PTV News – Senator Marcos rejects calls for President Aquino to step down
By PTV News
Manila — Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. rejected calls for President Benigno Aquino to step down amid public outrage over the Mamasapano massacre and instead urged the Chief Executive to step up to his responsibility to the entire country.
Marcos warned that the growing sentiment calling for the President to step down is dangerous and could only plunge the country into deeper trouble.
“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,” he said in an interview at Radyo 5 with Erwin Tulfo and Martin Andanar.
The senator said knowing the President’s role in the disastrous Oplan Exodus that lead to the death of 44 SAF troopers is essential in the Senate’s investigation into the Mamasapano massacre and its implication on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law.
He noted that BBL, which is meant to give flesh to the peace agreement between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, is precisely meant to prevent incidents similar to the Mamasapano massacre.
Marcos said that from the executive sessions the Senate conducted, the lawmakers already have a detailed picture of what happened in the ground level in Mamasapano. However, he said they don’t have a clear picture of what went wrong in the command and control level.
“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 are already suffering from heavy casualties and what were your instructions after learning this?” Marcos said.
“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.
MILF’s hardening of position not helping BBL process
Meanwhile, Marcos expressed alarm after Erwin Tulfo said that in an interview with MILF 1st Vice Chairman Ghadzali Jaafar, the MILF’s probe has concluded that their men only acted in defense of their territory from an attacking armed group, and so the Special Action Force should be held responsible over the tragic clash.
“I would like to rather wait and see what is in their report. But if they would indeed heap the blame on the PNP alone, that would not help the peace process at all because nobody was massacred among the MILF troops. Nobody (from the MILF) who was already wounded and down on the ground was mercilessly gunned down,” Marcos said.
“We knew that our SAF troopers were surrounded, and we knew that the MIFL commander in the area knew they were facing the police yet they proceeded to kill our troops. It is not justifiable. You cannot say: you did not coordinate, so it’s okay to kill 44 policemen. To say that MILF does not have any responsibility at all over the incident—that will not help the peace process at all,” Marcos said.
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