Bloody Mamasapano raid was Aquino’s fault, says Napeñas camp
MANILA, Philippines―The camp of embattled Special Action Force (SAF) chief Director Getulio Napeñas Jr. broke its silence a day after President Benigno Aquino III blamed him anew for the botched Mamasapano operation.
Atty. Vitaliano Aguirre, the legal counsel of Napeñas, said that the blunders in the operation, which killed 44 police commandos, 18 Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters and five civilians, were the President’s fault as he authorized then suspended Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Alan Purisima to lead the raid.
“Ang unang-unang katanungan diyan ay bakit pinayagan niya (Aquino) na ang mangasiwa sa napakaselan na operasyon ay isang suspendidong chief ng PNP? Sa palagay ko sa kautusang iyan, sa nangyaring iyan, diyan nagsimula ang lahat,” Aguirre said in an interview which aired on GMA News TV’s “News To Go” on Tuesday.
(The first question that needs to be asked is why did he (Aquino) allow a suspended PNP chief to lead a sensitive operation? I think that decision was the one that triggered everything.)
He also hit Aquino and Purisima for skirting responsibility on the mission to arrest Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli Binhir alias Marwan and his Filipino henchman Basit Usman.
“Binigyan niya ng kapangyarihan at karapatan sa isang maselang operasyon si Gen. (Alan) Purisima. Bakit kahapon ay hindi man lang binanggit ang naging papel ni Gen. Purisima? Bakit walang responsibility si Gen. Purisima? Bakit walang responsibility ang pangulo sa pangyayaring ito?” Aguirre further said.
(He (Aquino) gave the authority and right to lead a sensitive operation to Gen. Purisima. Why didn’t he divulge yesterday the involvement of Purisima? Why is Gen. Purisima not claiming responsibility? Why is the President not claiming responsibility for this operation?)
BOI probe findings compromised?
Meanwhile, the camp of the beleaguered police officer believes that the findings of the investigation of the Board of Inquiry (BOI) have been compromised by the remarks of the President against Napeñas.
“Hindi namin akalain na ibabagsak sa kanya ang lahat ng sisi samantalang ang BOI report ay hindi pa naman lumalabas. Ngayon, ano pa ba ang magagawa ng BOI? Maaari pa ba nilang salungatin pa ang stand ng pangulo na siya (Napeñas) ang may kasalanan ng lahat? ‘Yan ang malaking katanungan. At sana magawa ng BOI ang kanyang katungkulan na kapani-paniwala.
In a prayer gathering held at Malacañang on Monday, Aquino said that it was Napeñas who turned the Mamasapano operation into “mission impossible.” He also hit the beleaguered police officer for failing to coordinate with the military.
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