‘I am responsible’ for failed mission

FOR PEACE  Muslims flash the peace sign during a rally in front of the Golden Mosque in Manila on Friday to support the peace process amid calls to scrap a peace treaty with Muslim rebels. The rebels said they were considering returning dozens of high-powered firearms seized from some of the 44 police commandos killed in a botched anti-terror operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. Photo by RENE H. DILAN

Muslims flash the peace sign during a rally in front of the Golden Mosque in Manila on Friday to support the peace process amid calls to scrap a peace treaty with Muslim rebels. The rebels said they were considering returning dozens of high-powered firearms seized from some of the 44 police commandos killed in a botched anti-terror operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. Photo by RENE H. DILAN

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd on Friday claimed full responsibility as Commander-in-Chief for the botched police operation in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao province that led to the killing of 44 elite Special Action Force (SAF) members last January 25.

“As the Commander-in-Chief, the responsibility rests in me,” Aquino said in a 10-minute address he made on live television where he also said such operation was necessary “in the pursuit of peace” and justice.

“I am the father of the nation and I lost 44 children whose lives can never be returned. I will carry this [burden]until my last day. They are my responsibility, including those who survived and those who rescued them,” Aquino stressed.

At the same time, he announced that he has finally accepted the resignation of suspended Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima, whom the President credits for engineering a plan that eventually led to the neutralization of Malaysian bomb maker Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan.

“We have been together for the longest time, starting from the attempted coup d’etat in 1987 where we were ambushed . . . He was with me when I went against powerful interests. Even if it endangered his career, he never left my side. That is why it pains me that he’s leaving under these circumstances,” Aquino said of Purisima.

“I accept the resignation of Gen. Purisima and I thank him for his long service,” the President added.

Purisima and Aquino were under fire for directing the Mamasapano operation even when Purisima was serving his suspension.

The police general was ordered suspended last December by the Department of Interior and Local Government upon recommendation of the Office of the Ombudsman where Purisima is facing graft charges.

Aquino gave weight to the role of sacked SAF chief Director Getulio Napenas who, he said, has a lot of explaining to do about the incident.

“I have conducted my own investigation on the operation . . . It was clear that the situation was far from what the troops had expected it to be. He has been there for a very long time so that it should be expected of him to have situational awareness. He knew the plan and he knew what were needed to implement it correctly. He should know each step,” the President pointed out.

His statement could be seen as an indication that Napenas could be facing serious charges for being the official directly involved.

Because there was already a huge difference from the previous situation, Aquino said, upon his own inquiry, Napenas should have coped with the ever-growing needs of the operation, especially since there was no coordination and not enough time to prepare.

“Why was there no coordination? . . . the former SAF commander will have his chance to explain,” Aquino said.

“We await the results of the [PNP Board of Inquiry] probe. As President, we should identify what went wrong in the soonest possible time,” he added.

Toward the end of his speech, Aquino warned those who may be harboring Abdul Basit Usman to step aside or face the state’s juggernaut.

“Our work is far from over. Usman remains at large. I hope that you will help in finding justice, especially if reports were true that the injured were also killed… Surrender Usman if he is in your territory. I expect you to do that. Or do everything to help us find him. If you cannot do that, then, get out of the way. We will get Usman whoever may be keeping him or wherever he may be,” the President said, apparently addressing the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Combined fighters of the MILF and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters had engaged and finished off the helpless SAF commandos, who ran out of ammunition because of the prolonged gunfight.
“To those who will stand in the way, the State will deal with you.”


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  1. ang mga pilipino mahilig sa kuentong good versus bad. si Pinoy ang may sala kapag nabuntis ang anak nyo sa edad na 16, si Pinoy ang may sala kung namatay ang sundalong buhay ang isisilbi sa bayan, si Pinoy ang may sala kapag baha sa Malabon, si Pinoy ang may sala kapag tumaas ang pasahe sa jeep, si Pinoy ang may sala kapag may napatay na OFW, si Pinoy ang may sala kapag maraming adik sa Crame, si Pinoy ang may sala kung hindi umabot ang donation sa bagyo, si Pinoy ang may sala kung mabuntis ni COCO si Kris, si Pinoy ang may sala kung bakit nawala si Marcos, gosh…hindi na kailangan ng Presidente sa pilipinas sa sobrang galing ng mga pinoy, talino at kagaguhan pareho lang ang kalalabasan, kasi nga si Pinoy na naman ang may sala. tsk tsk good people start in the family. help starts in the family, ugali starts in the family. palakihin nyo maige ang mga anak nyo mula ngayon, pagaralin, wag hayaan mabuntis agad, wag turuan ng masyadong kababaan ng loob, balasehin at taasan ang antas ng self-esteem, turuan magnegosyo, hindi lang nursing at pagaartista, hindi lang kantahan dapat lamnan ang utak at puso ng intact na tradition, kultura at pananampalataya..im sure 20 yrs from now lahat ng anak nyo ay bumubuo ng panibagong henersayin sa pilipinas, yung mga nagtatrabaho, hindi nagaadik, hindi nangungurakot, kundi busy sa trabaho, sa negosyo at sa pagpapalaki ng magandang pamilya na daragdag sa mabuting komunidad ng baong pilipinas..pag dumating ang panahong iyan. malamang hindi na kasalanan ni Pinoy.. wala kay Pinoy ang pagbabago. nasa bawat pamilya.nasa ina mo at ama.. sa ugali mo sa kapatid mo at lola, pinsan anak at kapit bahay..yan yan ang magagawa mong pagbabago simulan mo sa bahay nyo. maging presidente ka ng pamilya mo..at hindi mo masasabing kasalanan ni Pinoy

