President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday received a text message from TV host-actress and former presidential sister Kris Aquino asking him not to imprison her brother, former president Benigno Aquino III, over the botched Mamasapano operation that led to the death of 44 police commandos
Duterte, however, did not elaborate on the text message he supposedly received from Aquino’s sister, adding that he only told her that he was just after the truth.
“Si Kris nag-text. Sabi, ‘Huwag mo namang ipakulong si Noy,’ (Kirs sent a text message. She said, don’t send Noy to jail),” Duterte said in a speech during the launch of the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s new tax campaign at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
“No Kris. I am not out to find faults. I just want to know the truth,” Duterte added.
“Wala akong habol ng tao na ipakulong ko ang mga dating opisyal (I’m not going after former government officials). I am not into the habit of sending to prison the guys from the other side of the political fence or whatever. I just want to give the Filipino people the truth,” Duterte said.
During the Mamasapano carnage’s second anniversary last month, Duterte challenged Aquino to explain his entire role in the operation, which the President insisted was operated by the US Central Intelligence Agency. In response to Duterte, Aquino said his only mistake was to trust former SAF commander Getulio Napeñas.
Duterte previously ordered the creation of an independent commission that will look into the Mamasapano debacle, which he said would be composed of men of integrity, including Supreme Court justices. But the President said he would not pursue the creation of the commission until the Ombudsman finished its investigation.
Since stepping down from office and losing his presidential immunity from suit in June last year, three criminal complaints were filed against Aquino by relatives of the slain SAF commandos. The former president had dismissed the complaints as “frivolous” and “absurd.”
The Office of the Ombudsman had indicted Napeñas and former PNP Director General Alan Purisima for bypassing the chain of command in carrying out the operation that killed bombmaker Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan.