FULL TEXT: Executive Summary of PNP Board of Inquiry (BOI) Report on Mamasapano Clash is here, read below.....

PHNO HEADLINE NEWS EARLY THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports)

WALDEN BELLO: PNoy RUNS GOVT LIKE A 'FRATERNITY'
[He wants Aquino to take responsibility of Mamasapano incident. "Nagalit pa siya sa akin, ang sagot [sa akin] 'Bakit 'di ako tumakbong Presidente?'" he said.]


- Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello has tendered his irrevocable resignation as party-list representative effective March 19 over differences with the party's continued alliance with President Benigno Aquino. 
Bello holds Aquino responsible for the Mamasapano incident.  Bello wants Aquino to take responsibility much like US presidents John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan when they had controversies during their terms. "I think the President should admit responsibility and in fact, iyan ang hinihingi ng mga tao. It might be late but better late than never," he said.  Bello said it is just the latest of many differences with the President. Others include the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and his call for the dismissal of DAP's alleged author Budget Secretary Butch Abad, as well as the sacking of other controversial cabinet figures like Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio delos Reyes, and former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima. "Nagalit pa siya sa akin, ang sagot [sa akin] 'Bakit 'di ako tumakbong Presidente?'" he said.

ALSO: Walden Bello fails to deliver privilege speech after House adjourns


Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello (photo) was supposed to deliver Wednesday afternoon a privilege speech on his withdrawal of support for President Aquino, but his speech will not be entered in the congressional records because he was not able to read it on the floor. Sulu Rep. Tupay Loong called for the adjournment just minutes after the session of the House of Representatives opened, citing a lack of quorum. Bello told reporters he did not think the session was cut short to muzzle him. Felt alluded to when the President called his critics on the Mamasapano massacre “KSP” (kulang sa pansin or attention seekers) in his Monday speech, Bello decided to cut his ties with the administration he and his party-list group helped bring to power in 2010. ‘Sleeping with the enemy’ “It seems that the President’s idea of an ally is someone who follows Malacañang’s line without question and without hesitation. It seems that an ally raising legitimate questions and criticisms is seen as sleeping with the enemy,” Bello said in his undelivered privilege speech, a copy of which he distributed to reporters on Wednesday. READ MORE...

ALSO: MARCH 13, 2015 --FULL TEXT Executive Summary of PNP Board of Inquiry Report on Mamasapano Clash


Police investigators sign Mamasapano report Police investigators sign Mamasapano report. Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief and Board of Inquiry (BOI) chairperson Director Benjamin Magalong (center) joins his colleagues, Directorate for Research and Development executive officer Chief Superintendent Catalino Rodriguez Jr. (L) and Directorate for Integrated Police Operations executive officer for Eastern Mindanao Chief Supt. John Sosito, in signing the BOI report on the Mamasapano clash. Amanda Fernandez Published below is the full text of the Executive Summary of the Philippine National Police Board of Inquiry Report on the Mamasapano clash, which claimed the lives of more than 60 people, including 44 members of the PNP's elite Special Action Force. Click here for the full report.  On January 25, 2015, sixty-seven (67) Filipinos died in Mamasapano, Maguindanao as a result of an encounter triggered by operation Plan (Oplan) Exodus.   The goal of Oplan Exodus was to neutralize high value targets (HVTs) who were international terrorists—i.e., Zkulkifli Bin Hir/Zulkifli Abhir (Marwan); Ahamad Akmad atabl Usman (Usman); and Amin Baco (Jihad).  Forty-four (44) members of the Special Aciton Force (SAF)—considered as the elite unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP) against terrorism and internal security threats-lost their lives in Mamasapano, while sixteen (16) other SAF members sustained severe injuries.   The tragic incident in Mamasapano raised several questions. How could a group of elite forces be massacred? Who was responsible for their deaths? What caused the traffic encounter in Mamasapano? Who were the hostile forces encountered by the SAF troops?   The Board of Inquiry (BOI) was created by the Philippine National Police (PNP) primarily to investigate the facts regarding Oplan Exodus and to provide recommendations in order to address such possible lapses.  The methodology used by the BOI in preparing this report is described in Chapter 1.
READ MORE INCLUDING......CONCLUSIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS

ALSO: BOI’s ‘Mamasapano Report’ notes presence of 6 Americans, Purisima’s role


Bulk of documents the Board of Inquiry gathered for the Mamasapano report contained in a trolley suitcase. The BOI brought the luggage to the office of PNP officer in charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina on Thursday. MANILA, Philippines – A portion of the Board of Inquiry report on the Mamasapano debacle confirmed the presence of “six American nationals” at the tactical command post on the eve of the January 25 operation of the Special Action Force. .... The board also concluded that resigned PNP Director General Alan Purisima had “no authority” in involving himself in the implementation of Oplan Exodus, which ended in the tragic death of 44 SAF commandos, 18 Moro rebels and five civilians. It said Purisima, one of President Aquino’s closest friends in the government, since he was already serving the suspension handed down on him by the Office of the Ombudsman when the police operation was discussed with the President in December. With a report from Marlon Ramos, Philippine Daily Inquirer  READ FROM THE BEGINNING IN FULL.....

ALSO: AFP refused to provide information to BOI


Philippine Armed Forces Chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang points to the map where the alleged clash took place between elite police commandos known as Special Action Forces (SAF) and Muslim rebels took place Jan.25, during a news conference Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015 at the Armed Forces of the Philippines headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City. AP/Bullit Marquez  MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) denied the police Board of Inquiry's (BOI) requests for interviews and other "crucial information" on the January 25 clash in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. The Philippines National Police's BOI, led by Director Benjamin Magalong, admitted in the report released on Friday that information obtained from "certain key personalities" for the investigation on the deaths of the 44 Special Action Force commandos were "limited." Besides suspended police chief Director General Alan Purisima and President Benigno Aquino III whom the BOI was not able to interview, military chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. and Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero of the Western Mindanao Command "refused to be interviewed by the BOI despite repeated requests."  READ MORE...

ALSO THE MILF REPORT: It’s final, only KL gets MILF report --Jaafar


MILF vice chair for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar. RYAN LEAGOGO/INQUIRER.net  MANILA, Philippines–It’s final: Only Malaysia, facilitator of the peace talks between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), will get a copy of the rebel group’s full report of its investigation of the Mamasapano incident. “And that’s final,” Ghazali Jaafar, MILF vice chair for political affairs, told the Inquirer on Wednesday, in remarks that somehow doused hopes of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to secure a copy. Jaafar declined to disclose details of the report of his group’s probe of the clash involving members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (SAF) on a mission to take down Malaysian bomb expert Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan,” in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province, on Jan. 25. But he said an executive summary of the report, which “is being processed now,” would be given to the International Monitoring Team (IMT), which oversees the ceasefire agreement between the government and the MILF. READ MORE...

ALSO: ‘Cycle of unending lies’ stymies PNoy


PNoy PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III was “disingenuous” in his palusot [excuse] during his explanation on Monday regarding his involvement in the deadly secret Mamasapano operation and it has turned out to be a cycle of “never-ending” lies, the party-list group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan said on Tuesday.  “The problem with starting out with a lie is that you end up spinning more lies. The lies have become never-ending,” said Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. after Aquino explained for the third time in Malacañang his role in the mission that resulted in the death of 44 police commandos.  “The gist of the President’s speech was that it was all Napenas’ fault,” Reyes said, referring to Aquino’s remarks to religious leaders where he blamed relieved Special Action Force chief Getulio Napeñas . “It was Napenas who misled the President. It was Napenas who failed to coordinate. It is very likely that the [Philippine National Police board of inquiry] report will not veer away from the pronouncements of the President,” Reyes said. READ MORE...

