NOY'S CORNER THIS WEEK...

SENATE SUBPOENAS PNoy-Purisima TEXT EXCHANGE FROM TELCOS


Resigned Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima earlier revealed that he was the one who informed President Benigno Aquino III regarding the Mamasapano operation. Malacañang Photo Bureau/Robert Viñas, File  The Senate issued a subpoena ordering telecommunications companies to bare the exchange of text messages between President Benigno Aquino III and resigned Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima on January 25, the day of the Mamasapano incident. In an interview with radio dzMM on Tuesday, Senate President Franklin Drilon confirmed that he signed the subpoena in relation to the current investigation of the Senate committee on public order regarding the incident. READ MORE...

ALSO TRANSCRIPT: Mar's text messages to Espina, Napeñas during Mamasapano clash


During Senate hearings on the Mamasapano incident, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas insisted that he was not informed about Oplan Exodus. Senate PRIB/Alex Nueva Espana  
MANILA, Philippines - Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas recently submitted to the Board of Inquiry the text messages he received and sent regarding the Mamasapano operation last January 25. A report from ABS-CBN News bared the exchange of text messages between Roxas, Philippine National Police Officer-in-Charge Leonardo Espina and relieved Special Action Force director Getulio Napeñas during the day of the operation against high-value targets Zhulkifli bin Hir alias “Marwan” and Basit Usman. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: Telco says it’s incapable of tracking content of PNoy-Purisima text messages


PURISIMA AND AQUINO --PHILSTAR PHOTO  Smart Communications has claimed it was incapable of tracking the contents of the exchange of text messages between President Benigno Aquino III and resigned Police chief Director General Alan Purisima over the Mamasapano anti-terror mission, Senator Grace Poe said Friday   In its reply to a Senate subpoena last week, the telecommunications company also told the Senate panel that it could only release the time log of the controversial text messages. Still, it added that a court order or written consent from the subscriber would be needed before it could do so.   “Smart Telecom has formally replied to the committee that its system is not capable of tracking the contents of SMS but only the log of the time and numbers and that it would require either a court order or written consent from the subscriber for it to comply,” Poe said in a text message to GMA News Online on Friday. READ  MORE...

ALSO: Gov’t ready to thwart new rebel group


Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. STAR/File photo 
MANILA, Philippines - The government is ready to nip in the bud the Justice for Islamic Movement (JIM) with the help of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), considering the new terror group would pose a threat to efforts to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao, Malacañang said yesterday. Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was doing its duty to monitor the activities of different armed groups. “They will not be allowed to carry out any terror acts and will be stopped by the AFP,” Coloma said.  He stressed the military would do everything necessary. Coloma added the military was continuously coordinating with the MILF to check the movements of different armed groups in their strongholds in Mindanao. The AFP disclosed the JIM, a breakaway group from the separatist Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, was organized by Mohamad Ali Tambako after a falling out with BIFF founder Ameril Umbra Kato. READ MORE...

ALSO: Soldier dies as troops overrun NPA camp
[NPA camp was located in the deep forested areas of the provincial boundary between Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte.]


Satellite image from Google Earth points to Dumalinao in Zamboanga Peninsula. ZAMBOANGA, Philippines — Government troops overran a camp of the communist rebels following an encounter in a remote village of Bayog town in Zamboanga del Sur, military said Friday. The encounter left a soldier killed and an undetermined number of suspected New's People Army (NPA) members wounded. Capt. Franco Salvador Suelto, spokesperson of 1st Army Division Joint Task Force Zampelan, said troops from the 32nd Infantry Battalion encountered Wednesday morning guerillas from the NPA's Section Committee Feliciano at Sitio Sabangan of Dumalinao village. He said the NPA camp was located in the deep forested areas of the provincial boundary between Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte. Suleto said an hour-long gun battle ensued, resulting in the recovery of the NPA-run area and several allegedly subversive documents left by retreating rebels. READ MORE...

ALSO: Unconstitutional BBL provisions scrapped
[House dilutes peace measure to keep powers of Comelec, COA, Ombudsman, CSC, CHR, PNP]


Despite appeals of Malacañang and the Moro Islamic Liberations Front (MILF), the House Ad hoc Committee on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) has decided to scrap the unconstitutional provisions in the peace measure that would have removed the powers of six government agencies – the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Commission on Audit (COA), the Office of the Ombudsman, the Civil Service Commission (CSC), Commission on Human Rights (CHR), and the Philippine National Police (PNP) – over the Bangsamoro territory.   
“In the Aquino proposed law, there’s no more Bangsamoro COA, Comelec, Civil Service, Ombudsman, Human Rights, and police,” Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, the ad hoc panel chairman, said.   But the deletion of such provisions would now entirely dilute the BBL, Rodriguez said.   “The main fundamental of the BBL is the power sharing, political autonomy, and fiscal autonomy … that’s the most important,” Rodriguez said.   “As far as the BBL is concerned, we have removed the unconstitutional provision providing another electoral body that would supervise election in the Bangsamoro region. That would be in violation of your constitutional mandate. We are upholding your exclusive jurisdiction on matters related to election,” Rodriguez said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Mamasapano report to cover PNoy’s involvement —Grace Poe [Poe also assured the public that their committee's report will not be a waterdowned version even if majority of the senators are allies with the president. “Kami naman, may kanya-kanyang pananagutan at reputasyon sa ating mga kababayan. Kaya, kung ito ay hindi magagawa ng tama, pangalan rin naman namin ang nakasalalay dito,” she said.]


GRACE POE --
The committee report on the Senate inquiry on the Mamasapano clash will include its findings on the participation and shortcomings of officials involved at all levels, Sen. Grace Poe said on Friday.
Poe, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, answered in the affirmative when asked if the report would also cover President Benigno Aquino III.  "Basta ganito lang po, lahat ng may kinalaman na nabanggit na liderato ay siyempre kailangang meron kaming tugon ukol sa kanilang partisipasyon at kung ano ang mga naging kakulangan dito," Poe said in an interview.  "Hanggang sa lahat ng level po na may kinalaman dito sa operasyon na ito ay malalagay sa aming committee report, kung ano ang naging pagkukulang o kung ano ang tamang nagawa," she added. Including "possibly the Office of the President?" "Siyempre kasama na doon," Poe said.  Poe said the committee report would be finished by the week of March 16. READ MORE...
 


READ FULL MEDIA NEWS REPORT:

Senate subpoenas PNoy-Purisima text exchanges from telcos


Resigned Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima earlier revealed that he was the one who informed President Benigno Aquino III regarding the Mamasapano operation. Malacañang Photo Bureau/Robert Viñas, File

MANILA, MARCH 9, 2015
(PHILSTAR)
By Patricia Lourdes Viray - The Senate issued a subpoena ordering telecommunications companies to bare the exchange of text messages between President Benigno Aquino III and resigned Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima on January 25, the day of the Mamasapano incident.

In an interview with radio dzMM on Tuesday, Senate President Franklin Drilon confirmed that he signed the subpoena in relation to the current investigation of the Senate committee on public order regarding the incident.

During the Senate hearing on the Mamasapano incident last February 23, Purisima revealed the exchange of text messages between him and the President during the day of the bloody encounter between police commandos and Moro guerillas in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

READ: TRANSCRIPT: Text messages of Aquino, Purisima on Oplan Exodus

According to Drilon, the subpoena sent to telecommunication service providers of Aquino and Purisima aims to confirm the statements of the former police chief regarding the operation.

"In effect what we are just doing is to verify the correctness of the statement in order the bottom of the study," Drilon said.

The Senate will use the transcripts from Aquino and Purisima's telcos to finalize its committee report on the incident.

The operation to arrest Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, led to the death of 44 police commandos during an encounter with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Mamasapano. ..


PHILSTAR

TRANSCRIPT: Mar's text messages to Espina, Napeñas during Mamasapano clash By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated March 4, 2015 - 4:09pm


During Senate hearings on the Mamasapano incident, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas insisted that he was not informed about Oplan Exodus. Senate PRIB/Alex Nueva Espana

MANILA, Philippines - Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas recently submitted to the Board of Inquiry the text messages he received and sent regarding the Mamasapano operation last January 25.

A report from ABS-CBN News bared the exchange of text messages between Roxas, Philippine National Police Officer-in-Charge Leonardo Espina and relieved Special Action Force director Getulio Napeñas during the day of the operation against high-value targets Zhulkifli bin Hir alias “Marwan” and Basit Usman.

