Napeñas lawyer disputes President’s statement | Inquirer News

Napeñas lawyer disputes President’s statement

/ 04:50 AM March 11, 2015

MANILA, Philippines–President Aquino’s speech on Monday was apparently the last straw for the sacked Special Action Force chief, Director Getulio Napeñas, who has rarely granted interviews to the media.

In a phone patch interview on GMA News TV’s “News to Go” on Tuesday, Napeñas broke his silence through his lawyer, Vitaliano Aguirre II.

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Aguirre said Napeñas’ superiors requested him to speak to the media only after the board of inquiry (BOI) report was out. But after hearing Aquino’s speech on Monday, Aguirre said he advised Napeñas that “perhaps it is time for us to speak.”

“We never thought all the blame would fall on him (Napeñas), and the BOI report isn’t even out yet,” Aguirre said in Filipino.

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“What do you think the BOI would do? Can it contradict the President’s stand that everything is Napeñas’ fault?” Aguirre said. “We hope the BOI can still fulfill its duties to release a report that’s believable.”

Aguirre questioned the President’s speech. “Why was there no mention of (PNP Director General) Alan Purisima’s role? Why is the President taking no responsibility for this incident?”

Aguirre raised questions on the meeting to plan out “Oplan Exodus” on

Jan. 9, attended only by Aquino, Purisima, Napeñas and the PNP Intelligence Group head, Senior Supt. Fernando Mendez.

“The first question is: Why was the supervision over a sensitive operation given to a suspended PNP chief?” Aguirre said.

“Why was Napeñas’ superior still Purisima, who was already suspended at the time of the Jan. 9 briefing? Why were the two top officials of the police force—(PNP officer in charge Deputy Director General Leonardo) Espina and (Interior Secretary Mar) Roxas—not present at the briefing? If [Aquino] truly told Napeñas to coordinate with the two, why didn’t he just call them himself when he saw there was a briefing? It would have taken only a moment.”

Aguirre narrated that following the meeting, Purisima, after speaking alone with the President, told Napeñas to delay informing Espina and Roxas about the operation.

“Can we blame Napeñas for following the order of Purisima?” Aguirre asked. “What was [Napeñas] supposed to think? Wouldn’t he assume that the order came from the President? They were the only ones who were talking.”–Jaymee T. Gamil

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