ALSO STANDARD EDITORIAL: Looking guilty


LIKE an immature child pointing a finger at somebody else when caught in an infraction, President Aquino is desperately trying to pass off the blame for the Mamasapano debacle in which 44 police commandos were killed. The ploy will not work because the public is not as gullible as Mr. Aquino believes, and the more he tries, the more guilty he looks. At a prayer meeting of Christian leaders who still support him, the President beat the dead horse that is the sacked chief of the Special Action Force (SAF), Getulio Napeñas, who was the ground commander of the covert Mamasapano operation to capture or kill two wanted terrorists. In a most un-Christian way, the President spewed a litany of sins that Napeñas allegedly committed, and tried again to peddle the fiction that the SAF chief acted on his own. The SAF commander, Aquino said, disobeyed his direct orders to coordinate the police action with the Armed Forces, failed to get his commandos in place early, and also failed to abort the mission when it was apparent that conditions on the ground had changed. There was one glaring omission in the President’s tale, however: the role that his close friend, resigned police chief Alan Purisima, played in the whole affair. It was Purisima, after all, who called the shots, even though he was already suspended at the time on corruption charges. READ ON...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Walden Bello: PNoy runs gov't like 'fraternity'


Akbayan lawmaker quits Congress March 19

MANILA, MARCH 16, 2015 (ABS-CBN) .by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News - Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello has tendered his irrevocable resignation as party-list representative effective March 19 over differences with the party's continued alliance with President Benigno Aquino.

Bello holds Aquino responsible for the Mamasapano incident.

Bello wants Aquino to take responsibility much like US presidents John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan when they had controversies during their terms.

"I think the President should admit responsibility and in fact, iyan ang hinihingi ng mga tao. It might be late but better late than never," he said.

Bello said it is just the latest of many differences with the President. Others include the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and his call for the dismissal of DAP's alleged author Budget Secretary Butch Abad, as well as the sacking of other controversial cabinet figures like Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio delos Reyes, and former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima.

"Nagalit pa siya sa akin, ang sagot [sa akin] 'Bakit 'di ako tumakbong Presidente?'" he said.

'LOYALTY TO CORRUPT, INCOMPETENT SUBORDINATES'

Bello said one of Aquino's flaws, aside from being stubborn, is loyalty to his friends. Bello believes this made Aquino run the government like a fraternity.

"He's very loyal to subordinates, either corrupt or incompetent. Parang fraternity ang takbo ng Cabinet. Instead of competence, instead of considerations based on rational discussion, loyalty is what counts. Unfortunately, Cabinet is not a fraternity."

Bello, however, won't call for Aquino's resignation or impeachment and just hopes he will change. "He should cease running government like a fraternity, basically running it on loyalties than competence."

He believes President Aquino's moves could be because of US involvement in the Mamasapano incident.

"From all the facts that have come up, it's fairly clear the President was heavily involved. It's a bit strange, as soon as the BOI [Board of Inquiry] said it was gonna release the report, he preempted that by saying he had nothing to do with it. The fingerprints of the US are all over the place. That has to be probed. 'Di lang pwede iwan sa executive sessions."

In a press conference, Bello said he wanted to explain his reasons for resigning to his colleagues but this was prevented when session adjourned Wednesday because there may have been no quorum.

Sulu Rep. Tupay Loong moved for a roll call at the start of session, prompting a suspension of the session.

Moments later, the session adjourned.

Bello said, "I understand there were not very many people and there was going to be a quorum call and they adjourned it."

Instead Bello will give his speech on Monday. "(It's) basically withdrawing my support from the President. The reason for this, I cannot tolerate the President's cover-up of the Mamasapano tragedy, especially with respect to his participation and the participation of Mr. Purisima. I think this is an act not expected of the President. This is an attempt to wash responsibility of an event that he was part of."

Bello feels Aquino is making former SAF chief Getulio Napenas the fall guy by preempting the investigations with his Monday speech .

CONTRADICTION

Bello said this brings him against his party-list group that supports the President. Akbayan's Joel Rocamora, Etta Rosales, and Ronald Llamas sit as lead convenor of the National Anti-Poverty Commission, chair of the Commission on Human Rights, and Presidential Political Affairs Adviser, respectively.

Former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros was senatorial candidate under the administration in 2013.

"I see things other way because of that and because of our processes and our party ethics, if one can no longer represent views of the party, it is but right and appropriate to leave," he said. "After I heard the president's remarks on Monday, things have been very fast. The Monday speech was the last straw. I felt that the President was not acting as President."

Bello believes there's room for him to stay as Akbayan member. "I have already talked to the party. Most of the people in the leadership didn't want me to resign but I felt that rather than prolong a process of contradiction, it was incumbent on me to resign."

He revealed that his resignation was accepted Tuesday night.

He will also personally hand over his resignation to House Speaker Sonny Belmonte.

Bello spoke to Belmonte Wednesday. "We had a pleasant conversation. He [Belmonte] will be accepting the resignation. He promised to be the one to accept the letter of resignation when it is given to him. I'm resigning as nominee of Akbayan, 1st nominee of Akbayan to the 16th Congress."

He joined the calls for the reopening of the House probe on the Mamasapano tragedy.

"Kasi ang dami pang unresolved issues but also the possible role of the US. In this process, we're at just the tip of the iceberg, this is going to be festering."

In a statement, the Akbayan party-list is "saddened by Rep. Walden Bello's irrevocable decision to resign as our party representative."

"He has provided sterling leadership to our party in and out of Congress. He has led some of Akbayan's important struggles and victories through the years. He has been with us in fighting for land reform, Reproductive Health, the Freedom of Information bill, the Anti-Discrimination bill, to name a few. He has also led the party's efforts to protect the country’s sovereignty and ensure the well-being of Filipino workers in the Philippines and overseas," it added.

"Walden remains a treasured member of the party. Certainly his principled stances are valuable to the party and his analyses form part of the vibrant mix of convergent and divergent views that mark our rich ideological life. Certainly our points of convergence far outweigh the differences. Certainly our differences contribute to a better grounded politics," Akbayan said.

Akbayan, however, is holding on to the Aquino administration. "We, however, believe that there are more reforms to be gained from staying in the coalition than by leaving it at this conjuncture. We call on President Aquino to rescue the momentum of reform by exacting full accountability from all responsible actors on the Mamapasano incident, including himself.".


INQUIRER

Walden Bello fails to deliver privilege speech after House adjourns DJ Yap and Christine O. Avendaño, Gil C. Cabacungan | Philippine Daily Inquirer 3:42 AM | Thursday, March 12th, 2015

MANILA, Philippines–Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello (photo) was supposed to deliver Wednesday afternoon a privilege speech on his withdrawal of support for President Aquino, but his speech will not be entered in the congressional records because he was not able to read it on the floor.

Sulu Rep. Tupay Loong called for the adjournment just minutes after the session of the House of Representatives opened, citing a lack of quorum.

