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Duterte riding on Mamasapano massacre for own gain—Trillanes, de Lima

Two senators on Wednesday accused President Rodrigo Duterte of using the Mamasapano debacle not only to “demonize” the past administration but also to divert attention from the “crisis” of his own leadership.




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“Panglihis lang ‘yan sa mga kapalpakan ng administrasyon n’ya (That’s just a diversionary tactic to mask the failures of his administration),” Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Duterte’s known critics, said in a text message on Wednesday. Another known critic, Senator Leila de Lima, echoed Trillanes’ statement.




“The second anniversary of the Mamasapano incident is again being used by Duterte to divert attention from the crisis his current leadership is facing, rather than to actually give justice to the SAF (special Action Force) and Muslim civilian victims of that armed encounter,” De Lima said in a separate statement.



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“This appears to be the primary motivation of the President in continuously harping on the Mamasapano incident. It is to continuously demonize the past administration in order to cover up for his own lack of accomplishments and direction after six months into his term,” she added. Trillanes and De Lima were reacting to Duterte’s recent tirade against former President Benigno Aquino III for what he depicted as the ex-president’s failure to sufficiently explain to the public why the police operation in Mamasapano last January 25, 2015 had resulted in the deaths of 44 SAF members.



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