During the separate inquiries of the Senate and the House of Representatives, Roxas insisted that he was not informed of the Mamasapano operation.

THE TEXT EXCHANGES:

Roxas first received a text message from Director Charles Calima on 7:43 a.m. on January 25, informing him of the progress of the operation.

7:43 a.m. - Calima to Roxas:

“From Director SAF in the field, si-re on-going opns agst high value targets >>> FOR: OIC PNP FROM DSAF: update re opns against HVTs. Based on the report of the ME, JI@Marwan was neutralized but the body was left behind due to heavy volume of fire and 1 wounded SAF trooper. "

“The containment blocking force was engage 2 kms east if Tukalanipao GC 6800665717. There was heavy firefight & SAF troops suffered casualties. Extraction is on-going & support from the AFP was requested. ”

Roxas to Calima:

“Noted re SAF Operation. Going to Zambo now. Please get more details re SAF Operation. ”

Roxas then forwarded the information to President Benigno Aquino III.

“Sir, just received this. Am getting more details. ”

Aquino to Roxas:

“Thank you. ”

Espina to Roxas:

“NOC SMS Ref #1501-25306. Member of Jemaah Islamiyah reportedly neutralized in Mamasapano (txt msg from DSAF rcvd on 7:34AM 25 Jan). OOA 2:30AM, Jan 25, 2015, PNP SAF Troopers supported by Maguindanao PPO. ”

10:36 a.m. - Roxas to Espina:

“Ok noted since Marwan body reportedly left behind, is there any video or foto or DNA or personal effects retrieved to verify his death. ”

Espina to Roxas:

“Am asking Dir SAF now sir. ”

10:40 a.m. - Roxas to Espina:

“Yes PNoy getting other reports that are conflicting with each other. Example: 160 daw SAF, 20 daw hostiles so why did they retreat eh 8:1 ang ratio. ”

Espina to Roxas:

“Yes Sir. Sir from Dir SAF: Affirmative sir, pictures including DNA samples. ”

10:42 a.m. Roxas to Espina:

“Ah good. And something to compare it so we can verify. ”

Espina to Roxas:

“Copy po sir. Relayed to Dir SAF dir. Sir. from Dir SAF: Sir the hostilities in the area are much more than our troops & the nearby mixed armed groups were quick to reinforce. ”

12:28 p.m. Roxas to Espina:

“Anyway, linawin lang kung ano talaga storya. I know "fog of war" effect so pls have them sit and ikwento nila sa isang professional na debriefer/investigator ”

4:09 p.m. Espina to Roxas:

“Sir FM Gen Rusty Guerrero, Cmdr Westmincomm >> FM Gen Galvez, CHR GPH CCCH: Proceeding na kami sa area sir. The Joint CCCH IMT and AHJAG with teh LGU's will retrieve the reported 26 cadavers on both sides of the river (Note: Sir, I asked him if there was coord made with them on the opns. Wala din daw sir coord sa afp. Walang nakakaalam ng opn except SAF sir) ”

6:32 p.m. - Roxas to Espina and PDDG Marcelo Garbo Jr.:

“Hi Dindo (cc Garbo). Meron bang concept of operation ito. Where would it be. Pls look for it. Btw as of now as per Westmincomm, deathtoll has reached 32. ”

6:32 p.m. - Napeñas to Roxas:

“Sir good pm. The original strength we prepared for this opn was 252 then we increased the strenth to 382 based on the guidance to increase force to be utilized. The target Marwan was confirmed dead by PSUPT TRAIN & got pictures & DNA sample. On the extraction lawless elements engaged the SAF troops. ”

6:51 p.m. - Roxas to Napeñas:

“Hi Leo this is Mar. Got ur message. Tanung. Per ur text. Of the 382 total force, roughly 70 are either dead (32) or being pursued and still in the field (36). What happened to the balance of 310 or so? ”

7:00 p.m. - Napeñas to Roxas:

“Sir the remaining troops were sent to rescue the pers being pursued by the enemies together with the Army 7 rest were on a buffer zone to prevent the extraction position & exfil route. ”

7:12 p.m. Roxas to Napeñas:

“OK. Keep calm and keep ur head. 'Di natin pababayaan tropa natin. PNoy gave guidance to AFP Westmincom. ”

The Senate earlier issued a subpoena to telecommunications companies ordering them to produce the exchange of text messages between Aquino resigned PNP chied Alan Purisima during the day of the Mamasapano clash.

