Santiago names Aquino as responsible for SAF 44 ‘massacre’ | Inquirer News
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Santiago names Aquino as responsible for SAF 44 ‘massacre’

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 04:07 PM February 12, 2015

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III and the three other officials who met  in Malacanang two weeks before  the anti-terror raid in Mamasapano, Maguindanao should assume responsibility for the death  of the 44  elite policemen, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago said  on Thursday.

Aside from Aquino, the  three others present during the meeting  in Malacanang  last January  9, 2015 for ‘mission update” on the operation were the resigned  Philippine National Police chief, Director General  Alan Purisima,  relieved  PNP-Special Action  Force  (PNP-SAF) Director Getulio Napenas and Intelligence Group Director Fernando Mendez.

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The operation was said to have been kept secret  from  other military and police officials.

“It’s useless and it’s not possible to pinpoint the blame for any single person for an operation of this nature. First, it’s useless because 44 people have already died and we cannot resurrect them. Second, it’s impossible,” Santiago told reporters after attending the ongoing hearing  at the  Senate.

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“The defense being raised is that the operation has been kept secret except among three people: President Aquino, General Purisima, and General Napeñas. It’s impossible to pinpoint who among the three of them is responsible. We can segregate them from the rest of the people involved because of the admissions made during the hearing that they had consultations that were just the three of them, including [Intelligence Group Director Fernando Mendez]. So, by their own admission—this is an admission against interest and constitutes very strong evidence—there were only four people there. Para natin masabi kung sino dito sa apat na ito ang talagang may kasalanan, ‘yon ang mahirap dahil we have no evidence,” she said.

But certainly, Santiago said, this was all part of the discharge by the President of his functions as commander-in-chief of the Philippine Armed Forces.

“So, in effect, all four must assume responsibility for the failure—in fact not only failure, but the massacre that took place. I am naming President Aquino because I don’t think it serves public interest to fudge the issue—to never mention his name, like he was some sacred cow. I don’t think he needs my protection. He can stand for himself,” she said.

Despite this, the senator said she would not support any coup plot against the President.

“I am against the removal of President Aquino in any means except those that are legal. As president, he can only be impeached. Thereafter, he can of course be sued. Therefore, my criticism should be taken as a surgical operation to determine what should not be done again,” she said.

Santiago said the alleged plot against Aquino was  the  subject of a summit meeting among the leaders of certain “rogue groups who want to eliminate the President to make way for someone else, with respect to whom they have not reached a consensus.”

“But they have been meeting with their financier; the most prominent financier is the richest man of all. I think you are familiar with who that is,” she said.

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When asked further about the financier she was referring to, the senator simply described as someone who is “known to have funded similar coup d’etat in the past.”

“That’s why you know him,” she said.

Asked again to identify the financier, Santiago said: “No, because he’ll make a cry about it, although I’m immune from libel since we’re discussing Senate matters within the Senate hall itself. I don’t want to make a big deal out of it until after the DND is already finished with their investigation or their clarification.”

DND is Department  of National Defense.

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TAGS: Director General Alan Purisima, Intelligence Group Director Fernando Mendez, Mamasapano, Nation, News, PNP-Special Action Force Director Getulio Napenas, Special Action Force
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