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

CHART: COMPARING BOI & SENATE PANEL MAMASAPANO PROBE FINDINGS


Composite image shows Senator Grace Poe and Philippine National Police Board of Inquiry head Chief Superintendent Benjamin Magalong. Senate staff | STAR/File uxtaposed: BOI and Senate panel Mamasapano probe findings: The Philippine National Police's Board of Inquiry (BOI) and the Senate Committee on Public Order released their respective reports this month after an investigation into the killing of 44 police commandos in a counter-terrorism operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25. The two reports have similarities and differences in their findings reflecting the competencies of the police officials and Senate committee officers led by Sen. Grace Poe. VIEW CHART....

ALSO: Trillanes’ advice to Aquino: Don’t fall into ‘trap’ of apologizing


SCREENGRAB: “Yung pag so-sorry e kalokohan po ‘yan (Saying sorry is baloney),” Trillanes said during a weekly forum at the Senate. MANILA, Philippines — Senator Antonio Trillanes IV warned President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday against calls for him to apologize over the botched Mamasapano operation, saying it was a “trap” to remove him from office.  “Yung pag so-sorry e kalokohan po ‘yan (Saying sorry is baloney),” Trillanes said during a weekly forum at the Senate. “Alam n’yo ganyan din ang ina-advise nila kay GMA noon na mag sorry, naniwala ba tayo? Napakalma ba tayo? Hindi (They also advised GMA to say sorry, but did we believe her? Did her apology calm us down? No),” he said, referring to former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who publicly apologized at the height of the so-called “Hello Garci” scandal in 2005. READ MORE...

ALSO: More Filipinos oppose Aquino resignation—Pulse Asia


AQUINO --The number of Filipinos who want President Benigno Aquino III to stay in power outnumber that of those who want him to resign, a Pulse Asia survey revealed. The poll showed that 42 percent of the 1,200 respondents disagree with those calling for the resignation of Aquino, despite his being heavily criticized for the Mamasapano debacle and receiving his lowest approval ratings yet. Meanwhile, 29 percent said they agreed that the President should resign while 28 percent are undecided. READ MORE....

ALSO Docs’ Rx for Aquino: Resign now


........ Unhealthy policies  Civilians die and those who survive suffer from trauma and other diseases like diarrhea, respiratory infection, hypertension and mental illnesses each time the government wages war against alleged terrorists in Mindanao, she added. Citing a government report, Lindo said the month-old operation has forced 80,000 to evacuate and 400 children are sick with respiratory illnesses and other stress-related disorders. READ FULL REPORT FROM BEGINNING...

ALSO: I will welcome opportunity to face President – Poe


POE   Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares said she is ready to face President Aquino should he decide to call her to Malacañang to discuss the Senate’s findings on the Mamasapano incident.  “I think it would even be better if I have the opportunity, of course,” Poe said in an interview over ANC Headstart.  “I didn’t want to do this, I feel very awkward. But it happened already, I have released the report already,” Poe added.  Poe released the Senate committee report last Tuesday, March 17, after a joint probe conducted by the Senate Committees on Public Order, Finance and Peace, and Unification and Reconciliation into the death of 44 Philippine National Police (PNP-SAF) commandos in the Mamasapano operation. Twenty senators have signed the report which found that the President is “ultimately responsible” for the operation.  READ MORE...

ALSO Magalong: Aquino did not violate chain of command; he just bypassed it


MAGALONG 
Director Benjamin Magalong, the head of the Philippine National Police-Board of Inquiry (PNP-BOI), yesterday denied clearing President Aquino of any wrongdoing in the Mamasapano operations.
While he said that the President did not violate the PNP chain of command, Magalong stressed that the Chief Executive bypassed it.  “The President is not part of…. the established chain of command of the PNP. If you will read the 2013 fundamental doctrine of the PNP, it’s very clear that the chain of command starts with the Chief, PNP. The President is not part of that so what’s his liability there? Nothing,” Magalong explained. But Magalong, the chief of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), said the President bypassed the chain of command when he directly dealt with then SAF commander, Director Getulio Napeñas. “We just stated the fact that the President exercised his prerogative which is true… kaya lang he bypassed the chain of command. He dealt directly with Napeñas,” said Magalong. “Now, based on the established standard, tama ba ‘yan? Kayo na ang maghusga. Nag-state lang kami ng fact,” Magalong said.  READ MORE...

