'Impact will depend on the evidence'
MANILA (UPDATED) - Senator Sergio Osmeña III believes Senator Juan Ponce Enrile is out to get even with President Benigno Aquino III in the Senate hearing on the January 25, 2015 Mamasapano encounter next week.
Asked if he thinks the reopening of the investigation was politically motivated, Osmeña said Enrile wants to "hurt" the President "because PNoy put him in a stockade."
Enrile is one of the three senators facing plunder and graft charges over their alleged involvement in the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam.
Osmeña, however, said Enrile will only be able to do this if he has the evidence. "Masasaktan si PNoy if he can prove what he wants to prove," said Osmeña.
Enrile has accused Aquino of being directly involved in the Mamasapano encounter, saying the President did nothing to help the Special Action Force (SAF) troopers, 44 of whom died in the operation.
'GINAWA NIYA YUNG DAPAT GAWIN'
Malacañang defended Aquino, saying the President and the concerned government officials did everything they could.
"Sinabi na ng Pangulo na sa kanyang pagkabatid ay ginawa naman niya yung dapat gawin bilang Pangulo at commander-in-chief. Meron siyang mga ginawa, meron ding ginawa ang mga kinauukulang opisyal ng pamahalaan, at lahat naman ng mga ito ay naibunyag at naisiwalat na nung mga nakaraang pagkakataon," Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said.
Coloma noted that several inquiries and investigations have already been made into the Mamasapano incident. He also looked back at an event where the President was asked about the matter.
"Kung naaalala ninyo as late as September 2015, tinanong siya muli ni the late Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc during that interview... kung satisfied na ba siya, meron na ba siyang sense of closure hinggil doon sa naganap, at spontaneously, the President said na gusto niyang tingnan pa yung lumutang na panahon na yon na alternative version of events," he said.
Coloma maintained that the President is still open and willing to provide explanation about the incident.
"Sa lahat ng pagkakataon ay palaging bukas at hayag ang posisyon ng pamahalaan hinggil diyan at handang magpaliwanag sa tamang lugar at takdang panahon," he said.
READ: PNoy sees politics behind reopened Mamasapano probe
Meanwhile, Osmeña also defended the President's decision to veto the bill increasing Social Security System (SSS) pension, saying Aquino only exercised fiscal discipline.
The senator said, if Aquino did otherwise, it could have affected the country's credit ratings with Standard & Poor's and other agencies.
"Huwag tayong gumastos pag walang pera," said Osmeña.
He added that the P2,000 increase in SSS pension would be like a household spending P1,000 despite having a P500 income.
He explained that he voted for the bill because he thought the premiums would also be increased.
He, however, said that there are still ways to make SSS pensioners satisfied such as by increasing the income of SSS. -- With a report by Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News