• Palace vows charges vs planners, SAF killers

    MEMORIAL  Hundreds of military bikers offer prayers and flowers at the main gate of the police headquarters for the 44 commandos killed in Maguindanao. Mourners continue to bring flowers and light candles at the gate, which have become a memorial of sorts for the fallen policemen. Photo by Miguel de Guzman

    Hundreds of military bikers offer prayers and flowers at the main gate of the police headquarters for the 44 commandos killed in Maguindanao. Mourners continue to bring flowers and light candles at the gate, which have become a memorial of sorts for the fallen policemen. Photo by Miguel de Guzman

    Malacañang on Sunday vowed that charges will be filed against those who were responsible for the massacre of 44 elite police commandos in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao province, including those who may have ordered the bungled operation.

    “Charges will be filed based on probe findings and evidence [to be submitted by the Board of Inquiry (BOI)], Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a text message to The Manila Times.

    When asked if suspended Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima will be among those to be investigated and charged, Coloma replied: “BOI will ascertain facts and responsibilities of those involved.”

    The BOI is headed by Chief Supt. Edgar Ingking, head of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations (DIPO), with Director Benjamin Magalong, head of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, and Chief Supt. Catalino Rodriguez Jr., chief of the Directorate for Research and Development, as members.

    The body has started its inquiry by getting the statements of sacked SAF chief Leo Napenas and SAF officers who survived the Mamasapano encounter.

    Acting SAF commander C/Supt. Noli Taliño, who was Napenas’ deputy when the operation was launched, said the BOI will determine if Purisima, who was suspended over a graft complaint in December, was involved in the operation.

    President Benigno Aquino 3rd himself admitted that Purisima briefed him about the operation up until his suspension.

    Coloma said what is important is for the probe panel to find out who may be held responsible for the carnage.

    Besides the 44 SAF commandos, 18 Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters and seven civilians were also reported killed.

    “It is important to know the truth, to know first who were responsible and have a process of investigation, prosecution and trial once charges are filed in court,” the Palace official said over state-run Radyo ng Bayan.

    Coloma said the filing of charges will naturally follow the process of investigation.

    “Of course we have to follow the process of getting all the evidence, establishment of the case and the actual filing. We have rules regarding that,” he added.

    Various groups claimed that Aquino and Purisima should be held liable for the Mamasapano bloodbath, noting that tapping a suspended police official for such a sensitive operation was a form of betrayal of public trust.

    The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) and the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) said the two officials should be made to account for bungling the police operation to arrest terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, and Abdul Basit Usman.

    VACC chairman Dante Jimenez and Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. claimed that an impeachment complaint can be filed against Aquino while Purisima can be held for contempt for continuously performing his function as police chief when he had already been suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman.

    Purisima is facing graft charges over a questionable deal with a private courier service.

    Coloma said justice can only be attained for the SAF men by wiping out the problem of terrorism.

    He asked the public to offer prayers for the victims and their families.

    “We can only render true justice for their sacrifice if we will unite as a nation against terrorism because that was their mission in Maguindanao,” the official pointed out.

    “Let us be united in the mission [of peace]while we pursue justice for what happened in Maguindanao,” Coloma said.


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    1. ..Imagine it that this government cannot even get to the bottom of the Ampatuan clan’s massacre victims. for how many years it is in a roller coaster with such a very clear view of who, how, why and what was done to the victims including journalists… in the Philippines the wheel of Justice is still that of the ‘Calesa’ and unfortunately the horse is old and hungry, not that one you see in the Budweiser ad…Other than that the road is a mess if there is indeed one at all!
      The solution to the problem is to get ERAP back as President or DUTERTE and they have the balls to do it! Not this PNoy who only shot dummies during target practice.

    2. muriel magtanggol on

      Well, you don’t have to look too far! Hulihin niyo sarili niyo!
      Coloma, if you can’t say anything sincere and true, please shut up!
      Your face alone adds salt to injury!

    3. C’mon guys, the one who ordered the bungled operation is right there in that snake pit called Malacanang. Your brains must have been affected by the foul smell emanating from the polluted Pasig River.

    4. very very funny anong klaseng palbas ito unggoy sobra kananam sipsip sa amo mong abnoy na sabi ni cayetano my tupak kakahiya ka makita lang na my masabi ka kahit walang silbi sige lang sabi nga dyan ka sisnuswelduhan kaya kahit nakatatawa e banat ka ng banat kakahiya ka

    5. Dionisio R. Luna on

      As Commander in Chief, Aquino should be held responsible of the bungled operation which resulted to untimely death of SAF operatives. He should not blame anybody but himself. Why did he continue to allow suspended Purisima to deal with the SAF commander?

    6. It is quite impossible for this board of inquiry created by Pnoy to find out that it will be a mistake of the president. Pnoy have even told us that Mar Roxas and Ochoa does not know anything about the operation. Although General Purisima knows about it since he was suspended up to this time he was never involve in the actual operation. In the end it was only it will be only General Napenas who only knows about it. I wonder how Napenas got his stars by being so stupid in admitting it was his fault. Maybe he does not love his country, his career and his family who will be blame by the whole country till he and his family are still alive. Was he the only recipient of the $6 million tag price which is quite impossible knowing Purisima. Ingat ka General Napenas Baka ma onse ka sa partihan.

    7. This is not a bugled mission it is a successful mission they got one of their 2 intended target and they planned it right.This is not a misencounter they got ambush and massacred on their way out after accomplishing their mission by the very group that the moron government is making peace with the terrorist and murderer MILF.Now the government will blame the SAF and make peace with the murderer MILF who have been protecting that Malaysian bomb maker whose bomb killed a lot of innocent Pilipino civilians.

      • …what successful – it is not only that you take out your intended target but being able to get out after doing it. in what happened they did the 50% of taking marwan out but not usman and made a brain-dead decision to get out of the way via the corn fields – easy targets! where did this SAF have their training conducted? is this how to do combat maneuvers – where were the other 300+ SAF members in the group?
        …poor planning and indeed it is SAF greed with the desire to pocket the $6Million bounty of the terrorist Marwan by themselves…

    8. The most idiotic response of our government in all these cases our soldiers are buchered is to file cases of murder.We cannot even get those guns often displaced on media. How many murder cases have been filed without any result.
      While all agree that peace is what we need, lessons from history is full of stories where Peace can only be attained with force. The basic concept of Justice has been “an eye for an eye”. We can only give JUSTICE and eventually PEACE if our leaders can learn from history. The dangers can be found within and not outside of shores.

    9. armando flores on

      The Board of Inquiry surely will cover up for aquino. KAWAWA NA NAMAN MGA PNP OFFICIALS NG SAF. SILA PA MADEDEMANDA AT MAKUKULONG!

    10. What happened to the other 250-plus SAF troops? Did they not know that their colleagues were surrounded with many wounded and not able to get out?
      Were the 250-others not given orders to rescue their team mates who were in very bad trouble?

    11. As a Zamboangueño and retired military, I understand the outrage over the loss of 44 SAF officers. However, my training forces me to focus on the mission and its outcome. Did the mission have merits? Was there a lawful order to execute? Did the operation follow sound engagement guidelines? What was the casualty acceptable threshold – 1%, 5%, 10% (396 / 44 = 9%)? Was the mission accomplished? How 352 SAF officers survived and how did the 44 died? What is the lesson learned? To the last question, my answer would be to modernize!

    12. Coloma is a very funny guy. He speaks like the former spokeperson of Pres. Gloria Macapagal when the Hello Garci scandal exploded.You want to buy peace at the expense of the 44 fallen heros….Tell the truth first and serve justice!!! …