Mamasapano Hearing: President Noynoy Aquino broke chain of command with tragic results


If there is one thing the reopening of the investigation of the Mamasapano clash at the Senate highlighted, it is that Filipinos are being led by public servants and armed troops, which includes the members of the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines, who are better at bickering and pointing fingers at each other than protecting the lives of the people under their watch.

SAF commander Getulio Napenas: Unable to ignore BS Aquino's buddy Alan Purisima

SAF commander Getulio Napenas: Unable to ignore BS Aquino’s buddy Alan Purisima

We now know that some members of the PNP and AFP are unwilling to risk their own lives to save compatriots and comrades in trouble and are not sorry for it. This was evident in the Power Point presentation of the AFP that basically pinned the tragedy solely on former Special Action Force Chief Getulio Napeñas. They even showed a photo of him smiling and seemingly uncaring while his men were being slaughtered. But how do we know if the photo of Napenas with a group of men was taken on another date and not on the tragic day of the 25th of January 2015? Or how do we know if the photo was taken earlier in the day? There was no context provided. It is becoming apparent that some people are hell-bent on destroying Napenas.

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The AFP’s presentation is reminiscent of the Liberal Party’s style of throwing mud at their opponent just to paint the other party in a bad light. Since the Senate hearing was not a real trial, there was no judge who could strike out the accusation against Napenas. But they want the public to forget that Napenas was simply following the orders of former PNP Chief Alan Purisima who headed the operation even while he was suspended at the time.

A year after the tragic deaths of 44 Special Action Force troops in the hands of members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, no one is willing to take accountability for the tragedy. Meanwhile, the killers are most likely laughing at the spectacle in the Senate. That is, if they actually bothered to watch the proceedings. I wouldn’t blame them if they didn’t because they were not the ones being investigated.

No one among the senators or those being grilled by the senators bothered to point out that the men who slaughtered the SAF troopers, the members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, are still at large and may never be brought to justice. This is thanks to the lack of motivation on the part of the Department of Justice to go after the perpetrators. This is seemingly in deference to the so-called peace agreement between the current Aquino government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Seeking justice for 44 slain SAF troopers: Senator Juan Ponce Enrile

Seeking justice for 44 slain SAF troopers: Senator Juan Ponce Enrile

While the result of the recent hearing initiated by Senator Juan Ponce Enrile had very little new information to offer, it still presented, a good opportunity to emphasize that it was President Benigno Simeon Aquino III who gave the go signal to proceed with Oplan Exodus – the operation to capture the international bombing terrorist Zulkifli Abdhir a.k.a. Marwan inside enemy territory in Mamasapano, Maguidanao. Granted, we all know that Enrile has an axe to grind. But Filipinos should support Enrile’s efforts to hold BS Aquino and his friend Purisima accountable for the deaths of 44 SAF troopers.

BS Aquino’s allies did their best to shield him from any blame but that was as expected. Senator Franklin Drilon’s and Antonio Trillanes’s behavior were predictable. Just like in previous hearings on issues that could implicate the President, they both acted like BS Aquino’s attack dogs as usual. Trillanes showed his skill in asking pointless questions directed at respondent Napenas. He also showed his expertise in rude interruption by cutting him off even before he could start talking. Trillanes probably thinks he looks smart by doing that but somebody ought to tell him that he’s just making a fool of himself. Thank goodness he is going to lose the Vice Presidential race in the next election. We should say good riddance to the convicted mutineer.

President BS Aquino: More leadership less blaming needed

President BS Aquino: More leadership less blaming needed

Enrile also showed how clueless former head of the Department of Interior and Local Government Mar Roxas was as the tragic events unfolded. Roxas claimed that after he received information that the SAF troopers were under attack, he relayed the message to the President whose only response was “thank you”. Meaning, it was obvious that BS Aquino was not interested in the details because, one, he knew about the operation and, two, he was probably getting updates about the incident from Purisima too.

The fact that BS Aquino used a suspended PNP Chief to plan and execute Oplan Exodus should be enough to hold him criminally liable for the deaths of the SAF troopers. He broke the chain of command. If the President gets away with neglectful behavior that resulted in tragedy and loss of lives, this will lead to low morale and eventually erosion of patriotism.

Lack of patriotism is already evident now. This could be why the members of the PNP and AFP do not trust each other with sensitive information. That was the reason why the PNP did not want to involve the AFP at the beginning of the operation. Napenas said several operations in the past were aborted because it was compromised once the AFP was involved. He was implying that there is an informant working for the rebel groups inside the AFP. Now that is tragic, indeed.

[Thumbnail photo courtesy PhilStar.]

