President didn’t give go-signal, says Napeñas
President Benigno Aquino III did not give the go-signal for the latest plan to get Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan,” although he did not say it was a no-go, either, according to Director Getulio Napeñas, sacked police Special Action Force chief.
If anything, Napeñas believed that the lack of a directive to stop the operation following a mission update could be seen as a tacit approval.
He said that on two occasions, he joined a briefing in Malacañang to update Mr. Aquino about the plan to go after Marwan, code-named “Oplan Exodus.” They were held on Nov. 30, 2014 and Jan. 9 at the firing range and at Bahay Pangarap, the President’s residence in the Malacañang compound.
“During those two occasions, I was never given any guidance that the mission is a no-go,” he said.
He added that some people might want to hear if there was a direct approval from the President to go ahead with the mission, but there was none.
“There was no direct order from the President telling me to proceed or directly telling me the mission is approved,” he said.
Still, he believed there was an implied approval of the mission.
“But then, the two occasions I went there could be interpreted that there was an implied or a tacit approval for the mission is a go, for the operation is a go, considering I did not receive any guidance or order not to go through with the operation,” he said.
Napeñas also said that if the President had given him an order to proceed with the operation, that would have been a good opportunity for him to break the chain of command.
He earlier testified that then suspended PNP Director General Alan Purisima had told him not to inform Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and the PNP officer in charge, Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, about the mission against Marwan, or Oplan Exodus, until the troops were on the ground.
But he said his decision not to coordinate with higher-ups was his own decision. Purisima himself said he just gave Napeñas advice.
But Napeñas also said on Tuesday that it was Purisima who brought him to Malacañang for the briefing with the President about Oplan Exodus, disputing Purisima’s earlier assertions.
Purisima told the Senate that Napeñas had informed him he wanted to update the President regarding the operation against Marwan and that he just went along with the group to the Palace.
But Napeñas said he did not request that he be the one to provide the update to the President, and that it was Purisima who brought him and other officers to Malacañang.
“When we went to Malacañang on those two occasions, I did not request that we will be the one to provide mission update. Instead, when provided with the mission update, Director General Purisima was the one who brought us all the way to Malacañang to join him, not the other way around,” he said.
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