  2. Hero ka rin president. marami rin sa amin ang nalagas sa basilan province, the 61st PC battalion pero walang sisihan dahil nagsisilbi ka sa bayan.walang sisihan ito. SAF you’re heroes.

  3. Jaime Hernandez on

    What’s the justification & lame explanation of Pnoy in this fiasco? He doesn’t sound sincere & responsible. He’s asking more questions than giving more plausible answers.

  4. Ang mga imbestigasyon ng mga ahensy ng gobyerno ay tiyak na si Gen. Napenas ang sisihin at definitely I-aabswelto ang kanilang master. Nagsalita si Pnoy sa pangalawang pagkakataon dahil takot na mapatalsik at para lokohin na naman ang mga tao. Cardinal Tagle nasan po kayo? Takot po ba kayo na manguna sa pakikibaka.

  5. people are easy to pass judgment on even though they know nothing about the issue. these people are blind witnesses because they were not there during the actual fighting nor during the planning stage.

    they have big mouth and useless critical people in this country.

  6. A conscientious and responsible leader would have condemned the death of the SAF troopeRs and vow swift punitive and pursuit actions against the perpetrators right after the news of the ambush. Dilly dallying on what to do with the incident just betrays his ineptness as a leader and impotence as a CIC. I feel so sorry for the AFP. They do not deserve a leader like this. He will just lead them to further embarassments and disasters.

  7. Had the command been, “Positive ! Positive ! Attack !”, we would not have 44 dead comrades as a result This shows how powerful WORDS are especially if these words are in the form of a military command at a very crucial moment when either the wrong or correct words are uttered. Words that spelled the difference between life and death !

    Maybe the President thought he was playing a computer game at that time when a disastrous game end can just be ignored and the “next game” icon clicked.

  8. Oh my! and I thought he really assumed responsibility! He was still pointing his finger to Napenas! He doesn’t know how to tell people that the buck stops right where he stands, no more no less, no mention of other officers, no reasons presented, just an honest to goodness assumption of the responsibility as the president. But NO, he can never do it because he has the mentality of a child “di ako yon”! “sia ang nag una hindi ako”. words of his childhood perhaps, and he never wanted to take the blame or else, he would have a tantrum. tsk tsk, he should not have ran for president at all!

  9. “To those who will stand in the way, the State will deal with you.”

    Yes Mr. President, the sovereign people (not the State) will surely DEAL with the ONE who STOOD IN THE WAY to prevent these hapless, trapped brothers of ours from being rescued.

  10. From Clement of Rome’s First Epistle to the Corinthians (one of the Ante-Nicean Fathers; circa 3rd century A.D.)

    Chapter XV: WE MUST ADHERE TO THOSE WHO CULTIVATE PEACE, NOT TO THOSE WHO MERELY PRETEND TO DO SO. Let us cleave, therefore, to those who cultivate peace with godliness , and not to those who hypocritically profess to desire it. For [the Scripture] saith in a certain place, “This people honoureth Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” And again: “They bless with their mouth, but curse with their heart.” “They loved Him with their mouth, and lied to Him with their tongue; but their heart was not right with Him, neither were they faithful in His covenant.” “Let the deceitful lips become silent,” [and “let the Lord destroy all the lying lips]….

    Chapter XXXIX:THERE IS NO REASON FOR SELF-CONCEIT Foolish and inconsiderate men, who have neither wisdom nor instruction, mock and deride us, being eager to exalt themselves in their own conceits. For what can a mortal man do ? or what strength is there in one made out of the dust ?

    Everybody knows who that deceitful and self-conceited man is ! Bahala na ang Diyo sa kanya !

  11. The nation needs to know who gave the order “STAND GROUND” to the AFP and other reinforcement units while the 44 SAF are being slaughtered by the barbaric members of MILF/BIFF?

  12. Huli man daw at magaling, maigi pang nanahimik, kaysa lantarang nagsinungaling.

    To try to pacify the people “after the fact” of your insensitivity and cowardice that tragically placed you in unacceptable position not greet those men, men who died for your “pogi points” at Villamor, and your reluctance to accept responsibility, only to do so because you now felt how fragile that presidential ground is you are standing on, only shows who and what you are.

