Lawmaker wants marathon Mamasapano hearings

MILF Chief Negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, chairperson of the Government Peace Negotiating Panel for talks with the MILF, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Sec. Teresita Quintos Deles, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Evan Garcia attend the 4th public hearing on the Mamasapano incident.(MNS photo)

MILF Chief Negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, chairperson of the Government Peace Negotiating Panel for talks with the MILF, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Sec. Teresita Quintos Deles, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Evan Garcia attend the 4th public hearing on the Mamasapano incident.(MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – No limit. Zamboanga Rep. Celso Lobregat said he wants the House of Representatives inquiry into the Mamasapano incident to last until the evening to make sure all their questions about the incident are answered.

Lobregat said the Lower House can hold the inquiry until night time since there is no scheduled session the following day. The House of Representatives inquiry is scheduled on April 7, Tuesday, and April 8, Wednesday.

We are asking na walang time limit yung oras ng hearing. If we start at 9-930 am, we can go on hanggang gabi dahil wala naman session,” he said.

The House of Representatives earlier suspended its hearings on the Mamasapano tragedy after the House leadership said it will wait for the results of the Board of Inquiry probe.

The hearings are meant to shed light on the January 25 mission of Special Action Force commandos to neutralize Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, and two other targets. The mission saw 44 SAF commandos killed by Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters, BIFF men and lawless elements in the area.

A Senate draft committee report earlier said President Aquino, as commander-in-chief, is ultimately responsible for the Mamasapano mission but said armed groups are liable for robbing and killing the SAF commandos.

The MILF and the Philippine National Police Board of Inquiry have also issued separate reports on the incident.

Lobregat noted that close to 30 congressmen were unable to ask questions during the first House hearing last February 11.

He said the House will first allow the 30 lawmakers to ask their questions before going to a second round. Under the previous rule, each lawmaker was given 5 minutes to ask questions.

If needed, Lobregat said he will ask the House leadership to add another hearing on Friday since April 9 is a holiday.

“There are some contradictory findings between the Senate and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The MILF said it was just a misencounter, more or less that is one point we can thresh out in the House of Representatives. And then the role of the peace panel, the Senate report came out with a special section on the peace panel. And then, the participation of the Americans, of course because of the war on terrorism, we should ask help from any country, but on the exact participation especially real-time information, I have a lot of questions on that,” he said. (MNS)

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