ALSO Tribune editorial: A shameful volte-face (turnaround)


Board of Inquiry (BoI) chairman Director Benjamin Magalong just blew the chance of becoming having an iconic status of an exemplary member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) after evidently bowing to the pressure of the Palace.  Sen. Grace Poe did the same but that is expected of her as an obedient political lackey of the Palace. But many have looked up to the members of the BoI from the time the report was made public.
It was uncharacteristic of investigations done by the police force involving high officials, and the report concluded the culpability of Noynoy, resigned Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima and dismissed Special Action Force commander Director Getulio Napeñas on the death of the 44 SAF commandos in the botched Oplan Exodus, although Maglong denies this. The BoI report clearly indicated that the three violated the chain of command of the PNP which resulted in the Mamasapano bloodbath.  Magalong along with the other members of the BoI were summoned by Malacañang last Monday where Noynoy met them, obviously not for a lazy afternoon chat.  The police official said that Noynoy was offended by the report and at the same time Magalong indicated that the report really did not say that Noynoy was accountable for the botched raid. It was clearly indicated in the BoI report, however, that “the President, the suspended CPNP (chief PNP) Purisima and former Director Napeñas kept the information to themselves and deliberately failed to inform the OIC (office-in-charge) PNP Leonardo Espina and the SILG (Secretary of Interior and Local Government) Manuel “Mar” Roxas. The Chain of Command should be observed in running mission operations.”   CONTINUE READING...

ALSO Analysis by Amado Doronila: Senate report blasts subservience of peace panel to MILF

(The report described the massacre as an “overkill.” “We should not forget that the majority of the SAF 44 lost their lives at the hands of our so-called ‘partner’ in the peace process,” it said.)


Twenty senators have signed a Senate report that denounces the Aquino administration’s peace panel for subservience to the demands of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that is seeking an autonomous Bangsamoro substate in Mindanao.  The report, the executive summary of which was released on Wednesday, came on the heels of the Philippine National Police board of inquiry (BOI) report that held the President liable for the Jan. 25 massacre of 44 Special Action Force commandos by MILF guerrillas in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. The Senate report went further than the BOI report. It found the government’s peace negotiators “suffering from wanton excess of optimism,” and called on them “to speak for the country and for the government.” The report said the government negotiators should take a more critical look at the MILF demands. It said they may be too optimistic in their dealings with the MILF and promising too much at the expense of the government.  While the pursuit of peace in Mindanao is to be appreciated, the Senate report said, the investigating committee could not abandon its responsibility of questioning the government peace panel for “defending” the MILF.  “In the process of achieving peace in Mindanao, we should not overlook the seeming inadequacies of our partner in this process, the MILF, such as [its] lack of control over [its] ground forces and [its] disrespect for legitimate government operations,” the Senate report said. “The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and the peace panel, while advocating peace on a high ground … are suffering from a wanton excess of optimism that ‘blinded’ them in negotiating a fair agreement for the government.”   CONTINUE READING...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

COMPARE BOI & SENATE PANEL MAMASAPANO PROBE FINDINGS


Composite image shows Senator Grace Poe and Philippine National Police Board of Inquiry head Chief Superintendent Benjamin Magalong. Senate staff | STAR/File

MANILA, MARCH 23, 2015 (PHILSTAR) By Camille Diola - Juxtaposed: BOI and Senate panel Mamasapano probe findings: The Philippine National Police's Board of Inquiry (BOI) and the Senate Committee on Public Order released their respective reports this month after an investigation into the killing of 44 police commandos in a counter-terrorism operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25.

The two reports have similarities and differences in their findings reflecting the competencies of the police officials and Senate committee officers led by Sen. Grace Poe.

