AS I listened to President Aquino 3rd speak the other day at a prayer meeting with religious organizations, that question did grip my mind. There’s no other explanation why he acted the way he did in that event.
It was a prayer meeting for chrissake – why was Aquino bad-mouthing and heaping hatred on the sacked police Special Action Force (SAF) director Getulio Napeñas, saying he botched the operation and that no one else is to blame but him? It’s certainly most unchristian for the most powerful man in the country to use his podium — and on national television — to blame a police general for the massacre of 44 SAF troopers. How devastating can that be to the career of a police general still a few years to retirement?
There wasn’t even a word from him regarding what acting police chief Leonardo Espina emphasized in a Senate hearing, as his eyes got misty and his voice cracked: “Let’s assume there was no coordination, let’s assume the SAF made mistakes. But did the MILF need to massacre our men, when they were already helpless and their uniforms very clearly showed they were policemen?”
It’s certainly most unchristian for the President to be so unfair to not just a citizen but an officer of the law, who had previously risked his life to enforce the law. Why would he throw accusations against Napeñas in a televised speech, when the police general wasn’t given the chance in the same venue to present his side?
How can we now expect the reports from two investigating groups—the Philippine National Police’s Board of Inquiry and the justice department—to be objective when their boss, the Commander-in-Chief, already has made his conclusion, that it was all the fault of Napeñas?
Why is he, in the first place, rushing to make Napeñas the scapegoat so much so that he asks his official Joel Villanueva, the head of the Technology Skills and Development Authority who’s been implicated in the pork-barrel scam, to ask his father Ed to corral his fellow “evangelists” to go to Malacanang to act as his captive audience, and who would be most willing to ask only those questions he tells them to ask? (An indication of the power this group has is that there were many empty seats in the gathering.)
Aquino must have gone mad because he could not accept the fact that what he thought would be his great victory playing general who captured two international terrorists turned out to be a bloody failure—no one’s really celebrating Marwan’s capture, with the nation, instead, mourning over the murder of the 44 commandos.
That Aquino has gone mad is also evident in the fact that he didn’t even mention the culpability—legally and morally—of resigned PNP Chief Alan Purisima, his buddy since the 1980s—in the massacre. Only somebody caught up in his own mad world like Aquino could think the nation wouldn’t notice that he didn’t even say a word about Purisima.
Napeñas merely was following the instructions of Purisima, who had made it so clear that even if he was suspended by the Ombudsman in December, the President ignored that suspension and treated him as if he were still the PNP chief, and as the commander of the special operations to kill the international terrorists in Mamasapano. (Telegraphing his guilt, Purisima has refused to answer questions by the PNP’s Board of Inquiry on the event.)
Why would Aquino blame Napeñas for not coordinating with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the other units of the PNP when it was Purisima—right after coming out of the room where he talked to the President —who told him not to do so, as he intended that (Purisima), instead, would tell them (“coordinate”) about the operation.
Aquino is digging his political grave deeper, and getting entangled in the web of the lies he spits out every time he talks about the Mamasapano massacre.
He knew that the Mamasapano operation would be undertaken in the early morning of Jan. 25, and he even emphasized in his speech that the “time on target” was 2:30 a.m., since Muslims, he boasted to be aware of, get up every 4 a.m. for their morning prayers. He had been briefed about the operation and similar operations, and about how dangerous it could be.
But he himself admitted in his speech at the ‘prayer meeting’ that he was still asleep at 7 a.m. when the first text message—from Purisima— arrived at 5:45 a.m. (“Una kong natanggap na text, nandito pa ho sa telepono ko, parang pinadala ng 5:45– aminin ko nakapatay ‘yung telepono ko, 7:00 more or less ‘nung pagbangon (ko) binuksan, sinagot ko siya ng about 7:30 or so–at sinabi sa akin doon sa text ni Director General (Alan) Purisima.)
Was he on drugs the night before that he could wake up only at 7 a.m. (and as he himself said, could send a reply text only at 7:30 a.m.) even if he knew there was a very important operation that would put the lives of nearly 400 policemen in harm’s way, that it might need his intervention? Or is 7 a.m. his regular wake-up time that nothing, not even events that could result in the killing of his men, should make his aides wake him up?
He is the commander-in-chief, and there was a very sensitive operation that he knew would hit the enemy at 2:30 a.m. Yet he admitted he was still asleep until 7 a.m. That Aquino wasn’t even aware that he was admitting to such gross, even criminal, neglect is one reason I think this person has gone mad.
He even admitted that it was Purisima he was in contact with and not Napeñas. But the Ombudsman suspended Purisima in December!
He knew about the operation at 7 a.m., and was getting text messages the whole morning. Yet the Commander-in-Chief didn’t even ask his security officials Mar Roxas, Voltaire Gazmin, and AFP Chief of Staff Gregorio Catapang to a meeting to really find out what was happening so he could issue orders that could have prevented the massacre of 44 commandos? He acted as though nothing out of the ordinary was happening nearly the whole day while they were going around Zamboanga City on Jan. 25.
How could a police general like Napeñas, who in the PNP hierarchy is four levels below the PNP chief, set up “coordination” with the Armed Forces? Aquino doesn’t even realize that coordination between the PNP and its peer-body, the AFP, can be ordered only by the Commander-in-Chief, and that person is him, or somebody he authorizes to represent him. Napenas thought this person was Aquino’s closest confidante from way back, Purisima.
But Purisima obviously failed to set up the ‘coordination’ needed, and even ordered Napeñas not to inform Roxas, Gazmin and Catapang about the operation.
What had happened, which led to the massacre of the 44 commandos, had become crystal clear to the nation. His apologists among the ranks of opinion writers have quite conspicuously been silent on the issue.
We will be shamed as a nation if we acquiesce to Aquino’s attempt to cover up the truth, and if we don’t get this madman out of power as soon as possible.