Poor planning doomed police

BUNGLED MISSION President Aquino calls for a national day of mourning for the fallen commandos as sympathizers of the SAF heroes offer flowers in their honor at the gates of Camp Crame . PHOTO BY MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

BUNGLED MISSION President Aquino calls for a national day of mourning for the fallen commandos as sympathizers of the SAF heroes offer flowers in their honor at the gates of Camp Crame . PHOTO BY MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Wednesday admitted that there were lapses in coordination of the Philippine National Police (PNP)-Special Action Force (SAF) with the military during a deadly clash between government troops and separatist rebels in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, last Sunday.

In a televised address, the President said the lapses happened despite his instructions to SAF Director Getulio Napenas to coordinate with concerned groups.
The operation, according to Aquino, has long been given the go-signal—since 2002—to arrest alleged Malaysian bomb maker Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as “Marwan.”

In narrating what happened, he said he had repeatedly reminded Napenas, who has been sacked from his post, about the need for coordination between the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

“In continually repeating the need for coordination [to Napenas], the head of SAF always said, ‘Yes sir,’” the President added.

“I emphasized that other branches must be alerted, and their chiefs. It must be timely and the information complete,” he said.

Instead, Aquino complained, he got “very minimal compliance,” saying he was surprised to learn that the military only found out about the operation after the SAF had entered what turned out to be rebel territory.

“Sa madaling salita, dikit na sa oras ng engkuwentro ang abiso, at mahirap masabi kung nagkaroon ng sapat na panahon upang ihanda ang ayuda kung kakailanganin [In other words, the information was received when the clash was taking place, and it is hard to say if there was enough time for the police commandos to call for assistance],” he said

The President denied that his Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, the chief of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Council, was involved in the SAF operation, which supposedly also involved suspended PNP chief Gen. Alan Purisima.

But he admitted that he was in communication with the suspended police chief.

“Gen. Purisima was helping me understand it, he was involved until he was directed suspended by the Ombudsman,” Aquino said.

But when asked by journalists to give a categorical yes or no on whether he gave the go-signal for the January 25 operation, Aquino evaded the question.

Some 44 police officers from the elite Special Action Force were killed in the gunbattle, which MILF chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said was simply “self-defense” on their part.

Reports said 392 police commandos were on their way to arrest Marwan and bomb-making expert Basit Usman, who are both connected with the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

280115_crame02The President called for a national day of mourning for the fallen commandos.
In light of the Mamasapano clash, the Senate and House of Representatives indefinitely suspended hearings on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

The BBL, which aims to end the decades-old conflict in Mindanao, seeks to create a Bangsamoro political entity, which will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

It also targets wealth- and power-sharing arrangements between the national government and the new political entity.

In his TV speech, the President defended the peace process, saying it would honor the deaths of the SAF officers.

“If this peace process does not succeed, if we return to status quo, if it worsens, won’t this be the opposite of what they died for?,” he asked.

Aquino said both sides have come so far to achieve lasting peace, and stopping now would mean returning to the exact same thing the government has worked to fix.

“If that’s what will happen, who will benefit? If this will not continue, how many more graves will we dig? How many children will grow up idolizing Marwan and wanting to be Usman?,” he also asked.

A number of lawmakers expressed reservations on the draft BBL, which will pave the way for the creation of the Bangsamoro political entity in accordance with the government’s peace deal with the MILF.

Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and JV Ejercito have withdrawn their co-authorship of the bill, which now has the support of fewer than half of the House of Represenatives.

Malacanang officials said lawmakers should look at the bigger picture and push for peace in the region.

Peace Process Adviser and Secretary Teresita Deles said it is the government’s “duty” to pursue justice and peace in a land that has long been mired in conflict.

She warned against “jeopardizing” the future of the nation.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said while they recognize the “challenge posed by the violent incident,” the government should focus on the “objective of attaining long-term peace, stability and progress in Mindanao.”