The text messages will be used by the Senate to complete its committee report on the Mamasapano incident which led to the death of 44 police commandos during an encounter with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.


GMA NEWS NETWORK

Telco says it’s incapable of tracking content of PNoy-Purisima text messages By AMITA LEGASPI, GMA NEWSMarch 6, 2015 12:44pm


PURISIMA AND AQUINO --PHILSTAR PHOTO

Smart Communications has claimed it was incapable of tracking the contents of the exchange of text messages between President Benigno Aquino III and resigned Police chief Director General Alan Purisima over the Mamasapano anti-terror mission, Senator Grace Poe said Friday

In its reply to a Senate subpoena last week, the telecommunications company also told the Senate panel that it could only release the time log of the controversial text messages. Still, it added that a court order or written consent from the subscriber would be needed before it could do so.

“Smart Telecom has formally replied to the committee that its system is not capable of tracking the contents of SMS but only the log of the time and numbers and that it would require either a court order or written consent from the subscriber for it to comply,” Poe said in a text message to GMA News Online on Friday.

Poe is the chairman of the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, one of three Senate panels investigating the Mamasapano clash on Jan. 25 that left 44 police commandos and 18 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front dead.

“The committee is still weighing its options on the matter given time consideration and the relevant legislative recommendations in the committee report," Poe said as regards the latest impasse.

Advice from lawyers

Smart Public Affairs head Ramon Isberto confirmed in a text message to GMA News Online that the telecommunications company sent such reply to the Senate.

Asked to confirm information from their response that the system doesn't keep the contents of the SMS, Isberto replied again, "Yes. That's right."

He added they are "seeking the advice of our external counsels on this matter" at this time.

Meanwhile, an official from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) said it cannot comment on the matter, as it is "between the Senate and the telco."

Last week, the Senate issued a subpoena to compel Smart Communications president and chief executive officer Napoleon Nazareno to release a full transcript of the text messages between Aquino and Purisima on January 25, especially from 5 a.m. to 7 pm.

Oplan Exodus

On that day, the Oplan Exodus, the operation to neutralize Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and Filipino bomb-maker Basit Usman in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, was conducted.

Forty-four Police Special Action Force commandos were killed in hours of gunfight with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

Purisima had submitted to the Senate a supposed copy of the text message exchange, but Senator Loren Legarda still requested for a full transcript for verification purposes.

There was an apparent confusion between Purisima and Aquino, as the resigned PNP chief disclosed before the committee that the President asked him to "Review your earlier and latest texts. They differ as to which engaged first." — LBG/NB, GMA News


PHILSTAR

Gov’t ready to thwart new rebel group By Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 6, 2015 - 12:00am


Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. STAR/File photo

MANILA, Philippines - The government is ready to nip in the bud the Justice for Islamic Movement (JIM) with the help of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), considering the new terror group would pose a threat to efforts to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao, Malacañang said yesterday.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was doing its duty to monitor the activities of different armed groups.

“They will not be allowed to carry out any terror acts and will be stopped by the AFP,” Coloma said.

He stressed the military would do everything necessary.

Coloma added the military was continuously coordinating with the MILF to check the movements of different armed groups in their strongholds in Mindanao.

The AFP disclosed the JIM, a breakaway group from the separatist Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, was organized by Mohamad Ali Tambako after a falling out with BIFF founder Ameril Umbra Kato.

AFP spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla described Tambako as a radical Muslim cleric trained in the Middle East and was one of the leaders of the BIFF.

Tambako, according to the AFP, formed his own band of jihadists now reportedly providing sanctuary to bomb expert Abdul Basit Usman and at least five foreign militants.

Newly installed AFP spokesman and commander of the AFP Civil Relations Service Brig. Gen. Joselito Kakilala said Tambako used to be finance officer of the BIFF, directly involved in soliciting and collecting funds from foreign donors for their group.