Bello told reporters he did not think the session was cut short to muzzle him.

Felt alluded to when the President called his critics on the Mamasapano massacre “KSP” (kulang sa pansin or attention seekers) in his Monday speech, Bello decided to cut his ties with the administration he and his party-list group helped bring to power in 2010.

‘Sleeping with the enemy’

“It seems that the President’s idea of an ally is someone who follows Malacañang’s line without question and without hesitation. It seems that an ally raising legitimate questions and criticisms is seen as sleeping with the enemy,” Bello said in his undelivered privilege speech, a copy of which he distributed to reporters on Wednesday.

“The President, unfortunately, has a problem listening to people. When it comes to constructive criticisms and suggestions, he is tone-deaf,” Bello added.

He reckoned that the President made an “already tragic event” worse by avoiding questions on his responsibility for the death of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos while being more interested “in expressing his regret at the resignation of Director General Alan Purisima as Philippine National Police chief than getting at the truth.”

Exonerating Aquino

Bello said he was floored by the President’s speech on Monday in which he placed all the blame for the failed mission on sacked SAF chief Getulio Napeñas while exonerating and defending himself and Purisima from possible findings of guilt and responsibility by the PNP board of inquiry.

The lawmaker said differences between him and Akbayan’s leaders had cropped up over the party-list group’s continued support for the President.

Bello’s replacement

Bello said he would vacate his post on March 19 or a day after Congress adjourned for its annual summer break.

Akbayan’s third nominee, Angie Ludovice Katoh from Zamboanga province, will replace Bello, said the second Akbayan representative, Ibarra Gutierrez III.

In his undelivered speech, Bello wished that his colleagues would pass the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law that would create a Moro region, reopen the Mamasapano probe, pass the bill extending the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program and enact the freedom of information bill.

Of no import

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said Bello’s defection from the majority coalition in the House was of no political import.

“Well, numerically, [it is a loss], but really, considering more than 92 to 93 percent of [representatives] belong to the majority in Congress, it doesn’t really matter if one or two drop out,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

Belmonte said no loyalty check was necessary among the 260 or so members of the majority in the 290-strong chamber, amid the fallout from the Mamasapano debacle.

“There’s no need at all for a loyalty check because their actions speak louder than any loyalty check,” Belmonte said.

Urged to stay

Bello may have cut ties with Aquino, but his fellow representative from the party-list group felt he should stay on.

“On the point of his remaining as our representative, I personally feel very strongly that he should,” Gutierrez said of Bello.

Asked if Akbayan would deliberate on whether Bello should stay on as representative or whether Akbayan should support his position, Gutierrez said: “I expect the deliberations will cover the full range of issues raised in Representative Walden’s statement, but on the point of his remaining as our representative, I personally feel very strongly that he should.”

Bello said he would remain with Akbayan, but “whether I will remain a representative of the party in Congress will depend on my discussion with the party leadership.”

“Personally, I feel that I cannot continue to remain the congressional representative of the party if our positions on the administration are diametrically opposed,” he said.

Akbayan still behind Aquino

Akbayan officials, specifically those ensconced in appointed positions in the Aquino administration, have no plans of following in the footsteps of Bello.

Ronald Llamas, presidential adviser on political affairs, said no one from Akbayan was headed to the exit door like Bello.

“By his (Bello) own words, he admits that a party representative represents the entire position of the party, not your own personal position. According to him, his personal position is to withdraw support from P-Noy, that is not the party’s position,” Llamas said in a text message.

Other Akbayan members in the government are Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chair Loretta Rosales, National Anti-Poverty Commission Chair Joel Rocamora and PhilHealth Insurance Corp. board member Risa Hontiveros.

In a text message, Rosales said she was not “officially engaged” with Akbayan to keep the CHR away from partisan politics.

“But from a human rights perspective, I am confident that differences in the party will be treated with respect; that Representative Bello has given his individual position to withdraw support for the President and withdraw from his role as Akbayan representative which are decisions of an individual leader that must be respected and dealt with in line with the democratic processes of Akbayan as a political party,” Rosales said.

Malacañang said it respected Bello’s decision. “That is the personal decision of Representative Bello that we have to respect,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

LP’s valued ally

Senate President Franklin Drilon said the Akbayan party-list group remained to be a “valued ally” of the administration’s Liberal Party (LP) and he did not think it would cut ties with the LP after Bello withdrew support for Aquino.

“(Bello) is the party-list representative but the matter of alliance (of LP) is with the party, and not him, personally,” said Drilon, who serves as LP vice chair.

Sen. Sergio Osmeña III said that Bello was a “man of principles” and that he could see that the latter “has a good reason for breaking away” from the President.

Asked whether he thinks there will be an exodus of supporters withdrawing support for the President, Osmeña merely said that such a move will “not improve or ‘diminish’ the chances of the LP.”

“I’ve always maintained that the intervention of the President will mean little in the coming presidential election. The outgoing President has very little endorsement powers,” Osmeña said.–With a report from Nikko Dizon


FULL TEXT Executive Summary of PNP Board of Inquiry Report on Mamasapano Clash  March 13, 2015 2:41pm  2080 77 0 2374


Police investigators sign Mamasapano report Police investigators sign Mamasapano report. Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief and Board of Inquiry (BOI) chairperson Director Benjamin Magalong (center) joins his colleagues, Directorate for Research and Development executive officer Chief Superintendent Catalino Rodriguez Jr. (L) and Directorate for Integrated Police Operations executive officer for Eastern Mindanao Chief Supt. John Sosito, in signing the BOI report on the Mamasapano clash. Amanda Fernandez

Published below is the full text of the Executive Summary of the Philippine National Police Board of Inquiry Report on the Mamasapano clash, which claimed the lives of more than 60 people, including 44 members of the PNP's elite Special Action Force. Click here for the full report.

On January 25, 2015, sixty-seven (67) Filipinos died in Mamasapano, Maguindanao as a result of an encounter triggered by operation Plan (Oplan) Exodus.

The goal of Oplan Exodus was to neutralize high value targets (HVTs) who were international terrorists—i.e., Zkulkifli Bin Hir/Zulkifli Abhir (Marwan); Ahamad Akmad atabl Usman (Usman); and Amin Baco (Jihad).

Forty-four (44) members of the Special Aciton Force (SAF)—considered as the elite unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP) against terrorism and internal security threats-lost their lives in Mamasapano, while sixteen (16) other SAF members sustained severe injuries.

The tragic incident in Mamasapano raised several questions. How could a group of elite forces be massacred? Who was responsible for their deaths? What caused the traffic encounter in Mamasapano? Who were the hostile forces encountered by the SAF troops?

The Board of Inquiry (BOI) was created by the Philippine National Police (PNP) primarily to investigate the facts regarding Oplan Exodus and to provide recommendations in order to address such possible lapses.

The methodology used by the BOI in preparing this report is described in Chapter 1.

The BOI notes that the information obtained from certain key personalities were limited.

For instance the BI failed to secure a interview with the President Benigno Aquino III, suspended Chief PNP (CPNP) Alan Purisima, Chief-of-Staff AFP (CSAFP) General Gregorio Catapang, and Lieutenant General Rustico Guerrero. All concerned officers of the Armed Fores of the Philippines (AFP) refused to be interviewed by the BOI despite repeated requests.

