By now it is clear that President Benigno Aquino III is not telling the whole truth about his involvement in the Mamasapano operation that led to the deaths of 44 PNP SAF troopers, 18 MILF fighters, 2 BIFF fighters and at least 3 civilians.
The demand for an impartial investigation, for an independent body, is gaining ground because of the gravity of the allegations and the obvious inability of the PNP’s Board of Inquiry to uncover the truth and hold accountable the highest official of the land.
Others have called for Aquino’s resignation over the bloody incident.
Cracks are showing within the administration as the police and military continue to hurl accusations against each other. The crisis is the inevitable result of Aquino’s actions in relation to Mamasapano.
No doubt, Aquino should be held accountable. His actions constitute grounds for his removal from office. And he should be criminally charged when he is no longer in office.
Once again, here are the six deadly sins committed by Aquino which led to the bloody Mamasapano clash.
1) Violating the chain of command by placing the suspended Gen. Alan Purisima in charge of the operation – When one is suspended from office, one is stripped of any official functions. One ceases to be part of the chain of command. The President of all people should know this. His decision to place Purisima in charge of the operation, even during the period of his suspension, is a serious offense. It also creates an untenable situation where there are two chains of command within the PNP organization. Former SAF Director Napenas affirms several times that it was Purisima who was running the Mamasapano operation. It was Purisima who told Napenas not to inform PNP OIC Leonardo Espina up until the SAF troopers have commenced the operation.
2) Violating the suspension order of the Ombudsman – In making Purisima in charge of the Mamasapano operation, Aquino violated the suspension order of the Ombudsman. This is a clear violation of the law. Purisima is under investigation by the Ombudsman for his alleged involvement in a corruption case within the PNP.
3) Failing to inform his own PNP OIC and DILG secretary of the operation – Aquino apparently had plenty of time to consult with Purisima and SAF director Napenas, but never had the time to inform both DILG secretary Mar Roxas and PNP OIC Gen. Leonardo Espina. Why so? Aquino says he is leaving that point to the Board of Inquiry!? Will the BOI invite Aquino to answer this question? We don’t think so. The omission is obviously deliberate. Aquino is aware of the conflict between Purisima and Roxas and in this case, the President chose to side with his barkada rather than uphold the mandate of his office.
4) Failing to coordinate with other cabinet officials and the AFP– The lack of coordination between the PNP SAF and the AFP proved to be fatal for 44 PNP SAF troopers. There was no air support, no other means of extracting the PNP SAF elements. Of all the people who knew about the operation, Purisima and Napenas included, Aquino was in the best position to inform other government agencies such as the DND and the DILG but such was not done. It is untenable that for such a major operation with immense implications, Aquino would just remind the SAF director to coordinate with other government agencies. It is also quite an anomaly that Purisima would tell the SAF director otherwise, and that Aquino would just be fine with it.
5) Failing to inform the government peace panel and the MILF, thus violating the ceasefire agreement – Aquino practically violated the ceasefire agreement by authorizing an operation into MILF areas without proper coordination. OPAPP’s Ging Deles says she knows nothing of Oplan Wolverine. The MILF thought there areas were under attack. The ceasefire mechanisms were only alerted when the heavy fighting was already underway. The AFP’s Gergorio Catapang, in an interview on ANC admits that launching an operation within the area would “unnecessarily provoke” the MILF and BIFF. What Aquino did was to put deliberately put his troops in harms way, marching them into a death trap. The use of the SAF for example, is a deliberate attempt to circumvent the ceasefire with the MILF by making the operation a “police operation” e.g. serving a warrant.
6) Allowing the participation of a foreign government in an internal operation – Former SAF director Napenas has admitted that the US was involved in Operation Wolverine. Various accounts have placed the US government as the source of the actionable intelligence on Marwan and Usman, via US assets within the MILF, as well as drone surveillance and GPS tracking. It is very likely that it was also the US that asserted the operation be compartmentalized between Aquino and Purisima and the SAF director. It is very likely that it was the US that directed Aquino to undertake the operation despite the potential loss of lives and huge political costs. Several news reports already point to this. One source says that it was the US obsession with Marwan that led to the deaths of the 44 SAF.
The Filipino people should not allow a cover-up of Mamasapano. Aquino, Purisima and their US handlers should be held accountable for their crimes. We cannot allow government to be run barkada-style, without regard for laws and without a shred of accountability.
For the sake of truth, accountability and justice, Aquino must go. ###