MANILA—Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero on Thursday said that details into the Mamasapano clash which led to the deaths of 44 members of the elite police Special Armed Forces would be much clearer if revisited.
“Pag binabalik tanawan mo na ang isang bagay, palaging mas malinaw ‘yun kumpara sa kung nandoon ka habang nangyayari (When you revisit one thing, it will always be clearer compared to when you were there when it happened),” Escudero told reporters in a press conference.
Escudero made this remark in reaction to plans of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to form a commission to reopen a probe into the bloody clash.
He pointed out that there would be many differences between a probe with former President Benigno Aquino III as sitting president compared to now that he no longer is.
A former President no longer has immunity from suit.
The senator clarified that this did not mean that results of previous Senate inquiries into the clash was incomplete, but rather differed in circumstances.
“You have to understand iba iyong circumstances noong nag investigate iyong Senado noon. Nakaupo pa si Pangulong Aquino, nakaupo pa rin yung ilang mga opisyal na involved doon (You have to understand, the circumstances were different when the Senate investigated before. Pres. Aquino was sitting president, some officials involved were also sitting),” he added.
He said he no longer saw the need for the Senate to conduct its own probe into the incident and it would be better to leave it to the executive.
In 2015, at least 20 senators signed a Senate committee report holding Aquino “ultimately responsible” for the failed police operation.
The report was drafted by the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs led by then chairperson, Sen. Grace Poe.