Roxas says he wanted to quit after Mamasapano
NOW IT can be told.
Administration presidential aspirant Mar Roxas wanted to quit as overseer of the Philippine National Police at the height of the controversy that followed the killing of 44 police commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province, in January last year.
Roxas made the disclosure at the presidential forum hosted by Makati Business Club and Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati City yesterday.
Roxas was the interior secretary when 44 PNP Special Action Force commandos were killed in a clash with Moro rebels in a botched counterterrorism operation in Mamasapano.
2 resignation offers
“I did resign. I did offer my resignation at least on two occasions,” Roxas replied when MAP president Perry Pe asked him about the Mamasapano debacle.
He said President Aquino was surprised when he told him he was willing to leave his post after he learned that he was kept out of the loop on the mission to take down Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan. “I [told him], ‘If you have no more confidence in me…’”
“No. I thought you knew. And in fact I ordered them to tell you,” he quoted the President as telling him.
Roxas said what pained him was that the deaths of 44 of his subordinates could have been avoided.
“You know what’s the hardest thing for me to take about Mamasapano? It’s not the snub. I don’t see it as a snub. It’s not that,” he said. “It’s that 44 [men] who fought for our flag went to an operation where they lost their lives. And it could have been prevented had there been coordination.”
He said he had always had a good working relationship with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, noting that they worked together during the response to Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) and the 21-day Zamboanga siege.
No issue with P-Noy
Roxas denied there was a trust issue between him and the President.
“Many people tried to [drive a wedge] between the President and me. But here’s the thing: How can you say that he didn’t trust me when he said, ‘This is the guy upon [whose shoulders] daang matuwid will continue?’” he said, using the code word for the Aquino administration’s reform program.
“I’m not loyal to [the President] as a matter of political back-scratching. He is a decent guy. He’s worked hard. He’d been through a lot. Many times, he was unfairly criticized,” he said.
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