Roxas clears Aquino, blames Purisima for Mamasapano debacle
MANILA, Philippines–President Benigno Aquino III has no liability over the Mamasapano debacle that killed 67 Filipinos, while resigned Philippine National Police chief Director General Alan Purisima has, Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II said Friday.
During the turnover of the Board of Inquiry’s Mamasapano report in Camp Crame, Roxas cleared Aquino of any liability over the bungled police operation, and instead put the blame on the former police chief for not abiding by Aquino’s order.
“Based on what I read, he (Aquino) as the commander in chief correctly and rightly authorized that (Zulkifli bin Hir) Marwan is a target. There is no liability with that. He gave the order to apprehend or to serve the warrant on Marwan and (Basit) Usman. Nothing wrong with that. Trabaho niya ‘yan. In fact, kung hindi niya ginawa ‘yan, may pananagutan ang Pangulo no’n,” he said in a press briefing.
Since Purisima was coordinating directly with relieved Special Action Force commander Police Director Getulio Napeñas, Roxas said “it was up to them to do their jobs well.”
“The President recognized that Director General Purisima was suspended at wala nang kapangyarihan, alam ng Pangulo ‘yan. Kaya nga niya inutos, sabihin mo kay OIC Espina ito, precisely to correct the anomaly that there was somebody suspended in the middle. Eh hindi sinunod utos ng Pangulo eh,” Roxas said.
Forty-four SAF commandos, 18 Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters and five civilians, including a minor, died in a police operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao to arrest international terrorist Marwan and his Filipino protégé Usman.
The operation, however, went awry and led to an encounter with Moro armed groups.
Napeñas earlier revealed that Purisima, after his meeting with the President, ordered him to inform Roxas and PNP officer in charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina time on target.
But Purisima said he only gave Napeñas “an advice, but not an order.”
“The President took steps precisely to correct that situation by ordering that OIC Espina, be told about this, he ordered this to a four-star general, he ordered this to a two-star general. Siguro naman the President, it is reasonable for him to assume na ang kanyang mga utos ay kanyang susundin,” Roxas added.
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