10 Replies to “Mamasapano Hearing: President Noynoy Aquino broke chain of command with tragic results”

  1. In the concluding part of my 4-part series in the Manila Times the past two weekends I wrote:
    “Certainly the BOI report limits US participation in Oplan Exodus to providing intelligence and medical assistance. It emphasizes no US combatant was in the operation. That’s precisely the cool thing about the whole matter. By being in control of intelligence, US actually has control over the operation effectively from start to finish.
    What is the operation in the first place but an execution of US-provided intelligence?
    And there just is no need to send in US armed troops in the implementation of Oplan Exodus. The SAF was all too willing – as a call of duty – to do it. Just their luck that they were into the goodie ole American strategy and tactics of suffering its own men in order to achieve a political end.
    Has Senator Enrile the gall to look into this angle? What he will be doing come January 27 is investigate. And investigation does not forbid tackling all possible angles. Tackle it, Senator, please. It’s actually one case of aiming for the moon but hitting the stars instead.
    This column has been on record of tracing the ultimate responsibility for the SAF 44 carnage to President Aquino. But in the peculiarity of Aquino’s presidency, the chain of command does not stop at him. It rises to the hand that turns the key on his back.”

    Very appalling to note that Senator Enrile didn’t have the balls I thought he still got despite his octogenarian status. He’s lost them. Obviously it’s for me and outspoken women like you to continue looking into.

    1. Perhaps you can include this in your work. Failipinos’ character trait: no sense of country nor unity, aristocratic, and sellouts. When all Failipinos start admitting to their character flaws, then we start solving our problems.

    2. You have no idea about american strategy and tactics.they’ve would have done this more efficiently with so many things at their disposal & maybe if it weren’t for the intervention limits the whole operation will entirely have gone differently.walang kahit na anong tulong ang dumating sa saf 44 buong gabi at araw dahil walang mabigay.

  2. Porky Drillon and the political opportunist, Trillanes are two of the “Stinking Swines”, in the Hacienda Luisita Pig Farm.

    Have you ever wondered, what happened to the Maguindanao massacre, where Journalists were murdered? Or the Hacienda Luisita massacre, where the tenants/serfs of Aquino were murdered.

    Aquino wants to Appease the MILF/ISIS/Al Queda. To railroad or force into us, the BBL Law. He thinks, this will be the “legacy” of his Presidency. Remembered, as the one who brought “Peace” in Mindanao. From this, he believes , he can win a “Nobel Prize”, for Peace.

    Aquino is suffering from Paranoia. This is the reason , he will sacrifice anything to fulfill his Paranoid dreams.

    He is also good on putting Blame on others. He cannot just accept responsibility. He has YellowTard minions, like Porky Drillon and that political opportunist, Trillanes, as his attack Dogs.

    We remain as the basket case of Asia, because of these kind of leaders, we have, at present.

  3. I read an article once but I forgot what it is. It was about Jose Rizal, the reason why he oppose the revolution at first. He saw things or rather predicted the outcome after the revolution. He knows the Filipino mind that still today we suffer from it after 100 years!

    Rizal saw our strongly limited, selfish concerns. He saw our lack of social concern. He saw our opportunistic tendencies (“segurista”). He saw knowledge and understanding of the sociopolitical milieu used for self-aggrandizement and self-preservation rather than social transformation.

    After a hundred years nothing has change. That’s probably why something like this always happens. History do repeat itself. It is sad and truly mind boggling, is there really a slight possibility that we could change?

  4. Nap = siesta. PH is the laggard of Asia for sleeping on the job!

    Napenas – poster boy / scapegoat of incompetence
    Napoles – poster girl / scapegoat of corruption

    I won’t be surprised if they find another “Nap” to grill in the Senate.

    We all know how this ends: big fish get off the hook. Look at Enrile- shouldn’t he be languishing in jail now?

    Senate should stop wasting their time and debate instead about more pressing issues: like if we need a train line to connect NAIA to MRT!

    Anyway, these guys just want free media coverage to have their faces and names appear on headline news – talk about low-cost campaigning. This circus is getting exhausting to watch – but I guess that’s what perks up the masses. It’s a rotten democracy – let them have what they want.

  5. “No one among the senators or those being grilled by the senators bothered to point out that the men who slaughtered the SAF troopers, the members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, are still at large and may never be brought to justice.”

    This is a very good point, Ilda.

    As to PNoy giving the go-signal for Oplan Exodus, isn’t it unheard of that the Chief-of-State is not aware of an ongoing critical mission where he’s supposed to have command responsibility? Is the President and his minions saying he’s irresponsible and naive? The fact-finding body evaded the truth about President’s visit to Zamboanga. If Marwan was successfully captured without the Mamasapano Massacre, Noy will definitely grab credit as someone in command that’s why he’s in Zamboanga (another of my friend started to think that maybe it’s in their plan to sacrifice their soldiers to capture Marwan otherwise the President will get furious when PNP-SAFs got massacred (normal reaction shown by Gen. Espina). What kind of leader won’t feel indignation after losing his men in unmerciful ways? Did he avoid watching the confidential video?)

    Is it like PNoy to visit a place just to assess damage caused by an explosion or calamities?

    1. Benign0’s article about shaking hands with the rebel is apt. When you shake hands with the rebels, you will shield them instead of making them accountable to their crimes. That’s what the yellow government is doing. How is the culprit being at large working for the good of Muslim Mindanao?

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