Kakilala, former chief the AFPfs anti-terror Joint Task Force General Santos City, said Tambako broke ranks with the BIFF following a rift borne out of leadership jealousy as well financial issues with their groupfs logistic officer, Sheikh Muhiddin Alimbang, alias Commander Kagi Karialan, shortly after Kato suffered a stroke in 2011.

Kato, meanwhile, is physically incapacitated with the left half of his body paralyzed, according to a relative.

The rift further widened, leading to the split after Karialan was nearly killed in a bomb attack in 2013. The incident was blamed on Tambako, who is known for his links with Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, and then MILF Special Operations Group commander Basit Usman.

Usman, on the other hand, was repeatedly disowned by the MILF.

Marwan was killed in a covert operation by the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Jan. 25. Usman, however, was able to escape though initial reports said he was wounded during the attack.

The Mamasapano operation, however, cost the lives of 44 SAF policemen who figured in a firefight with BIFF and MILF rebels.

Tambako is now reportedly coddling Usman and several other foreign jihadists, who from time to time were monitored to be in the company of BIFF rebels headed by Karialan.

“The two Muslim rebel groups may have different leaders with differing views, but they’re the same. They’re coddlers of terrorists,” Kakilala said.

Tambako had even assumed command of the BIFF for eight months, when Kato got so weak after his family confined him to a hut in a remote village somewhere in Shariff Aguak, South Upi and Guindulungan towns.

“The BIFF has less than 500 members and only about 300 of them are armed, but they are jihadists, whose extreme spiritual views were made so extreme by Kato’s kuthab (sermon) during Friday worship rites when he was still healthy,” 43-year-old peasant Udtog Kumbel said.

Local officials in Mamasapano, Datu Piang, Datu Saudi, Datu Unsay and Shariff Aguak towns said Kato’s most trusted lieutenants, including Karialan and Tambako, now act independently, their groups separated by factional divides.

The erstwhile BIFF commanders have openly pledged support to the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria during a gathering somewhere in Maguindanao in July 2014.

On the reported direct links of JIM and BIFF to al-Qaeda and ISIS, Kakilala said the report is subject of an ongoing validation.

As per previous monitoring, at least one Arab-looking and four Indonesian terrorists were seen with the group of Tambako. – Delon Porcalla, Jaime Laude, John Unson ..


PHILSTAR

Soldier dies as troops overrun NPA camp By Roel Pareño (philstar.com) | Updated March 6, 2015 - 4:13pm


Satellite image from Google Earth points to Dumalinao in Zamboanga Peninsula.

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines — Government troops overran a camp of the communist rebels following an encounter in a remote village of Bayog town in Zamboanga del Sur, military said Friday.

The encounter left a soldier killed and an undetermined number of suspected New's People Army (NPA) members wounded.

Capt. Franco Salvador Suelto, spokesperson of 1st Army Division Joint Task Force Zampelan, said troops from the 32nd Infantry Battalion encountered Wednesday morning guerillas from the NPA's Section Committee Feliciano at Sitio Sabangan of Dumalinao village.

He said the NPA camp was located in the deep forested areas of the provincial boundary between Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte.

Suleto said an hour-long gun battle ensued, resulting in the recovery of the NPA-run area and several allegedly subversive documents left by retreating rebels.

"This is a clear indication that [NPA rebels] are encamping in uninhabited areas because they already lost the support of the local populace in their traditional areas due to continuous Bayanihan (Peace and Development) activities," Suelto said.

Brig. Gen. Gerardo Barrientos fo the 1st Army Division encouraged the troops to continue the relentless pursuit of NPA rebels in the area.

Barrientos also condoled with the family of the unnamed, slain soldier whom he said "made the ultimate sacrifice in name of peace and development." ..


MANILA BULLETIN

Unconstitutional BBL provisions scrapped
House dilutes peace measure to keep powers of Comelec, COA, Ombudsman, CSC, CHR, PNP by Charissa Luci March 6, 2015

Despite appeals of Malacañang and the Moro Islamic Liberations Front (MILF), the House Ad hoc Committee on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) has decided to scrap the unconstitutional provisions in the peace measure that would have removed the powers of six government agencies – the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Commission on Audit (COA), the Office of the Ombudsman, the Civil Service Commission (CSC), Commission on Human Rights (CHR), and the Philippine National Police (PNP) – over the Bangsamoro territory.

