The Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM), a registered national political party, fully supports General Dado Valeroso’s endeavor to seek truth, accountability, and justice for all the victims of the Mamasapano massacre, from the 44 SAF commandos, the MILF forces and the civilians killed during the failed operation.
It has been a year since and no justice has been served for all the victims, nor the masterminds and the perpetrators of the failed operation been held accountable for the dastardly deeds.
General Dado Valeroso, who is a PLM senatorial candidate in the coming May elections, tried to seek the truth when he came across an email of a taped conversation between a government official and a legislator in connection with the Mamasapano incident. This was recorded, according to the email sender, few days after the incident. The recording showed that there was a deliberate attempt to cover up the Mamasapano massacre so as not to affect the negotiations with the MILF.
We deplore the veiled threats made by Senate President Franklin Drilon against General Valeroso for the mere possession of the recording. Senator Drilon’s statement smacks of the Hello Garci scandal when former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo tried to stop the playing of the Garci tapes.
We call on the Senate, specifically the inquiry committee headed by Senator Grace Poe, not to be cowed by Drilon’s statement, and include the recording to the inquiry’s perusal and study. For this to happen, the Senate committee should overrule the Senate President’s objection to the recording and secure the tape forthwith to aid its legal inquiry.
It seems to us that we are also not talking of one recording but probably a number of recordings between government officials and legislators trying to cover up or downplay the Mamasapano incident. We are also concerned that Senator Drilon referred to one related conversation between Senator Bongbong Marcos and Presidential Peace Adviser Teresita Deles as an old issue and a political gimmick. But if this was an old issue, it was an issue that was never aired, even by Drilon himself, even if it was purportedly about efforts to cover up the Mamasapano massacre.
We believe that the issue now goes beyond the recording. The issue is the right of people to know what our government officials are doing on national and crucial concerns such as the Mamasapano massacre. The issue is the continuing cover up, now under some legal goobledygooks, by higher ups in the government who want to hide the truth from us. The issue is the absence of justice to all the victims of the Mamasapano massacre after a year now.
The PLM and all the representatives of people’s organizations gathered here intend to build the broadest people’s united front against any attempt to hide the truth, abscond accountability, and obstruct justice on the Mamasapano massacre. We specifically admonish the administration’s hatchet man who are bent on persecuting individuals who are merely seeking a resolution to this dismal mess that had led to the loss of precious lives and had divided the nation for a year now.
We’re all here to show our solidarity and support to our long-term friend and comrade General Dado Valeroso, and to ensure that truth will finally prevail.
Chairman, Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM)