Hostage report 'held hostage'-A A +A
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
AN OPPOSITION lawmaker said partial disclosure of the report of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) tasked at investigating the Manila hostage crisis violated the tenets of transparency of the Aquino administration.
“This calibrated dissemination of the report offends the tenets of transparency and fairness as substantial parts of it are held hostage even as it trivializes the report of the President’s own investigation committee,” said House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman.
The reaction came after President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III disclosed parts of the report Monday afternoon.
Lagman hit the alleged deliberate refusal of Aquino to disclose pages 61 to 83 of the IIRC report, which particularly tackle on “Conclusions on Accountability”, "Recommendations”, “Highlights” and “Epilogue”.
“It would appear that if Aquino’s legal minds would reject or only recommend a partial adoption of the report, the people would only get to know a modified sequel on the conclusions on accountability and recommendations,” he added.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) also called on Malacanang to release the full report on the hostage crisis following the disclosure of some of its findings.
“The delay in the release will inevitably cast doubts on the outcome of the report,” said Bayan Secretary general Renato Reyes Jr.
Bayan said even if the Palace legal team would study the recommendations before the President undertakes any action, there is really no reason to hide the recommendations from the people.
Representative Ben Evardone (lone district, Eastern Samar), who chairs the House committee on public information, meanwhile believed that it is unfair to impose charges on members of the media.
“Media only exercised its duty to report. The law enforcers and civil authorities should have closely coordinated with media, but there was total failure on their part," Evardone stressed.
Representative Roilo Golez (second district, Paranaque) meantime lauded the speedy release of the report, barely one month after the hostage-taking incident, which claimed the lives of eight tourists mostly Hong Kong nationals, took place.
Golez added the report showed political will after Lim, a staunch ally of the Aquino family, was not spared by the panel.
But the Palace brushed off criticisms on partial disclosure, noting Aquino needs more time to come up with his move.
“The President wants the committee report to be studied further and to see if all the facts and all the conclusions are proper,” said Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda.
He reiterated that the report is recommendatory in nature so there is no assurance if the President will submit to all the findings of the IIRC.
“Wala po tayong itatago, ilalabas po natin lahat in fairness to all the people named,” he said.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Eduardo de Mesa said they already started reviewing the 83-page fact-finding committee report.(Kathrina Alvarez/Jill Beltran/Sunnex)