Palace: Aquino just explaining, not playing blame-game
MANILA, Philippines – The purpose of President Benigno Aquino III’s speech on Monday was not to shame or blame former Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) commander Getulio Napeñas but to enlighten the public about what happened during the botched Mamasapano operation last January 25.
“The point of explaining is not to blame anyone but to give a complete narration of the whole incident,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said during a press briefing Tuesday.
In his speech on Monday, Aquino repeatedly blamed Napeñas for the death of the 44 SAF troopers. He said the former SAF commander fooled him and made him believe that everything was being done according to plan.
His critics, however, pointed out that the President seemed to be pinning all the blame on Napeñas.
However, Coloma said that was not the case.
Instead, the Secretary pointed out that it was the Coalition of Christian Leaders, which led the prayer gathering at Malacañang, that requested Aquino to explain what happened.
“What we want here is for the people to know the whole situation,” he said.
Coloma said Aquino merely expounded on his February 6 speech where he enumerated the three instances when Napeñas could have aborted the mission, which succeeded in killing international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, but left 44 policemen, 18 Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters and at least five civilians dead.
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