“In the proposed law, there’s no more Bangsamoro COA, Comelec, Civil Service, Ombudsman, Human Rights, and police,” Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, the ad hoc panel chairman, said.

But the deletion of such provisions would now entirely dilute the BBL, Rodriguez said.

“The main fundamental of the BBL is the power sharing, political autonomy, and fiscal autonomy … that’s the most important,” Rodriguez said.

“As far as the BBL is concerned, we have removed the unconstitutional provision providing another electoral body that would supervise election in the Bangsamoro region. That would be in violation of your constitutional mandate. We are upholding your exclusive jurisdiction on matters related to election,” Rodriguez said.

“Congress has no business in interfering in your mandate,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said the other provisions that were deleted were creating their own internal audit body despite the presence of the COA; disciplining of public officials, a power to be taken away from the Office of the Ombudsman; establishing own civil service and human rights bodies, and creating the Bangsamoro Police Force.

At yesterday’s House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms hearing, Rodriguez assured the Comelec that the 290-man Lower Chamber is keeping the poll body’s “exclusive jurisdiction” on poll-related matters.

He also noted the position papers of the Deans, the five governors of the Muslim provinces, and the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) rejecting the creation of another electoral body for the Bangsamoro region.

“They believe in you, Comelec people, that you keep your constitutional mandate,” he said.

In response, Lim said they are “happy” with the ad hoc panel’s deletion of a provision allowing Bangsamoro to run its elections.

“We share the same view that it is unconstitutional,” he said.

UNDER CONSIDERATION

Rodriguez also said the panel is mulling over whether or not to scrap the provision allowing other areas outside the Bangsamoro territory to also join the entity upon a petition of at least 10 percent of its constituents as this may be declared illegal by the Supreme Court.

Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Benitez, head of the Visayan bloc in the Lower Chamber, said that the Department of Justice (DOJ) should be given bigger role in determining which provisions should be deleted.

“Let’s ask the legal opinion of the DOJ for Congress to know what parts of the BBL are unconstitutional,” he said.

Rodriguez said he is supportive of giving the Bangsamoro P75-billion fund allocation for its fiscal autonomy.

His panel is eyeing to pass the BBL in the committee level on May 18, which is three months late from its original Feb. 9 target.

The Rodriguez panel’s resumption of its executive sessions this week was postponed as the PNP Board of Inquiry (BOI) is set to submit its report to Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas on March 6 for President Aquino’s review.

Rodriguez said the chamber could hold a special session from June 11 to 25 if they fail to approve the BBL before the sine die adjournment of the second regular session of 16th Congress on June 11.

He had warned that the Lower Chamber may abandon the proposed creation of the Bangsamoro juridical entity if the MILF fails to surrender its erring commanders and members who were involved in the bloody anti-terror raid in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, last Jan. 25, branding the non-surrender of MILF’s erring elements as “deal breaker.”

He even asked Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to fast-track their comprehensive probe into the Mamasapano massacre.

He reiterated his panel’s vow “to improve” the provisions of the BBL “so that we will not have another incident like Mamasapano.”

RECAST BBL – MIRIAM

As the House of Representatives started diluting the BBL, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago yesterday strongly advised President Aquino to recast the BBL because it is replete with constitutional infirmities.

In a press briefing for Senate reporters, Santiago said Malacañang, not by another branch of government, should unilaterally form a review committee to address the constitutional issues in the BBL as crafted by its peace negotiating panel and leaders of the secessionist MILF.

She strongly suggested that Malacañang invite the noted constitutionalists she had invited in her committee hearing to point out the problematic constitutional issues that she felt should be done away with or addressed.

These same constitutional luminaries had testified before her committee that the BBL is unconstitutional, she said.

IT’S LEGAL – PALACE

But Malacañang stood firm on the legality of the BBL.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said 14 members of the Constitutional Commission that crafted the 1987 Constitution have said that there is nothing illegal with the proposed BBL.

Coloma noted that the members of the Constitutional Commission had said the proposed BBL focuses on human development and social justice.

Senators warned Malacañang that rushing the passage of the BBL could be more fatal to the country’s welfare.