The BOI did not have access to other crucial information such as contents of Short Messaging System (SMS) or text messages, and logs of calls and SMS. BOI's requests for the submission of cellular phones for forensic examination were also denied by CSAFP Catapang, Guerrero, suspended CPNP Purisima and AFP officers. However, the sworn statement of suspended CPNP Purisima included a transcript of his SMS exchanges with the President on January 25, 2015.

Despite the foregoing limitations, the BOI succeeded in conducting several interviews, obtaining various types of evidence, processing and reviewing hundreds of documents, and conducting ocular inspection in Mamasapano to produce this Report.

Based on the records, Oplan Exodus was approved by the President and implemented by suspended CPNP Purisima and the Director of SAF (Napeñas) Getulio Napeñas, to the exclusion of the Officer-in-Charge of the Philippine National Police (OIC PNP) Leonardo Espina, who is the concurrent Deputy CPNP for Operations.

On December 16,2014, the OIC-PNP issued a Special Order No. 9851 which directed suspended CPNP Purisima and other suspended PNP officers, to “cease and desist from performing the duties and functions of their respective offices during the pendency of [their respective cases filed by the Ombudsman] until its termination.”

Napeñas and suspended CPNP Purisima ignored the established PNP Chain of Command by excluding OIC-PNP Espina in planning and execution of Oplan Exodus. Napeñas and suspended CPNP also failed to inform the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government (SILG) Mar Roxas about Oplan Exodus, and made no prior coordination with the AFP. Based on the records. SILG and OIC-PNO were informed of Oplan Exodus through a phone call by suspended CPNP Purisima at 05:50 a.m. on January 25, 2015. SILG learned about the operation when he got an SMS from Police Director Charles Calima Jr. at 07:43 a.m. on January 2, 2015.

The participation of the suspended CPNP in Oplan Exodus was carried out with the knowledge of the President. Records revealed instances when the suspended CPNP met with the President and Napeñas to discuss Oplan Exodus on January 25, 2015.

Records also show that suspended CPNP Purisima failed to deliver his assurances to coordinate with the AFP. At a crucial stage of the crisis, the suspended CPNP Purisima provided inaccurate information from an unofficial source, which further jeopardized the situation of the 55th SAC and 84th Seaborne in Mamasapano.

There are indications that Napeñas may not have considered differing opinions raised by his subordinate commanders. The mission planning appears to have been done by a group of officers and not by a planning team, with inputs heavily influenced by Napeñas. Subordinate commanders expressed that Napeñas had unrealistic planning assumptions such as the swift delivery of artillery fire and the immediate facilitation of ceasefire.

Napeñas chose to employ a “way-in/way-out, by foot and night-only” infiltration and exfiltration Concept of Operation (CONOPS) for Oplan Exodus. During an interview with BOI, Napeñas admitted that he expected casualty of around ten (10) SAF Commandos to accomplish the mission.

Napeñas also admitted that key variables for the success of Oplan Exodus, such as the coordination with the Sixth Infantry Division (6ID), and with the Coordinating Committee o the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) and Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) were not thoroughly considered in the mission planning. The established protocols and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of the AFP, CCCH and AHJAG in providing reinforcement and effecting ceasefire were not sufficiently discussed.

Napeñas proposed to the President the adoption of the time “Time-On-Target” (TOT) concept of coordination for Oplan Exodus. Application for the TOT concept restricted disclosure of information to a limited number of persons until the target is engaged. It appears that Napeñas' primary consideration for adopting the TOT concept was operational security (OPSEC) to reduce the risk of having Oplan Exodus compromised.

The records show that when the President gave instructions to CPNP Purisima and Napeñas to coordinate with the AFP, Napeñas raised his concern that the AFP might be compromised due to intermarriages of some AFP personnel with the local people. He cited previous SAF operations against the same HVTs that were coordinated with the AFP. Suspended CPNP Purisima and Mendez shared the qualms of Napeñas.

When Napeñas proposed to the President the adoption of the TOT concept for Oplan Exodus, the President remained silent.

Police Superintendent Raymund Train of the 84 SAC (one of the survivor from the Mamasapano encounter) attested that, in case of heavy enemy fire, the first planned mitigating action for Oplan Exodus was indirect artillery fire support from the AFP. The second planned mitigating action was the commissioning of the peace process mechanisms to facilitate ceasefire.

However, Napeñas failed to consider the consequences of the TOT concept vis-a-vis the required mitigating actions. He appeared to have relied heavily on the verbal commitment of the suspended CPNP Purisima to arrange for the needed AFP support. Coordination with the 6ID and CCCH and AHJAG was planned to be made at TOT, that was, upon engagement of the target. There was no plan for close air support.

With respect to the peace process mechanisms as mitigating actions in Oplan Exodus, the required coordination to trigger such mechanisms (such as a ceasefire) were not followed.

Prior communication with Brigadier General Carlito Galvez could have informed Napeñas that, in past experiences, a ceasefire could only be achieved after at least six (6) hours of negotiation.

By the time the AFP was informed about Oplan Exodus, a hostile encounter between the SAF Commandos and various armed groups in Mamasapano had already ensued.

Considering that the CONOPS adopted the way-in/way-out-in/way- that the CONOPS adopted heavy support from other SAF Commandos to secure the withdrawal route of the Main Effort (Seaborne). The plan was for the 84th Seaborne to link-up with 55th SAC and progressively with 4SAB units along the withdrawal route.

The delay in movement of the Seaborne affected the movement of the 4SAB and other reserve forces. When the containment and reserve forces arrived at the Vehicle Drop-off Point (VDOP), the situation in the area of operation was already hostile. Heavy sound of gunfire were heard coming from the location of the 55th SAC. The troops immediately disembarked, organized themselves and rushed to their designed waypoints (WP). Midway between WP8 and WP9, the reinforcing troops came under heavy enemy fire. The exfiltration route became dominated by hostile forces. The Ground Comander at the Advance Command Post (ACP) was not able to maneuver the troops to break enemy lines and force their way to reinforce the 55th SAC Commandos near WP12. Ineffective communication system further exacerbated the situation.

During the site survey in Mamasapano on February 24, 2015, the BOI took note of the unfavorabe terrain faced by the reinforcing troops. The wide terrain between their location and that of the 55th SAC was literally flat without adequate cover and concealment. Tactical maneuvers, such as the “Bounding Overwatch” technique, would have been difficult and may result to more casualties. According to the platoon leaders, enemy fires were coming from all directions which prevented them from maneuvering and reinforcing 55th SAC.

In a joint interview with BOI, Mayor Ampatuan of Mamasapano and the Barangay Chairman and Officials of Tukanalipao in Mamasapno claimed that in the past, armed elements would readily withdraw from the encounter side whenever white phosphorus rounds were delivered by Field Artillery Batter of the 6ID PA.

In an interview with BOI, Napeñas claimed that the 6ID immediately provided artillery fire support when one of its infantry company was harassed by armed elements sometime in late November or early December 2014.

However, during the execution of Oplan Exodus, three (3) white phosphorous rounds were delivered late in the afternoon and not earlier in the morning when such rounds could have mattered most to the 84th Seaborne and the 55th SAC.

