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Santiago: SAF 44 could still have been alive had Purisima not meddled

/ 11:39 AM February 12, 2015

Video by Cathy Miranda and Ryan Leagogo/INQUIRER.net

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MANILA, Philippines–Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago said Thursday that the 44 slain Special Action Force policemen could still be alive had former Philippine National Police chief Director General Alan Purisima not dipped his fingers in the operation.

“Biruin mo, 44 ang namatay at kung hindi ka kasali doon siguro buhay pa sila,” the Senator told Purisima during the Thursday committee hearing on the deadly Mamasapano incident.

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(Think about it, 44 men died, and had you not meddled (in the operation), they could still have been alive.)

The cancer-stricken Senator questioned Purisima’s violation of his preventive suspension ordered by the Ombudsman.

“A suspended official is barred from performing functions of his office. You performed the function of your office albeit in a surreptitious manner. Nakialam ka eh?” she said, raising her voice.

Without even letting Purisima respond, Santiago continued asking him: “What made you violate? Masyado kang busy eh. Masyado kang maraming kinakausap at tungkol pa naman sa official police and military operation.”

“Why did you do that while you’re under preventive suspension and don’t play words with me. Words are my livelihood,” she added.

Purisima then replied: “Prior to my suspension, I have already delegated a commander in control…”

But Santiago cut him off and asked: “We know that but you’re participating and it’s none of your business.”

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Reiterating his defense in earlier hearings, the beleaguered police official said: “When I made remarks, it was merely an advice.”

“It was an advice not an order. Really? Buti sana kung wala akong doctorate or di ako nag-graduate sa UP. Bakit di ka na lang nanahimik sa estate mo sa Nueva Ecija (Tell me that if I didn’t hold a doctorate degree or graduated from UP. Why didn’t you just stay at your estate in Nueva Ecija)?” she retorted.

“I delegated the responsibility but I did not delegate the accountability,” Purisima answered.

Irked by Purisima’s response, the Senator said: “Lahat na lang ituturo niyo sa SAF. Sentido kumon na lang. Si President Aquino lang at ikaw ang nag-usap (You blamed everything to SAF. Use your common sense. It was only you and President Aquino who talked)!”

But Purisima said he talked with Aquino about the operation only once. With a report from Maila Ager/INQUIRER.net

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TAGS: Alan Purisima, Maguindanao, Mamasapano, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, SAF, Special Action Force
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