HOUSE Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora of San Juan said his congressman-colleagues failed to ask the questions that matter during their four-hour “Mamasapano operation briefing” with President Benigno Aquino III in Malacañang on Monday.
In particular, Zamora said no one from his fellow House leaders asked President Aquino why he allowed a suspended official, then – Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Alan Purisima, to oversee the high-stakes Mamasapano mission last January 25.
” Nobody talked that way. The problem with those kinds of meetings is that everybody tends to be polite,” he told DZBB in an interview Tuesday.
“You had the President in front of you, he was trying to explain his side…everybody was being polite,” Zamora said of his fellow lawmakers. He said House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. asked him to join the Palace meeting, which coincided with the resumption of the Senate’s inquiry on the bloody Mamasapano siege.
Also serving as Aquino’s audience yesterday were Cagayan Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, the Ad Hoc Committee chair and the so-called “Saturday Group” of solons who composed of ex-police and armed forces officials.
Not one of them, even the Minority Leader, brought up the elephant in the room that was Purisima, who it turned out gave wrong information to Aquino in the morning of January 25.
“I felt that it was not in my place to ask…I was the only Minority member there (in the meeting),” Zamora said. “I don’t even think I was invited there for the right reasons.”
In the end, the San Juan lawmaker admitted to cutting the President slack also, saying that the meeting wasn’t a public forum anyway.
“There’s a proper time and place for it. I didn’t want to be the one to rain on his parade,” he said. (Randy K. Ortega)