Napeñas: We did not neglect our SAF men
MANILA, Philippines–Sacked Special Action Force (SAF) commander Getulio Napeñas on Wednesday denied the “misconception” that the police failed to prepare for the operation intended to take down terrorists in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
Attending the House of Representatives’ probe on the incident, Napeñas said, “There is this misconception na tila pinabayan namin ang tauhan namin nang walang maayos na pagpaplano, na nawala ang koordinasyon sa pagitan ng pulis at sundalo, na kami ang nagpabaya at ang pagkapabayaan ang dahilan (kaya) ang 44 SAF ay hindi na nagawang makabalik sa kanilang mga pamilya,” Napeñas said.
(There is a misconception that we neglected our personnel because of insufficient planning, the lack of the coordination between the police and the military. It is being made to appear that our negligence is the reason why the 44 SAF troopers will no longer be able to be with their families.)
“These are far from the truth,” he added.
The carnage was largely blamed on the lack of coordination between the military and police authorities, who failed to send reinforcements on time.
He also reiterated his statement during the probe of the statement that he was never the lapdog of resigned Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima.
“I was not and was never a ‘bata’ of Purisima nor any police official or any person for that matter… Before Purisima was PNP chief I was never under his command,” Napeñas said.
Napeñas had alleged that Purisima gave the order to keep the botched operation in Mamasapano town secret even from Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and PNP officer in charge Leonardo Espina.
Purisima, meanwhile, who had resigned from his post Thursday, said he only gave advice and not orders on the botched operation that left 44 SAF members dead.
The incident came at an untimely period when the lower House was set to pass the Bangsamoro basic bill, a measure seeking to implement the peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that was stalled after the MILF got involved in the attack.
The elite cops were in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao last Jan. 25 to track down Malaysian international terrorist Zulkifli Abdhir alias “Marwan” and local terrorist Abdul Basit Usman., who were said to be in an MILF-controlled territory. The elite cops were killed in a joint attack by the MILF and its breakaway group, the Bangsamoro Islamic Liberation Front.
Marwan was supposedly killed in the attack, while Usman remains at large.
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