BOI report: Aquino should’ve instructed SAF to consider peace process
MANILA, Philippines–President Benigno Aquino III should have warned the Special Action Force that operating in a Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)-controlled area would set back the Bangsamoro Basic Law, the Board of Inquiry recommended in its report.
Under the third chapter of the BOI report titled “Discussions and Analysis,” it said none of the records the BOI gathered showed that there was a “clear and decisive instruction” from Aquino to take into consideration the BBL before allowing the SAF to conduct a covert mission in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
“Records do not show any clear or decisive instruction from the President to take into consideration the ongoing peace process with the MILF as well as the role of the peace process mechanisms in Oplan Exodus,” it said.
The report said that having been briefed about the “Operation Exodus” in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, Aquino, as the Chief Executive, should have given “strategic guidance to (Getulio) Napeñas on the implications of conducting of a law enforcement operation within MILF-controlled communities.”
Napeñas is the former SAF commander who was relieved after taking responsibility for the bungled police operation that led to a bloody clash with the MILF and its splinter group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
The encounter not only took lives of 44 SAF commandos, 18 MILF fighters and five civilians, it also threatened to derail the ongoing peace process with the Moro armed group.
Thus, the BOI recommended the implications of Oplan Exodus and its effect on the peace agreement and the passage of BBL “should have been considered in the planning and execution.”
It also cited its interview with Mamasapano mayor Benzar Ampatuan, who “attested that there is a high probability (of an) MILF encounter when a law enforcement operation of this nature is conducted in their controlled territory.”
On Thursday, the BOI team led by Police Director Benjamin Magalong submitted the seven-volume report to Philippine National Police officer in charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina and the rest of the PNP leadership.
Espina will then give Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II a copy of the report. Both were kept in the dark about the Operation Exodus.
Roxas, upon receipt of the report, will furnish the Office of the President a copy.
Earlier, the Malacañang said that when Aquino receives the Mamasapano report of the BOI, he will discuss the results with presidential legal team.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.