Santiago said that as chairman of the Senate Constitutional Amendments Committee, it is not important to rush the approval of the BBL because those against it are certain to bring the constitutional issues surrounding the BBL before the Supreme Court (SC). She said she is confident that the SC would agree with her position that, among others, the creation of a sub-state within a state as provided the BBL is unconstitutional.

Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, reminded Palace there are “critical issues that must be discussed in public hearings for the BBL to be inclusive and comprehensive.”

“Haste could be a fatal waste. The BBL is not a magic pill to stop the war in Mindanao, although it’s an important element in the quest for lasting peace. I will try to meet the proposed deadline. But I will not sacrifice the necessity of getting it right,” Marcos said in a statement.

Before the BBL hearings can resume, Marcos said he needs to wait for the reports of the inquiries on the Mamasapano incident conducted separately by the police and the MILF, as well as the committee report of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, chaired by Senator Grace Poe Llamanzares.

Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano for his part said there should first be justice served to the Fallen 44 SAF commandos before the BBL is passed.

“It should be the priority, vis-à-vis the peace process,” Cayetano said.

Cayetano noted that MILF leaders remain defiant and refuse to surrender those involved in the January 25 encounter. (With reports from Mario B. Casayuran, Hannah L. Torregoza, and Madel Sabater Namit)


GMA NEWS NETWORK

Mamasapano report to cover PNoy’s involvement —Grace Poe March 6, 2015 5:11pm 151 28 0 191 Tags: Mamasapano clash


GRACE POE

The committee report on the Senate inquiry on the Mamasapano clash will include its findings on the participation and shortcomings of officials involved at all levels, Sen. Grace Poe said on Friday.

Poe, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, answered in the affirmative when asked if the report would also cover President Benigno Aquino III.

"Basta ganito lang po, lahat ng may kinalaman na nabanggit na liderato ay siyempre kailangang meron kaming tugon ukol sa kanilang partisipasyon at kung ano ang mga naging kakulangan dito," Poe said in an interview.

"Hanggang sa lahat ng level po na may kinalaman dito sa operasyon na ito ay malalagay sa aming committee report, kung ano ang naging pagkukulang o kung ano ang tamang nagawa," she added.

Including "possibly the Office of the President?" "Siyempre kasama na doon," Poe said.

Poe said the committee report would be finished by the week of March 16.

Aside from her committee, the other panels involved in the Mamasapano inquiry include those on peace, unity and reconciliation and on finance.

The Mamasapano "misencounter" on Jan. 25 left 44 police commandos dead. Eighteen fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and five civilians were also killed.

Poe said the committee report will include stories from survivors, possible foreign involvement and recommendations to prevent a repeat of the incident.

“Ang pakay natin, unang-una ay maipresenta ang katotohanan. Ang sa amin ay recommendatory, kung ano ba ang sa tingin namin na pagkakamali dito na dapat ay gawan natin ng solusyon para huwag na maulit muli,” Poe said.

Cross check

She added that they will be cross checking their facts with the Philippine National Police's Board of Inquiry which is also about to complete its report on the incident.

“Ngayon ang BOI ay magsusumite sa Lunes o mamaya. Sa amin, matatapos namin, siyempre irereview din namin ang BOI report, bagama’t meron kami ng sarili namin na konklusyon, mas mabuti na rin na pagdating sa mga ebidensya, facts and figures ay meron kaming cross checking,” she said.

Poe also said she believes the PNP BOI's report should be disclosed to the public especially since the investigating body is about accountability.

“I haven’t seen the BOI report. But, without even seeing it, all I can say is that if it does not jeopardize national security, diplomatic relations, or ongoing criminal investigations, or the privacy and safety of an individual, they should be able to release it,” she said.

Poe also assured the public that their committee's report will not be a waterdowned version even if majority of the senators are allies with the president.

“Kami naman, may kanya-kanyang pananagutan at reputasyon sa ating mga kababayan. Kaya, kung ito ay hindi magagawa ng tama, pangalan rin naman namin ang nakasalalay dito,” she said.

“So para sa akin, report ko ito, report ng committee ko ito. Kaya, sa tingin ko naman, hindi ako papayag na malabnaw ito sapagkat magiging pananagutan ko ito sa publiko,” she continued. —Andrei Medina/NB, GMA News


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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