In a letter dated February 20 to Senator Grace Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public order, Del Rosario said cited the visit of dignitaries from Slovak Republic as his reason for failing to attend the hearing.
“In view of the official visit to the Philippines of His Excellency Miroslav Lajcak, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Slovak Republic on the same date (February 23), I regret not being able to attend the said hearing,” he said.
Evan Garcia, the Department of Foreign Affairs undersecretary for policy, will attend the hearing on Del Rosario’s behalf.
“I assure you of the Department’s continued cooperation on the matters of mutual concerns,” the Cabinet official added.
Poe’s panel had invited Del Rosario to explain the Philippines’ existing military cooperation agreements with the United States.
The US government is believed to have played a role in the planning and execution of “Oplan Exodus,” the SAF’s top secret operation to arrest terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and Abdul Basit Usman.