Bongbong opposes call for Aquino to step down

By , on February 21, 2015

Sen. Bongbong Marcos (center) with fellow senators (Facebook photo)
Sen. Bongbong Marcos (center) with fellow senators (Facebook photo)

MANILA — Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. on Friday expressed his opposition to any call for President Benigno Aquino III to resign amid public outrage over the bloody Mamasapano encounter that left 44 Special Action Force (SAF) men dead on January 25.

Marcos warned against asking the President to step down as it would only plunge the country into deeper trouble. He added the Chief Executive should instead step up to his responsibility to the entire country.

“Don’t step down. Step up. Step up to your responsibility. Step up to the country and tell them what is happening and what your role was in the Mamasapano massacre,” Marcos said in a Radyo 5 interview.

The son of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos said the President’s statement regarding the so-called’ Oplan Exodus’ aimed at capturing two high-profile terrorist Zulkifli Abdhir alias Marwan and Basit Usman is essential in the Senate inquiry.

“I think the President only needs to answer these simple questions: What exactly is your role in Oplan Exodus? Were you the one in charge, or did you merely intercede? When did you know that we were already suffering from heavy casualties and what were your instructions after learning this?” Marcos said.

Marcos said the President’s explanation is helpful also to the Senate in crafting a better Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

”It is precisely meant to prevent incidents similar to the Mamasapano massacre from happening again in the future,” Marcos said.

The Senate committee on local governments, chaired by Marcos, has suspended the BBL hearing to give way to the investigation on the Mamasapano incident.

“I hope the President takes it upon himself to tell us all about this. If his explanation is credible, we can conclude our investigation. We already knew what happened and that will enable us to make the necessary corrections in the BBL,” Marcos said.

The Senate panel on public order and dangerous drugs chaired by Senator Grace Poe will resume its public hearing on the Mamaspano incident on Monday.

According to the media advisory of Poe, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) officials to be led by Secretary Albert del Rosario, have been invited to shed light on the reported role of the United States in the Oplan Exodus.

Relieved SAF chief Director Getulio Napenas admitted in the previous hearings that the US troops based in Zamboanga City have provided medical and evacuation assistance after the deadly Mamasapano encounter.