SAF coordinated and requested for indirect artillery fire support from the 1st Mechanized Brigade as early as 07:30 a.m. The Brigade Commander of the 1st Mech Brigade, Colonel Gener Del Rosario sought clearance for artillery fire from the 6ID Commander, Major General Edmundo Pangilinan. Howver, of the three recommendations given by Col. Del Rosario, only the dispatches of infantry support and mechanized support were approved by the MGEN Pangilinan. The request for indirect artillery fire was put on hold since, according to Pangilinan, they still lacked details as mandated by their protocol.

Based on the records, MGEN Pangilinan took it upon himself to withhold artillery fire support in consideration of the peace process and artillery fire protocols. However, pursuant to AA, PA SOP No. 4, that decision could have been made by a Brigade Commander like Col. Del Rosario.

The primary objective of Oplan Exodus to get the HVTs was not fully completed. Two of its targets, Jihad and Usman, were able to escape and remain at-large.

Three hundred ninety-two (392) SAF Commandos were mobilized for Oplan Exodus. Forty-four SAF members lost their lives in carrying out this mission. In discovering the facts that lead to such deaths, this Report stresses the importance of command responsibility: “A commander is responsible for what his unit does or fails to do.”

FINDINGS:

1. Chain of Command

The Chain of Command in the PNP was violated. The President, the suspended CPNP Purisima and the former Director SAF Napeñas kept the information to themselves and deliberately failed to inform the OIC PNP and the SILG. The Chain of Command should be observed in running mission operations.

For instance, the Manual for PNP Fundamental Doctrine,1 requires the Commander to discharge his responsibilities through a Chain of Command. Such Manual provides that it is only in urgent situations when intermediate commanders may be bypassed. in such instances, intermediate commanders should be notified of the context of the order as soon as possible by both the commander issuing the order and the commander receiving it.

With respect to Oplan Exodus, the Chain of Command in the PNP should have been: OIC, CPNP PDDG Espina (as senior commander) to Napeñas (as intermediate commander). PDG Purisima could not legally form part of the Chain of Command by reason of his suspension.

2. Command Responsibility

The principle of Command Responsibility demands that a commander is responsible for all his unit does or fails to do. Command Responsibility cannot be delegated or passed-on to other officers. Under the Manual of PNP Fundamental Doctrine, Command Responsibility "can never be delegated otherwise it would constitute an abdication of his role as a commander. He alone answers for the success or failure of his command in all circumstances."

Based on all records, Napeñas admitted that he has command responsibility with respect to Oplan Exodus.

3. Coordination

The TOT coordination concept, which limits the disclosure of information to only a few personnel, is applicable only to ordinary police operations. This concept however does not conform to the established and acceptable operational concepts and protocols of the PNP. Even AFP commanders asserted that the TOT concept is alien to the Armed Forces and runs counter to their established SOPs. Without coordination, following the AFP definition, support to operating units such as artillery or close air support is not possible since these entails preparations.

4. Operation Plan

Oplan Exodus was not approved by the OIC-PNP. Napeñas dominated the mission planning, disregarding inputs from his subordinate commanders on how the operation will be conducted. The concept of the way-in/way-out, by foot and night-only infiltration and exfiltration in an enemy controlled community with unrealistic assumptions was a high-risk type of operation.

5. Execution

Oplan Exodus can never be executed effectively because it was defective from the very beginning. Troop movement was mismanaged, troops failed to occupy their positions, there was a lack of effective communication among the operating troops, command and control was ineffective and foremost, there was no coordination with the AFP forces and peace mechanism entities (CCCH and AHJAG).

6. Command and Control

Command and control is critical to a coordinated and collaborative response to the Mamasapano incident. In Oplan Exodus, the SAF's TCP and ACP were plagued by failures of command and control from the very start especially in the aspect of communication. As Oplan Exodus unfolded, mobile communication devices was used as a primary mode of communication. However, these devices fell short of what were needed to relay real-time information and coordination of activities to and from the chain of command.

Radio Operators were assigned at the TCP one each for 84th Seaborne and 55th SAC. However, 55th SAC and 84th Seaborne lost contact during the crucial moments of executing Oplan Exodus. They had to rely on distinctive gunfire to approximate each other's location. Radio net diagram was provided but failed when radio equipment bogged down.

7. Logistics

Some of the ordinance for M203 were defective. Although there were sufficient rounds of ammunition for each operating troop, the overwhelming strength of the enemy caused the troops to run out of ammunition. The common Motorola handheld radios failed when submerged in water because these were not designed for military-type of operations. The battery life was short because of wear and tear.

8. AFP Response

Artillery fire support was factored in as one of the mitigating actions of the SAF. However, such support was not delivered when needed. In consideration of the peace process, AFP did not deliver the artillery fire support under the consideration of the peace process, and on the absence of compliance with the required protocol. AFP demanded prior coordination to enable them to react and deliver the requested support. Nonetheless, the AFP sent infantry and mechanized units to reinforce the SAF. White phosphorus artillery rounds were fired late in the afternoon. However, by then, all of the 55th SAC lay dead except for one who was able to escape.

Local PNP units wer not fully utilized to reinforce the SAF. The reinforcement from the local and Regional PNP units were not seriously factored-in during the mission planning process.

9. Peace Process

Officials of the CCCH and AHJAG, when tapped by AFP, did their best to reinstate the ceasefire between the SAF and MILF combatants. The participation of other armed groups such as the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), private armed groups (PAGs), and other armed civilians in the firefight delayed the ceasefire.

10. United States (US) Involvement

The US was involved in the intelligence operations and medical evacuations. No US personnel/troops were involved in the actual combat operation. The US supported the operation by providing technical support to enhance monitoring of the troops on the ground.

They were also involved in the identification of Marwan through DNA analysis.

11. Post-Mission Actions

The report submitted by the PNP Crime Laboratory shows that around four (4) SAF commandos with fatal gunshot wounds (GSWs) to the head and at the mid-portion of the trunk were deathblows delivered by shooting at close-range. In other words, not all the forty-four (44) fatalities died during the actual firefight, but were literally executed at close-range by the enemy.

A total of 16 SAF firearms and one (1) cellphone were returned by the MILF. It was observed that some parts of the returned firearms had been replaced.

CONCLUSIONS:

Based on the foregoing, the following conclusions were drawn:

1. The President gave the go-signal and allowed the execution of Oplan Exodus after the concept of operations (CONOPS) was presented to him by Director of Special Action Force (SAF) Director Getulio Napeñas.

2. The President allowed the participation of the suspended Chief Philippine National Police (CPNP) Police Director General Alan Purisima in the planning and execution of the Oplan Exodus despite the suspension order of the Ombudsman.

3. The President exercised his prerogative to deal directly with Napeñas instead of Officer-in-Charge of the PNP (OIC-PNP) Police Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina. While the President has the prerogative to deal directly with any of his subordinates, the act of dealing with Napeñas instead of OIC-PNP Espina bypassed the established PNP Chain of Command. Under the Manual for PNP Fundamental Doctrine,2 the Chain of Command runs upward and downward. Such Manual requires the commander to discharge his responsibilities through a Chain of Command.

4. The suspended CPNP Purisima violated the preventive suspension order issued by the Ombudsman when he participated in the planning and execution of Oplan Exodus. He also violated the Special Order No. 9851 dated December 16, 2014 issued by OIC-PNP Espina, directing him and other suspended PNP officers to "cease and desists from performing the duties and functions of their respective offices during the pendency of the case until its termination."

