Aquino claims responsibility for Mamasapano tragedy
MANILA, Philippines — President Benigno Aquino III has claimed responsibility for the Mamasapano, Maguindanao tragedy, which he said he would carry for the rest of his life.
“…bilang Pangulo at Commander-in-Chief, pasan ko naman po ang responsibilidad para sa anumang resulta, sa anumang tagumpay, pasakit o trahedya na maaari nating matamasa sa paghahangad ng pangmatagal seguridad at kapayapaan,” Aquino said in a nationwide televised address Friday night.
(As President and Commander-in-Chief, i bear responsibility for whatever victory, suffering or tragedy we may get in our desire to achieve long-term security and peace.)
The botched operation last January 25 was intended to serve warrant to arrest Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, and Filipino bomber Abdul Basit Usman.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Marwan was likely killed in the operations, while Usman escaped.
Because of lack of coordination, the operation killed 44 members of the Special Action Force, who battled members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
“Ako ang ama ng bayan, at 44 sa aking mga anak ang nasawi. Hindi na sila maibabalik; nangyari na ang trahedya sa ilalim ng aking panunungkulan; dadalhin ko po hanggang sa huling mga araw ko ang pangyayaring ito. Responsibilidad ko po sila, kasama ang buong Special Action Force sa operasyong ito, pati na ang mga nagligtas sa kanila na nalagay din sa panganib ang buhay,” Aquino said.
(I am the father of the nation and 44 of my sons were killed. We can’t turn back the hands of time, the tragedy happened under my term; I will carry this burden up to the last days of my life. They were my responsibility, together with the entire Special Action Force, in this operation, including those who extricated them and who put their lives in danger.)
“Muli po, sa mga pamilya ng mga nasawing kasapi ng SAF: Walang salitang sasapat upang ibsan ang sakit ng nawalan. Sa bawat isa sa inyo, at sa bawat isang nalalagay sa peligro ang buhay, tulad ng sinabi sa amin ng bayaning Pilipino noong kami’y naulila, sinasabi ko sa inyo ngayon: Hindi rin kayo nag-iisa,” he added.
(Again, to the families of the fallen SAF commandos: I’m at a loss for words to ease your pain of losing your loved ones. To each of you, and to others whose lives were put in danger, and like what a Filipino hero told us when we lost him; I am telling you now: You are not alone.)
This was the second time that Aquino addressed the nation regarding the Mamasapano incident.
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