SAF mothers sue P-Noy, et al.
THREE mothers of Special Action Force (SAF) troopers who died in the Mamasapano bloodbath have filed a complaint in the Ombudsman blaming former President Benigno Aquino III and his handpicked tactical commanders for the death of their sons in the botched police mission to capture a Malaysian terrorist last year.
The three complainants were Telly Sumbilla, mother of PO3 John Lloyd Sumbilla; Helen Ramacula, mother of PO2 Rodel Ramacula, and Lorna Sagonoy, mother of PO1 Joseph Sagonoy.
This is the third case filed against Aquino, former PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima, and former SAF Director Getulio P. Napeñas since a new administration took over on June 30. The three were identified as those in charge of a secret mission to capture a Malaysian terrorist in the remote village of Mamasapano in Maguindanao province on Jan. 25, 2015, that ended in the death of 44 SAF troopers.
Just like the first two cases, the third Mamasapano-related complaint charged Aquino, Purisima and Napeñas with reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide.
In their complaint, the three mothers said: “It would serve well our country and its people for a formal criminal inquiry to be made in court against the respondents, to make the hammer fall where it may and mete justice for the deaths of the 44 patriots whose names are written above and in the the hearts of every Filipino who has grieved not only for the loss of the said police offices but also for the loss of decent leadership for the last six years.”
They said it was “criminally imprudent and evince[d] lack of foresight” for Aquino to entrust the planning of Oplan Exodus to Purisima, who was then suspended from office for a corruption case.
The mothers also blamed Napeñas, who was in control of the ground operations, saying he relied too much on Purisima’s verbal commitment to arrange the needed military backup when the SAF troopers were surrounded by Muslim separatist rebels in a cornfield in Mamasapano.
More than 18 months after their deaths, the SAF mothers said they were still going through the pain of losing their sons due to a failure in tactical leadership.
Sagonoy, whose son was the subject of a viral video where he was shown being shot point-blank, said she was looking for justice and not compensation which the previous administration had given them.
Sumbillo, whose son’s arms were cut and his eyes gouged out, said she continued to be haunted by the grisly death of her son in her dreams.
“Even though we come from the mountains, we know why they were killed. They were just following Aquino’s orders, but they were neglected. The government did not even send out a single chopper,” said Sumbillo in an emotional interview with reporters.
The SAF relatives who filed the previous two complaints were Erlinda Allaga, mother of PO3 Robert Allaga; Warlito Mejia, father of PO2 Ephraim Mejia; Julie Faustino Danao, mother of PO2 Walner Danao; Celestino Kiangan, father of PO2 Noble Kiangan, and Felecitas Nacino, mother of PO2 Nicky Nacino. All three complaints were facilitated by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption.
According to investigators, the Mamasapano police operation was apparently not coordinated with the military or the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), with whom the government had a standing ceasefire agreement. TVJ
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