Napeñas laments indictment over Mamasapano, says Aquino has no balls
UNISAN, Quezon – (UPDATE) Sacked Special Action Force (SAF) commander Getulio Napeñas on Friday lashed at President Benigno Aquino III for having no balls in owning up to the botched “Oplan Exodus” operation that resulted in the deaths of 44 elite cops last year.
During the proclamation rally of Quezon Rep. Danny Suarez here where Vice President Jejomar Binay was invited, Napeñas, a senatorial candidate under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), said he was only following the president’s orders when he implemented the time on target (TOT) coordination.
“Kaya galit ako. Ngayon hinabla ako, ngayon pinapasagot sa akin lahat, tinanggal lahat ng aking benepisyo,” Napeñas said.
“Kung gagawa sila ng trabaho, they have to own it, hindi yung ipapasa ang responsibilidad sa ibang tao. Walang bayag. Even here, I have to tell the president himself, wala kang bayag!” he added.
(That’s why I am angry. Now, they file charges against me, they hold me accountable for everything, they have stripped me of all my benefits.
If they are to do a job, they have to own it, and not pass the responsibility to other people. No balls. Even here, I have to tell the president himself, you have no balls!)
Napeñas was indicted by the Ombudsman for usurpation of powers and graft for violating the chain of command when he did not coordinate the operation with then acting police chief Leonardo Espina and former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.
Instead, he coordinated with suspended police chief Alan Purisima, who oversaw the operations despite his suspension for graft over an anomalous gun courier service contract.
In her resolution, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said Napeñas’ adherence with the time on target concept–or the concept of coordinating with the military only after the elite cops were in the target destination–resulted in heavy casualties because of the delay in coordination.
The TOT also caused Napeñas to bypass the police chain of command and commit usurpation of powers when he coordinated with a suspended police chief instead.
In finding Napeñas guilty for the administrative offense of neglect of duty, Morales said Napeñas’ application of the TOT resulted in disastrous consequences, such as the sidestepping of the ongoing peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), whose fighters were engaged in a firefight with the elite cops.
“Clearly, in applying the TOT concept of coordination, Napenas neglected to consider the consequences of the TOT concept vis-a-vis the needed protocols for the Armed Forces of the Philippines to effectively respond… Worse, Napenas failed to consider the repercussions of Oplan Exodus on the ongoing peace process with the MILF,” the Ombudsman said.
“As it turned out, this crucial aspect of the operation materially contributed to the incurrence of heavy casualties,” it added.
During his speech, Napeñas said he did not coordinate with the military because he feared it had been compromised.
He said he was only following the orders of his superior Purisima not to tell Roxas and Espino about the operation.
He also said Purisima gave him the orders as President Aquino’s “most trusted man.”
When Napeñas told the president of the time on target concept, Aquino did not give an objection, which Napeñas said was an implicit approval.
Yet, the president put the blame on his shoulders which resulted in the charges against him by the Ombudsman, Napeñas said.
“Kinasuhan ako ng usurpation of authority. Paano ako magkakaroon ng usurpation of authority na pangulo mismo nag-utos ng trabaho? Nakakatawa,” Napeñas said.
(How could I be charged with usurpation of authority if it was the president himself who gave the order?)
“Sa ginawa nila sakin, hindi tama na ilaglag mo yung opisyal na nagtatrabaho, nagpapatupad ng kaligtasan ng taumbayan,” he added.
(It was not right for them to betray me, an official who was only doing his job to secure the safety of the nation).
On Jan. 25, 2015, 44 SAF men were slaughtered in a botched antiterror operation to take down international terrorist Marwan in Mamasapano town, Maguindanao, dubbed by the Ombudsman as the “the biggest loss of a government elite force in history.” CDG/TVJ
(Originally published at 3 p.m. on April 8, 2016)
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