5. In the same meeting where the President instructed Napeñas and suspended CPNP Purisima to coordinate with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP),3 PDG Purisima thereafter said to Napeñas: "Ako na ang bahala kay Catapang." The PNP Ethical Doctrine Manual cites, "Word of Honor — PNP members' word is their bond. They stand by and commit to it." The statement of Purisima may be construed as an assurance of providing the coordination instructed by the President.

6. Suspended CPNP Purisima provided inaccurate information to the President about the actual situation on the ground when he sent text messaged to the President stating that SAF Commandos were pulling out,4 and that they were supported by mechanized and artillery support.5

7. Despite his knowledge of the suspension order issued by the Ombudsman, Napeñas followed the instructions of suspended CPNP Purisima not to inform OIC-PNP and the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government (SILG) Mar Roxas about Oplan Exodus. This violated the PNP Chain of Command.

8. Napeñas failed to effectively supervise, control and direct personnel which resulted in heavy casualties of the SAF Commandos. Under the Manual on Fundamental Doctrines, Command Responsibility means that a commander is responsible for effectively supervising, controlling and directing his personnel. Under that same doctrine, a commander is responsible for what his unit does or fails to do.

9. Napeñas followed his Time-on-Target (TOT) coordination concept despite the directive of the president to coordinate with the AFP prior to the operation.

10. The TOT coordination concept adopted by the SAF does not conform with the established and acceptable operational concepts and protocols of the PNP.

11. The protocols of the established peace process mechanisms, through the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) and Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG), were not observed during the planning and execution of Oplan Exodus.

12. The mission planning of Oplan Exodus was defective due to: (1) poor analysis of the area of operation; (2) unrealistic assumptions; (3) poor intelligence estimate; (4) absence of abort criteria; (5) lack of flexibility in its CONOPS; (6) inappropriate application of TOT; and (7) absence of prior coordination with the AFP and AHJAG.

13. The following factors affected the execution of CONOPS: (1) mismanaged movement plan from staging area to Vehicle-Drop-Off Point (VDOP); (2) failure to occupy the designated way points; (3) ineffective communication system among the operating troops; (4) unfamiliarity with the terrain in the are of operation; (5) non-adherence to the operational/tactical Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs); (6) lack of situational awareness among commanders; and (6) breakdown in the command and control.

14. Artillery support from 6th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (6ID-PA) was not delivered when needed most because Major General Edmundo Pangilinan, Division Commander of 6ID, considered the on-going peace process and protocols in the use of artillery.

15. The lack of situational awareness, limited cover and concealment, ineffective communication, and sustained enemy fire prevented the 1st Special Action Battalion (1SAB) and 4SAB containment forces from reinforcing the beleaguered 55th Special Action Company (SAC) troops.

16. CCCH and AHKJAG undertook all efforts to reinstate the ceasefire. "Pintakasi" and the loose command and control of the MILF leaders over their field forces contributed to the difficulty in reinstating ceasefire.

17. Some of the radios of the SAF Commandos were unreliable because these were not designed for military-type tactical operations. The batteries had poor power-retention capability due to wear-and-tear. Furthermore, SAF radios were not compatible with AFP radios for interoperability.

18. There was a breakdown of command and control at all levels due to ineffective and unreliable communication among and between the operating units.

19. There are indications that 55th SAC was not able to secure its perimeter, conduct reconnaissance, occupy vantage positions and establish observation posts.

20. Several rounds of ammunition of M203 grenade launchers were defective.

21. The United States involvement was limited to intelligence sharing and medical evacuation. Only SAF Commandos were involved in the actual combat operation of Oplan Exodus.

22. Autopsy reports indicate that four (4) SAF Commandos were shot at close-range while they were still alive. Records also indicate that possibility that some SAF Commandos were stripped-off their protective vests prior to being shot at close-range.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Based on this Report's findings and conclusions, the Board of Inquiry (BOI) recommends the following:

1. Where the facts of this Report indicate possible violations of existing laws and regulations, appropriate government agencies should pursue the investigation of the Mamasapano incident to determind the criminal and/or administrative liabilities of relevant government officials, the MILF and other individuals.

2. The AFP and PNP, in coordination with OPAPP, should immediately review, clarify and strengthen the Join AFP/PNP Operational Guideline for Ad Hoc Joint Action Group especially in the area of coordination during Law Enforcement operations (LEO) against HVTs.

3. The AFP and PNP should jointly review related provisions of their respective written manuals and protocols to synchronize, reconcile and institutionalize inter-operability not only between these two agencies but also with other relevant government agencies. The National Crisis Management Core Manual (NCMC manual) could be one of the essential references.

4. Crisis management simulation exercises (similar to fire and earthquake drills) should be regularly conducted among key players including local government units particularly in conflict prone areas.

5. The PNP should review its Police Operational procedures to cover operations similar to Oplan Exodus and to clarify coordination issues.

7. The PNP should craft its own Mission planning Manual and institutionalize its application in PNP law enforcement operations.

8. The capabilities of SAF and other PNP Maneuver Units for Move, Shoot, Protect, Communicate and Close Air Support (CAS) should be enhanced.

9. The PNP should review its supply management system to ensure operational readiness of munitions and ordinance.

10. Cross-training between the PNP and the AFP pertaining to management and execution of military-type tactical operations should be institutionalized.

11. The PNP should immediately grant 1 rank promotion to all surviving members of the 84th Seaborne and PO2 Lalan for their heroism and gallantry in action, posthumous promotion to the fallen 44 SAF commandos, and should give appropriate recognition to all other participating elements.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

[1] PNPM-D-01213 DHRDD Octber 2013 Revised Edition

[2] PNPM-D-01213 DHRDD Octber 2013 Revised Edition

[3] Based on the affidavit of Napeñas, on January 09, 2015, the President stated in the presenc eof suspended CPNP and AD, IG Mendez that "Yung coordination with AFP ha, wag kalimutan."

[4] PDG Purisima to President Aquino (7:36 AM, January 25, 2015): "Sir accordingly, when the nearest target from the line of approach is M1 and when they hot the primary target, the other house where basit usman was located with other elements reacted and fired at the troopers. There were about 15 to twenty armed elements. It was about 430 am and it was deicded that they pull out after gathering pictures and other evidences. They were not able to reach the secondary targets sir."

[5] PDG Purisima to President Aquino (no specific time, Januray 25, 2015): "they are presently in contact with reinforcing elements from biff. The containment forces are the ones in contact right now. They are supported by mechanized and artillery support. Sir."


INQUIRER

BOI’s ‘Mamasapano Report’ notes presence of 6 Americans, Purisima’s role Julliane Love De Jesus @JLDejesusINQ INQUIRER.net 6:53 PM | Thursday, March 12th, 2015


Bulk of documents the Board of Inquiry gathered for the Mamasapano report contained in a trolley suitcase. The BOI brought the luggage to the office of PNP officer in charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina on Thursday.

MANILA, Philippines – A portion of the Board of Inquiry report on the Mamasapano debacle confirmed the presence of “six American nationals” at the tactical command post on the eve of the January 25 operation of the Special Action Force.

One section in “The Mamasapano Report” with a title “J. US Involvement” said relieved SAF commander Police Director Getulio Napeñas disclosed to the BOI that “US counterparts had been providing medical (support)” to the operation.

