BOI ‘resorted to speculations’–Malacañang
MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang on Saturday said the board of inquiry (BOI), which came out with a report on the controversial Mamasapano operation, “introduced innuendos and resorted to speculations to reach some of its conclusions.”
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that while the “narration of the facts was exhaustive,” it did not take into account the side of President Benigno Aquino III.
“In gathering the facts, the BOI should have allowed the facts to speak for themselves,” Lacierda said in an emailed statement.
The BOI report, which was released on Friday afternoon, said Aquino and other officials involved in the mission to arrest international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, broke the Philippine National Police (PNP) chain of command.
No request for clarification
“The BOI in its efforts could have asked the President to clarify matters. The President would have answered any questions they may have had. But no official request was made,” Lacierda said.
He called the outcome “unfortunate,” especially since Police Director Benjamin Magalong, head of the BOI, was given an opportunity to meet with the President, together with other senior officials of the PNP.
“[Police Director] Benjamin Magalong had the opportunity to ask the President questions or seek further clarifications. As head of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Magalong should be particularly aware of the need for due process to be observed,” Lacierda said.
Aquino not under PNP command
In the statement, the secretary said there was a need to “separate the facts from potentially hastily made conclusions and opinions.”
He pointed out that Aquino, as Chief Executive, had “full and absolute control and supervision over every official” under the executive branch of government, including the PNP, which is a civilian institution.
“However, the BOI subsequently contradicted itself when it suggested that the President should have followed the PNP chain of command. In invoking the chain of command rule, it is important to point out that this rule applies only within the PNP,” Lacierda said.
“The President as Chief Executive cannot be subordinated to an internal process within the PNP when he has control and supervision over all its members, regardless of rank,” he said.
Lacierda added that Aquino already instructed then suspended PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima to inform PNP officer in charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina of the operation.
“The President therefore left nothing to chance. His direct orders to Purisima, if obeyed, would have ensured that the OIC Chief PNP would not have been kept in the dark. However, the President was disobeyed by Purisima,” he said.
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