March 27, 2015
In his supposedly final speech on the Mamasapano incident, President Benigno Aquino III once again failed to explain why he let a suspended PNP Chief call the shots in an important operation. Instead of explaining his relationship with Purisima at the time, Aquino chose to blame the people who fed him wrong or incomplete information, which includes Purisima former SAF Director Getulio Napenas, for the Mamasapano debacle.
“How can we give our understanding to the president when he is clearly evading the most important issues such as why did he approve a defective plan? Why did he allow Purisima to run the operation despite his suspension? Why at the height of the Mamasapano operation was he still communicating and issuing orders to the suspended Purisima?” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.
“Two months and four speeches later, the President still doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand that the only acceptable explanation right now is the truth. No other explanation will suffice,” Reyes said.
Bayan said that the President has no one to blame but himself for allowing Purisima to be involved in the operation. Purisima was apparently the source of the inaccurate information that was being fed the President in the early hours of the Mamasapano operation. Based on SMS records, the President was communicating directly with Purisima from 730am to 11am on January 25. These included instructions to ensure that Basit Usman, the second target, should not get away.
Yesterday the President also decried that the Board of Inquiry and Senate committee reports were “based on speculations”.
“Oh but the President is mistaken. Many of the findings of the BOI and Senate were not based on speculations but are now considered undisputed facts. These facts include the President approving the defective Oplan Exodus, allowing Purisima to participate despite his suspension, and wppassing the PNP chain of command,” Reyes said.
“The factual findings point to Aquino’s principal responsibility in Mamasapano. He cannot dismiss these as mere speculation,” he added.
Bayan also said that Aquino’s latest explanation, that he’s “only human” (tao lang), does not mitigate his principal role in the botched operation. Neither would it stand as a defense when Aquino is investigated and charged for his role in Mamasapano.
“It was a bad speech especially in front of the PNPA graduates. What is he telling the new officers, that it is ok to make a major policy blunder and not assume responsibility, and instead claim that you’re only human? That is the example the commander in chief wants to set?”
Still no statement on US role
Bayan also observed that in all his four speeches, the President was silent on the true role of the United States in the operation. The BOI and Senate reports pointed to six Americans who were present at the tactical command post of the SAF. One account points to an American ordering a Filipino general to fire artillery.
“Aquino has not clarified the role of the US in the operation. Aquino should explain because he is the chief architect of foreign policy as well as the commander-in-chief of all armed forces. Did he know of US involvement during the planning stages of Oplan Exodus? Did the US fund the operation? Is it true that he gave more premium on the US war on terror than his own peace process?” Reyes asked. ###