IT has been almost two weeks now since the slaughter of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. Yet until today President Benigno S. Aquino 3rd, who likes to refer to himself as “Ama ng Bayan” or “Father of the Nation” has NOT told the Filipino people the truth behind the disastrous police covert operation!
What has been established is that the PNP Officer-in-Charge Leonardo A. Espina was not informed of the top-secret mission to arrest the two high-profile and dangerous terrorists Marwan (Malaysian) and Usman (Filipino). As Deputy Director-General Espina said several times in the past two weeks, he was informed only “after the fact” by SAF Commander Getulio Napeñas. In short, the chain of command was not followed. Why?
The SAF commander, who holds the rank of police director equivalent to a two-star general in the military, revealed last Wednesday that he was receiving his orders from suspended PNP Chief Alan Purisima, a known friend and trusted lieutenant of President B.S. Aquino 3rd. The supposedly suspended General Purisima instructed Napañes not tell the acting PNP Chief Espina beforehand of the special police operations.
During the press conference at the PNP headquarters at Camp Crame in Quezon City, the sacked SAF chief said: “Purisima told me to tell Deputy Director-General Espina only when the operation was already going on.” Indeed, Napeñas only sent his text message to his superior at 5:30 AM after the SAF team had killed their target, the international terrorist Marwan, whose nipa hut they assaulted an hour earlier at 4:30 AM.
Last Sunday, February 1, the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) reported that President Aquino, as Commander in Chief, knew of the covert police operation to get the two terrorists. The PDI reporter quoted former SAF Commander Nepañes in response to the question on who knew the Mamasapano operations: “The President, of course, because we have been working on this mission for a long time; it was a command commitment.”
In the same Inquirer report, a police general divulged that Napeñas later told Roxas that President Aquino AUTHORIZED Oplan Wolverine. The senior police official also told the Inquirer reporter that “eventually, this will come out and Napeñas will admit that he just followed orders from President Aquino.”
Indeed, the statement of the sacked SAF Commander during the press conference that he was taking orders from suspended PNP Director General Purisima is already tantamount to saying he was just following orders from no less than the Chief Executive as the Commander in Chief. However, President B. S. Aquino 3rd until now would not admit to the Filipino people and the world that he gave the order for the botched operation.
During the dialogue of Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd with the SAF members at the Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig, he categorically stated that the SAF Commander NEVER INFORMED him of Oplan Wolverine despite the fact that he is the DILG Secretary who signed his appointment papers as SAF Commander. Why was Mar Roxas not told and kept in the dark by both Napeñas and his boss President Aquino of the top-secret mission?
There are now a total of eight (8) investigations on the Maguindanao Massacre. There are two from Congress, two from the PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), two from the Office of the Ombudsman and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and another two from Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and from the Monitoring Team involved in the peace process. On top of them, a Truth Commission has also been proposed.
The most important question that can already be answered without any fact-finding probe is: Who ordered the Mission of Oplan Wolverine that resulted in the slaughter of 44 SAF commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao? And the answer is obvious, given the facts that acting PNP chief Espina and DILG Secretary Roxas were bypassed and that suspended PNP Director General Purisima was in charge of the covert police operation.
It is truly sad to see that General Espina and Secretary Roxas could not answer the questions of families of slain SAF commandos on what really happened that resulted in the slaughter of their loved ones. Perhaps it is only now under the Aquino administration when the top officials who have jurisdiction over the police were ever bypassed in the chain of command and kept out of the loop by the President of the Republic of the Philippines.
Who else would be higher than the DILG Secretary except the Executive Secretary (primus inter pares) and the President himself? Executive Secretary Ochoa should have advised Mr. Aquino in his capacity as Chairman of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC). However. the PAOCC Chair could also have been kept out of the loop just as what happened to him with the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
So why is President B.S. Aquino 3rd NOT MAN enough to admit and accept responsibility? Has Noynoy Aquino really been a COWARD ALL HIS LIFE? Is it why President Aquino did not attend the arrival honors of the slain SAF commandos at Villamor Air Base on Thursday last week? Was he afraid to face the coffins of the elite police force whose deaths he knows he is responsible for?
P-Noy into pathological lying?
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has confirmed three days ago that JEMAAH Islamiyah terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan,” is dead based on the test done in Singapore on the DNA sample given by the Philippine government. If not for the 44 fatalities of SAF commandos, President Aquino would have easily admitted since last Thursday that it was he who ordered Operation Wolverine.
Likewise, if the SAF extraction team were able to bring with them the body of the most-wanted terrorist without their 44 comrades being slaughtered, then President BS Aquino 3rd would have flown from Zamboanga City to Cotabato City to receive Marwan Dead or Alive with full press coverage.
PNoy would also proudly say that as Commander-in-Chief of the PNP and AFP, he was there Every Step of the Way. He might even admit that the suspended Purisima was instrumental in the planning and operations.
However, since it was a Pyhrric Success with the massacre by the MILF and BIFF, President B. S. Aquino 3rd said in a televised speech last week that the disastrous operation did not need his approval! He was trying to clear himself by saying that he does not have the time to attend to this police matter since there are more important things competing for his attention. He has the brazen temerity to lie to the Filipino people.
In the event that President Aquino either fires or accept the resignation of the discredited Purisima, it will just be damage control. The harm has been done not only to the families of the slain SAF commandos, but to the entire police force and the Filipino people. I would like to think that the military (AFP) also feels the same way as millions do.
What the pathetic President Aquino does not realize is that the longer it takes him to admit and assume full accountability for the fiasco, the deeper he sinks into his political quagmire. PNoy may not last 44 days from last week as in the Ides of March.