that Deles went to his office but not to lobby to whitewash the probe on the Mamasapano encounter that killed 44 Special Action Force (SAF) troopers on January 25.
“The claim doing the rounds in the social media that Secretary Deles saw me in my office the day after the Mamasapano incident to “whitewash” the investigation is definitely not true,” Marcos said in a press statement.
”There could not even be any suggestion of a “whitewash” precisely because there was no investigation yet at that time,” he added.
Marcos said Deles visited his office to give him briefing about the Senate committee hearing on the constitutionality of the BBL and to clarify the senator’s pronouncement that he has suspended the BBL hearings.
“During our conversation, there were some other people present in the room as I normally have streams of visitors, including my staff and those of OPPAP,” Marcos said.
The lawmaker reiterated his support in the search for peace with the Bangsamoro people.
”But we must learn lessons from the Mamasapano incident,” Marcos said.
In OPAPP website, Deles denied the ‘whitewash’ insinuation even as she confirmed the meeting not only with Marcos but with Senate President Franklin Drilon on January 26.
”I feel sorry for Sec. Deles because she is being maligned in the internet through baseless, untrue, and misplaced negative comments,” Marcos said.