The BOI added in the report that six American nationals were in the tactical command post of the SAF in Shariff Aguak with Napeñas and other SAF commanders.

“Towards the retrieval operations, US forces also helped in the medical evacuation of the besieged and wounded SAF commandos. Mangahis maintained that the ‘pilots of the helicopter who helped in evacuating wounded personnel to the hospital’ were among the identified American nationals at the TCP,” the BOI wrote.

The Mangahis being referred to by the BOI was a certain Superintendent Michael John Mangahis.

In the same section, the BOI said Napeñas also confirmed that the severed left index finger of Marwan was sent to two representatives of the US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation waiting at General Santos City on January 28, 2015.

“The pictures of Marwan, taken by the Seaborne immediately after he was killed, were also turned over to the FBI as well as the DILG and the PNP as part of the evidence,” it added.

The board also concluded that resigned PNP Director General Alan Purisima had “no authority” in involving himself in the implementation of Oplan Exodus, which ended in the tragic death of 44 SAF commandos, 18 Moro rebels and five civilians.

It said Purisima, one of President Aquino’s closest friends in the government, since he was already serving the suspension handed down on him by the Office of the Ombudsman when the police operation was discussed with the President in December. With a report from Marlon Ramos, Philippine Daily Inquirer


INQUIRER

ALSO THE MILF REPORT: It’s final, only KL gets MILF report --Jaafar Jerry E. Esplanada  @inquirerdotnet  Philippine Daily Inquirer 3:31 AM | Thursday, March 12th, 2015
MILF vice chair for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar. RYAN LEAGOGO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines–It’s final: Only Malaysia, facilitator of the peace talks between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), will get a copy of the rebel group’s full report of its investigation of the Mamasapano incident.

“And that’s final,” Ghazali Jaafar, MILF vice chair for political affairs, told the Inquirer on Wednesday, in remarks that somehow doused hopes of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to secure a copy.

Jaafar declined to disclose details of the report of his group’s probe of the clash involving members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (SAF) on a mission to take down Malaysian bomb expert Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan,” in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province, on Jan. 25.

But he said an executive summary of the report, which “is being processed now,” would be given to the International Monitoring Team (IMT), which oversees the ceasefire agreement between the government and the MILF.

Forty-four SAF commandos, 18 MILF rebels and five civilians were killed during the fighting, jeopardizing efforts for the passage by Congress of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) as a governing body in Mindanao under a peace deal.

Peace talks protocol

In an interview after a media forum at the National Press Club in Intramuros, Manila, Jaafar reiterated the MILF Central Committee’s decision to submit its investigation report to Kuala Lumpur “in accordance with the protocol of the peace talks that Malaysia is facilitating.”

Last week, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima asked the MILF for a copy of the report to balance the DOJ’s investigation of the Mamasapano incident.

De Lima cited the difficulty of looking into the MILF deaths because the DOJ investigators did not know who were killed and had not seen proofs of death which, she stressed, were important in criminal cases.

She told reporters that she would send another letter to the MILF leadership to reiterate the DOJ request.

“Maybe they can get a copy of the report from the IMT, but I’m not suggesting that,” Jaafar said.

During the media forum, the MILF official appealed to Christian churches in the country to “work together with us with this upright cause (pushing for the peace process in Mindanao with the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law) and for all of us to pray for the success of a just and dignified peace process in Mindanao.”

Reading a prepared statement, he urged media practitioners to “continue conducting their noble mission of uniting instead of dividing, of calming instead of fanning the flames of unrest.”

History of oppression

To government leaders, he said: “Lead us to a peaceful and progressive Mindanao as it paves the way to a better Philippines.”

Jaafar pointed out that during the past 108 years, more than 126,400 Muslim Filipinos had been “liquidated and obliterated” by the government. From March 8, 1906, to Oct. 19, 1980, alone, “6,447 Muslim Filipinos were unjustly exterminated by acts of inhuman slaughter,” he said.

“These are the vital parts of history that are first needed to be known and refreshed for us to better understand the real situation we are in today. How can one appreciate the present and prepare for the future if he doesn’t know the relevant historical past?” he asked.

Muslim Filipinos “are also citizens of the Republic of the Philippines,” Jaafar said. “Peace and harmony are what we all are yearning for.”

In pushing for the passage of the proposed BBL, he said “we have been given a chance to have a time for healing, a time when we have the opportunity to have our hearts bound together and to put an end to all these seemingly never-ending military and political warfare, which only brought forth anguish and hatred.”

A time for forgiving

“It’s time to stop firing our guns and start treating one another as equals and brothers, a time when we stop insisting our selfish desires and start understanding what the other party aspires, a time when we stop seeking revenge and instead, start choosing to forgive the ones who caused us losses and sufferings,” he said.

“The BBL is not a tool for insurgency. It is a move, a first step to unite all the people of Mindanao to forge a common peace for the sake of progress.”

The news forum was hosted by veteran journalists Lolly Acosta and Joel Palacios.


MANILA STANDARD

‘Cycle of unending lies’ stymies PNoy By Maricel Cruz, Macon R. Araneta and Sara Susanne Fabunan | Mar. 11, 2015 at 12:01am


PNoy

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III was “disingenuous” in his palusot [excuse] during his explanation on Monday regarding his involvement in the deadly secret Mamasapano operation and it has turned out to be a cycle of “never-ending” lies, the party-list group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan said on Tuesday.

“The problem with starting out with a lie is that you end up spinning more lies. The lies have become never-ending,” said Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. after Aquino explained for the third time in Malacañang his role in the mission that resulted in the death of 44 police commandos.

“The gist of the President’s speech was that it was all Napenas’ fault,” Reyes said, referring to Aquino’s remarks to religious leaders where he blamed relieved Special Action Force chief Getulio Napeñas .

“It was Napenas who misled the President. It was Napenas who failed to coordinate. It is very likely that the [Philippine National Police board of inquiry] report will not veer away from the pronouncements of the President,” Reyes said.

Reyes said the timing of Aquino remarks last Monday was meant to “preempt whatever results that would be borne out of the Board of Inquiry investigation.”

Opposition leader and Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco echoed the sentiment and said Aquino’s remarks pre-empted the findings of the BOI and only cleared himself and his “best friend” Purisima.

“Can we expect the BOI members to say otherwise when the President absolved himself of any blame, barely mentioned his BFF Purisima, and dumped the blame on Napenas?” Tiangco said.

Aquino made the remark on the same day the PNP BOI announced that they would have to postpone the release of the investigation because of the voluminous documents regarding the case.

“[But] the President hardly even mentioned [relieved PNP chief] Purisima,” Reyes said, noting that a Senate investigation showed that Purisima was directly reporting to the President and “advising” Napeñas who claimed he was following orders from Purisima who had already been suspended.

Aquino also “failed to explain why he himself did not inform his other officials of the sensitive operation” when he, “as commander-in-chief, was in a position to inform the AFP and the PNP leadership as well as the government peace panel.”

“Mr. President, the people are not satisfied with your latest, self-serving statements,” Reyes said.

At the same time, Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon also assailed Aquino for claiming he was deceived by Napeñas when “at the end of the day, we have to return the question: who greenlighted the mission? Who authorized the offensive?”