    Now, let us move on. You? Stay.

  13. The SAF mission was successful they got one of their 2 intended target,it wasnt a failed mission,who gave the order was not important.The problem is that they got ambush and massacred by the very group that the government is making peace with,if the MILF would have stand down being a peace partner and let them go then nobody would have been killed,it was daylight and on open field when it happen.

    • who gave the order is not important? where have you been my friend? this is the world of enlightenment and you are still in the dark. you are exactly like your president, pointing fingers at the MILF. Of course MILF is an armed group with visions and plans of their own, so your president didn’t even foresee this? No foresight? You cannot relate to us what happened because you were not there at all and what you are saying could never stand in the court of law because that is pure hearsay. YOU WERE NOT THERE AND YOU CANNOT TELLS US THE TIME OF DAY OR TEMPERATURE OR HOW THE FIELD LOOK LIKE. RIGHT?

  14. Roldan Guerrero on

    Accepting responsibility of the mess should be followed by resignation. Aquino no longer has any reason to stay as president. He must go.

    • I second the motion my friend. He lost his ground and credibility. With that kind of leader, no wonder we’re always the laughing stock of our neighboring countries. Sad to say we are not like the Japanese, with the slightest doubt cast, he or she normally resigns even if the investigation haven’t started yet. All because of “delicadeza” and honor…

  15. Kawawa naman si Gen. Napenas, siya na me kasalanan ng lahat. Lagi banggit ni Abnoy ung ambush ‘kuno’ sa kanya eh buhay pa nmn siya (to borrow his own words hihihi). Pero dun binanggit ung pagtulog sa pansitan ni Catapang at kung sino nagbigay ng order na “stand down” imbes na magreinforce ng troops sa mga SAF pulis. Sino???

    • admission of responsibility doesn’t need for any accountability other than the responsible. alamin na lang ang detalye pano nangyari, kahit inamin na sya ang dahilan. technically, it is like reviewing backwards.

  16. The words written and then spoken, is a poorly scripted one, it is devoid of true emotion and sympathy for the 44 SAF troopers who were slaughtered on the field. The words were written in order to absolve his culpability of the crime, his acceptance is very much in line with the thought of ‘it goes with the territory’ – an excuse that it is a risk for him being the president.

    And, like exactly anticipated that the ‘investigation’ that was conducted by De Lima, the fall guy would be no other than the sacked SAF chief director Getulio Napenas, the only thing left to get to the bottom of things is to take out BS Cojuangco Aquino III from office and have him face a criminal court and sentence him to serve time in jail (the real one) – then and only then can the country move on.

  17. “i am responsible…” but its Napeñas who’s to blame. hahaha. Failed president this one is.

  18. pnoy claims to be the father of the nation. that as such, he lost 44 children. what a lying sack of shi..!!! if he claims what he claims to be, figuratively speaking or not, then he should not have had the audacity to go to laguna and preside over the opening of a car manufacturing plant. because, as a good father, he should have been at villamor air base, waiting for the bodies of his dead children, just like what all good and grieving fathers would do. and now, as a last token of gratitude to general purisima, he will bend backwards and point to general napenas as the guilty one. the mere fact that he kept roxas and the oic of the pnp out of the loop is and will always be a cowardly act of the man. let alone as president and commander in chief.
    and now he claims to have conducted his own investigation. who is he kidding? will he now be the accused and punish himself if he finds himself guilty? come on, mr. president. save everybody who lost a son, a brother, a husband, and a true warrior in the persons of the fallen 44 grief. give them justice. accuse yourself and then convict yourself as well. then vacate the presidency. it’s the only proper way to heal this wounded nation.

  19. You are a disgrace to the Filipino race, Mr. Aquino. You condemned those SAF members to their deaths.

    And come to think of it. This country has been condemned since 2010 by those who voted for you, those election cheats and your blind yellow cult members.

    Your day will come. Note it down.

  20. PNoy says he Is ” the father of the nation.” I say, “I don’t want to be considered as one of his children.” At isa pa, hindi ko lubos na maunawaan kung papano ang isang tao ang syang magiging “ama” ng kanyang “mga boss.”

  21. Thanks for the new marketing gimmick, but no thanks! Before “Kayo ang Boss ko!”, Now, “Ako ang ama niyo!”….Can’t you really be more sincere and not succumb to what your spin masters concoct for you? Who could believe you are our father. An irresponsible, tentative, unwilling father maybe…but you were never a father. You were nothing but an advertising gimmick, that’s all!
    Do not give us this BS – you are responsible? For what? Did you admit to any mistake? Did you say sorry ? That’s one word that i have never heard from you. Good fathers say sorry to their children when they know they are wrong, you know!

    If i were you, i’d fire your speech writers and spin masters, because they fail miserably in portraying you as someone as sincere, with a heart and one who is really out there to serve the country and not himself, his family or his friends!