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  1. Quote”AWOL COmmander in Chief morally lied again. He should RESIGN. PNoy is indeed morally responsible for the death of 44 PNP SAF commandos and he will pay dearly for this debacle. After everything had been said and done, our thoughts are to the families and survivors of this alleged misencounter and the whole grieving nation can only share the grief and the great loss of your loved ones. This is now the time for the national govt. and MILF to review their commitment to to the resolution of a peaceful Mindanao and may both warring but reconciling parties should show now a genuine respect. sincerity and commitment that the BBL will be passed into law for the sublime reason that indeed the legacy and sacrifice of these 44 fallen PNP SAF heroes have not gone and forgotten in vain.”Unquote

  2. Katarungan para sa mga namatay na pulis!!!!
    No justice..No peace..tandaan mo yan BS Aquino!!!

  3. armando flores on

    The military and the police must immediately kick aquino out of malacanang or better still shoot his head and those MILF/BIFF responsible for the murder of the SAS policemen. That’s the first step if justice is to be served. Aquino pushed those SAF policemen to their death. He deserve nothing less than the death penalty.

  4. vagoneto rieles on

    If one tells a half-truth, he has told a whole lie. Where can the President now cast about for a scape goat? He kept both Roxas and Gen. Espina out of the loop. He can’t throw them under the bus on this one. This was jointly his and Purisima’s road show..nobody else’s.

  5. Filipinos are the best in corruption. Filipinos are not good planners. That’s the reason the government, transportation,telecommunications, internet, electric, water & so on are all screwed up.

  6. Roldan Guerrero on

    This is a gross incompitence by the president. He should accept responsibility of the mess and resign. This had not only been his failure in doing things in the right procedure. He did countles mistakes in the discharge of his duties as CEO. Leaders of nations committing such mistakes even of lesser importance take responsibilities of their lapses and immediately resign. BSA always depend on decission making through his substandard team of advisers and technocrats as a result of prioritizing his KKK`s who are all unfit to do the jobs assigned to them. PM ABE resigned his post when he was serving his first term as PM of Japan resulting from a mistake done by his Foreign Minister, having been showing signs of hangover from drinking while attending a summit. But later he was reinstalled after several succession of PMs who were all unable to do a turnaround on the Japanese ailing economy. He was reinstalled because the Japanese people so believe it is only Abe who could bring back Japan on its foot again. Few to mention of Aquino`s lapses, the Luneta tragedy, his inability to curve his faulting allies, his failure in addressing rehabilitation in the victims of natural calamities like the Yolanda, his abuse of the DAP, and the most of all his forceful enactment of BBL, now in its true picture, these people are not really for peace but war. What they did to the SAF is the is the living truth, they do not deserve what they are claiming for. MR. AQUINO SHOULD HAVE EARLIER REALLIZED THAT THE PHILIPPINES AND THE FILIPINO PEOPLE`S LIVES HAD BEEN PUT IN MAXIMUM DANGER SINCE HE ASSUMED OFFICE. HE HAS NO BUSINESS STAYING IN MALACANANG!

  7. I think the Armed Forces ,that is including all the services and the Police, to consider an option or maybe think if Abnoy should continue to be their Commander-In-Chief. It is obvious that Abnoy does not really have the capability to lead this nation. The armed services is being turn into pawns for his self aggrandiizement, a legacy of a kind after his terms end. MGA KAPULISAN AT KASUNDALUHAN GUMISING KAYO. Calling on Trillanes! If you still have the patriotism and leadership, NOW is the time to act and end the irresponsibility of. the fake President.

  8. As the commander of chief, you have to be on top of it and you should be in control of the situation and not to depend on your un experience subordinate. I hope this time you open your eyes.

  9. To quote Aquino – ‘Aquino said both sides have come so far to achieve lasting peace, and stopping now would mean returning to the exact same thing the government has worked to fix.
    “If that’s what will happen, who will benefit? If this will not continue, how many more graves will we dig? How many children will grow up idolizing Marwan and wanting to be Usman?,” he also asked.’