“Mr. President, how many versions of the story will you put out?... If there’s a mambobola [deceiver] around, it’s President Aquino,” Ridon said, calling Aquino a “compulsive liar.”

“Stop fooling the Filipino people Mr. President. You’ve fooled the Filipino people many times over and triple shame on you. Instead of continuing with your compulsive lying, why don’t you resign instead?” Ridon added.

At the Senate, Senator JV Ejercito said Aquino’s explanation is “unbelieveable” because the President has the luxury of confirming all the information being given to him by Napenas when he is surrounded by security experts.

“If you are the commander in chief, why would you rely on one person if you have the luxury getting access to info from all top officials with you the whole day. It’s hard to believe because everybody was there. They were with him the whole day,” Ejercito said.

Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. agreed that the President’s own admission that he was deceived by Napenas showed weak leadership.

“It was inevitable that this was the outcome of his using an alternative or informal chain of command,” Marcos said.

Had Aquino employed the correct command structure, even if one or two lied, “still this would not be the result, this kind of massacre would not happen and the deaths of the 44 would not have occurred,” Marcos said.

“I feel sorry for the families of the slain SAF, MILF and civilians, who are the ones that would be really disappointed with this development,” Marcos said, noting that the delay in the release of the BOI report only prolongs the agony of the bereaved families.

Senator Grace Poe said the delay triggered some doubts as to what happened for their failure to come out with the report last Monday.

“They have given their words that they will be prepared so others are asking what happened last Saturday and Sunday that they suddenly asked for additional time,” said Poe, whose committee on public order led the investigation on the Mamasapano incident.

Meanwhile, reacting to the refusal of Purisima to be interviewed by the BOI, Senate President Franklin Drilon replied, “Maybe, he has something to hide... I do not really know,” Drilon said.

The reactions to Aquino’s remarks on Monday spurred Palace officials to again explain the President’s explanation and disputed the claim of BOI chairman Benjamin Magalong that Aquino did not reply to invitations for an interview with the probers.

“Hindi totoo yan,” Coloma said during the daily Palace briefing. “According to PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo, who was present during the press briefing of the PNP-BOI and Camp Crame yesterday, and I quote, he was quoting, in turn, director Magalong: He did not say that the BOI need to interview the President,” Coloma said.

But Coloma admitted that he was not aware if there was indeed an invitation for the President to speak with the BOI.


PHILSTAR

AFP refused to provide information to BOI By Camillle Diola (philstar.com) | Updated March 13, 2015 - 3:26pm


Philippine Armed Forces Chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang points to the map where the alleged clash took place between elite police commandos known as Special Action Forces (SAF) and Muslim rebels took place Jan.25, during a news conference Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015 at the Armed Forces of the Philippines headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) denied the police Board of Inquiry's (BOI) requests for interviews and other "crucial information" on the January 25 clash in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

The Philippines National Police's BOI, led by Director Benjamin Magalong, admitted in the report released on Friday that information obtained from "certain key personalities" for the investigation on the deaths of the 44 Special Action Force commandos were "limited."

Besides suspended police chief Director General Alan Purisima and President Benigno Aquino III whom the BOI was not able to interview, military chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. and Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero of the Western Mindanao Command "refused to be interviewed by the BOI despite repeated requests."

READ DOCUMENT: PNP Board of Inquiry's Mamasapano Report

The board also failed to obtain material evidence for forensic study from the military.

"BOI's requests for the submission of cellular phones for forensic examination were also denied by CSAFP Catapang, Guerrero, suspended CPNP Purisima and AFP officers," the report stated.

Purisima refused to turn over his cellular phone to the BOI and instead prepared a transcript of text messages with Aquino that "did not consistently indicate the time when the SMS messages were sent and/or received."

"The BOI also observed that there appears to be an unusually long gap or an absence of SMS exchange between PDG Purisima and the President after 11:38 a.m. and before 6:20 p.m.," the report said.

Guerrero, meanwhile, submitted a sworn statement instead of answering queries face-to-face.

Former Special Action Force commander Getulio Napeñas had admitted that the military was not informed of the operation targeting two international terrorists for fears of a leak that would render the mission's failure.

Catapang maintained that proper coordination could have made a difference in the incident, the worst combat loss in a single day in recent memory.

Besides the declined interviews, there was also a lack of access to the specific details of Aquino's activities in Zamboanga City on the day of the clash. "[It] could have shed light on events prior to, during and after the operation," it said.

Leaders, commanders and other members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front also declined interview requests.

Two days after "Oplan Exodus" that spiraled into a deadly firefight with Moro rebels, the Department of Interior and Local Government formed the BOI to look into the tactical matters of the tragedy.

The board was given one month to complete an "all-inclusive report" on the incident, but was delayed by almost a week in releasing it.

The investigating team, however, said that despite unavailability of some key data, it "succeeded in conducting several interviews, obtaining various types of evidence, processing and reviewing hundreds of documents and conducting ocular inspection in Mamasapano" to produce the report. 


MANILA STANDARD EDITORIAL

Looking guilty By Manila Standard Today | Mar. 11, 2015 at 12:01am

LIKE an immature child pointing a finger at somebody else when caught in an infraction, President Aquino is desperately trying to pass off the blame for the Mamasapano debacle in which 44 police commandos were killed. The ploy will not work because the public is not as gullible as Mr. Aquino believes, and the more he tries, the more guilty he looks.

At a prayer meeting of Christian leaders who still support him, the President beat the dead horse that is the sacked chief of the Special Action Force (SAF), Getulio Napeñas, who was the ground commander of the covert Mamasapano operation to capture or kill two wanted terrorists.

In a most un-Christian way, the President spewed a litany of sins that Napeñas allegedly committed, and tried again to peddle the fiction that the SAF chief acted on his own. The SAF commander, Aquino said, disobeyed his direct orders to coordinate the police action with the Armed Forces, failed to get his commandos in place early, and also failed to abort the mission when it was apparent that conditions on the ground had changed.

There was one glaring omission in the President’s tale, however: the role that his close friend, resigned police chief Alan Purisima, played in the whole affair. It was Purisima, after all, who called the shots, even though he was already suspended at the time on corruption charges.

Despite the President’s silence on this point, we now know from testimony before the Senate that Mr. Aquino worked directly through Purisima, who then gave orders to Napeñas. In fact, it was Purisima who had told Napeñas that he would take care of informing the Armed Forces about the operation, and that he should keep the OIC of the Philippine National Police in the dark until the commandos were already on the ground.

This testimony directly refutes Aquino’s incredible claim that Napeñas acted on his own. That the President failed to even mention Purisima makes it all the clearer that he has something to hide, and that Napeñas is being made the scapegoat for the President’s own fatal incompetence.

Encouraged, perhaps, by the fawning supporters at the prayer meeting who “beseeched” him to stay the course and finish his term, the President also used the prayer meeting to lambast his critics, calling them attention seekers (kulang sa pansin) who cannot think clearly, are uncaring and lacking in faith.

But the President was preaching to the choir. Catholic bishops who have been far less gullible and pliant, and who have urged Mr. Aquino to step down over his spectacular failures, were not invited to the prayer shindig. If they were, that would have required that this craven President confront his critics face-to-face, a move that would require much more courage than he has shown thus far with his cowardly and unseemly attempts to deflect blame.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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