MANILA, Philippines - Senator Antonio Trillanes IV warned President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday against calls for him to apologise over the botched Mamasapano operation, saying it was a "trap" to remove him from office.
"Yung pag so-sorry e kalokohan po 'yan (Saying sorry is baloney)," Trillanes said during a weekly forum at the Senate.
"Alam n'yo ganyan din ang ina-advise nila kay GMA noon na mag sorry, naniwala ba tayo? Napakalma ba tayo? Hindi (They also advised GMA to say sorry, but did we believe her? Did her apology calm us down? No)," he said, referring to former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who publicly apologised at the height of the so-called "Hello Garci" scandal in 2005.
Trillanes said it would be used against President Aquino if he apologises for the Mamasapano operation.
"Sasabihin, 'o kita mo umamin na, tanggalin na.' Ganun 'yan. It's a trap (They would say, see he's already admitted his fault, oust him. That's the way it is. It's a trap)," said the senator.
"Besides, ang pagso-sorry, kusa 'yan. Kusang binibigay. Kapag ayaw ibigay 'yung pagso-sorry , hindi mo 'yan mapipilit, walang value (Besides, apologising should be sincere. You cannot demand an apology, if you insist on getting it, it loses its value)," he further said.
On Wednesday, former President Fidel Ramos urged Aquino to do an Arroyo by saying sorry for the incident.
Senator Grace Poe also urged the President when she released a Senate draft report on the incident Tuesday to own up to his responsibility. The report, which she drafted as head of the committee on public order found Aquino "ultimately responsible" for the Mamasapano operation.