    Maybe the names in his question should have to be changed to ‘“If that’s what will happen, who will benefit? If this will not continue, how many more graves will we dig? How many children will grow up idolizing BS. Aquino III and wanting to be Purisima?,” – there is no way of sugar coating what had happened to those dead SAF troopers, who had to pay the ultimate price of Aquino’s aim for fame.

    The other question that needs answering, is how is it that American servicemen where seen airlifting the wounded SAF troopers and not the Philippine military or airforce? Because every tactical military operation is followed up by a debriefing, it seems that the Americans are the ones doing the intelligence gathering rather than the Philippine or the Department of National Defense in cooperation with the Department of the Interior and Local government.

    It is broadcast that the intelligence budget of this administration runs into hundreds of billions (interior and local government department P141.4 billion, defence department P144 billion, Executive Department is seeking for P832.6 million in intelligence funds), so what poor planning or ‘mis-encounter’ are they talking about?

  10. To tell me someone in the philippines didnt listen to what was told him & just decided to do what he wanted to do seems the norm. Here no one is held accountable. I wonder if they fully understand over 40 guys were murdered there. But it seems its not so important. Im telling you as well as being sacked he should be bought to a military trial. Im sure 100% he would be found gulity, i dont know what you call the crime he did & i suspect it was more than 1 & im sure he would get 10 or 20 years in jail. Its incompetance at the very least & i say its more than that. They people in charge in anything here in the philippines are clueless, just remember back to the fiasco of the manila bus hostage crisis. It was so easy for a sniper to have shot him dead many times or for the negotiator & his assistant to have grabbed him & held him until police ran to them to arrest him.
    So when i see things like this happening it doesnt surprise me. I think more goes into training people to gier awards & have awards ceremonies than in how to do operations.

  11. This is PNoy’s and Alan Purisima’s operation, why even his DILG secretary and the top brass of PNP were not informed, what gives?

  12. So pnoy admits that he knew about the operation all along he was giving instructions to the SAF chief who defied instructions and botched the operation resulting in the massacre of so many policemen. Quietly he sneaked back to manila after the massacre he was gearing up for a splash of international magnitude had the terrorist been captured or killed while he was conveniently in zamboanga already (how come no pictures have been published showing him comisserating with the “bombing victims” one wonders). What a fake this fellow is and he would have us forgive his biggest misdemeanor yet since he sacked the SAF chief (a mere slap on the wrist?) and by proclaiming the dead as “heroes”. Pnoy has owned up on this national disaster and he must resign as the only way to assuage the grief and disgust of the entire country.

  13. muriel magtanggol on

    Boy Sisi is at it again…this was an operation approved in 2002- when he was still an inactive congressman? And it’s all Napenas fault for keeping the secret operation too secret. Again, close friend Alan Boy Purisima was only making him understand what he needed to understand since only the suspended chief has the capacity to understand anything in PNP. And of course BFF Ochoa has got nothing to do with it…”he was only standing dur”!

  14. PNoy admitted to the world that HE coordinated the failed and doomed attack against the Moro insurgents. He cannot deny, reneged and wash off his bloody hands from his responsibilty for the deaths of SAF POLICE.


  15. Peace Process Adviser is right when she said it is the government’s “duty” (a given) to pursue justice and peace in a land that has long been mired in conflict. However, her warning against “jeopardizing ” the future of the nation is not true because the nation we have will no longer be there’ no more one nation!

  16. Pnoy was after the 5 million dollar bounty. and the glory of course. do we really expect pnoy to divide the bounty among the SAF members who participated in the operation? i dont think so. and if i was mar roxas, i will distance myself from pnoy. it is the right thing to do. now the sacked SAF commander will be his escape goat. pnoy will never allow himself to get caught with his hand inside the cookie jar. that’s for sure. and that’s his nature.