Compare the conclusions of the two reports with this chart:  


DOWNLOAD:

Board of Inquiry's Mamasapano Report

Senate panel's report on Mamasapano clash


INQUIRER

Trillanes’ advice to Aquino: Don’t fall into ‘trap’ of apologizing Maila Ager @MAgerINQ  INQUIRER.net  2:13 PM | Thursday, March 19th, 2015


SCREENGRAB: “Yung pag so-sorry e kalokohan po ‘yan (Saying sorry is baloney),” Trillanes said during a weekly forum at the Senate.

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Antonio Trillanes IV warned President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday against calls for him to apologize over the botched Mamasapano operation, saying it was a “trap” to remove him from office.

“Yung pag so-sorry e kalokohan po ‘yan (Saying sorry is baloney),” Trillanes said during a weekly forum at the Senate.

“Alam n’yo ganyan din ang ina-advise nila kay GMA noon na mag sorry, naniwala ba tayo? Napakalma ba tayo? Hindi (They also advised GMA to say sorry, but did we believe her? Did her apology calm us down? No),” he said, referring to former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who publicly apologized at the height of the so-called “Hello Garci” scandal in 2005.

Trillanes said it would be used against President Aquino if he apologizes for the Mamasapano operation.

“Sasabihin, ‘o kita mo umamin na, tanggalin na.’ Ganun ‘yan. It’s a trap (They would say, see he’s already admitted his fault, oust him. That’s the way it is. It’s a trap),” said the senator.

“Besides, ang pagso-sorry, kusa ‘yan. Kusang binibigay. Kapag ayaw ibigay ‘yung pagso-sorry , hindi mo ‘yan mapipilit, walang value (Besides, apologizing should be sincere. You cannot demand an apology, if you insist on getting it, it loses its value),” he further said.

On Wednesday, former President Fidel Ramos urged Aquino to do an Arroyo by saying sorry for the incident.

Senator Grace Poe also urged the President when she released a Senate draft report on the incident Tuesday to own up to his responsibility. The report, which she drafted as head of the committee on public order found Aquino “ultimately responsible” for the Mamasapano operation.


INQUIRER

More Filipinos oppose Aquino resignation—Pulse Asia Kristine Angeli Sabillo @KSabilloINQ INQUIRER.net  10:53 AM | Thursday, March 19th, 2015

MANILA, Philippines – The number of Filipinos who want President Benigno Aquino III to stay in power outnumber that of those who want him to resign, a Pulse Asia survey revealed.


Graph of the latest Pulse Asia survey on whether President Benigno Aquino III should resign now.

The poll showed that 42 percent of the 1,200 respondents disagree with those calling for the resignation of Aquino, despite his being heavily criticized for the Mamasapano debacle and receiving his lowest approval ratings yet.

Meanwhile, 29 percent said they agreed that the President should resign while 28 percent are undecided.

This is reflected in the National Capital Region (31 percent agree with resignation, 45 percent disagree and 24 percent undecided) and the rest of Luzon (29 percent agree with resignation, 47 percent disagree and 24 percent undecided).

“Public opinion is split three-ways in the Visayas, with 36% being ambivalent on the matter, 34% opposing calls for the President’s resignation now, and 29% supporting such calls,” Pulse Asia said in a release.

In Mindanao, more people expressed disagreement (39 percent) or indecision (34 percent) than agreement with his resignation (26 percent).


INQUIRER

Docs’ Rx for Aquino: Resign now  Rima Granali @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 4:11 AM | Thursday, March 12th, 2015


The government’s negligence in ensuring the health and well-being of its people and his alleged cover-up in the Mamasapano fiasco were among the reasons cited by medical practitioners in joining the call for President Aquino’s resignation.

MANILA, Philippines–A group of doctors, nurses and other health professionals on Wednesday joined calls for President Aquino’s resignation, citing his alleged cover-up of the Mamasapano debacle.

In a press conference, the group launched the “Rx Aquino Resign Now!” movement, saying they affirm the people’s diagnosis that “Aquino is unfit to lead as President.”

People living in Mindanao need medicines, not bullets, and doctors, not soldiers, a community doctor said.

The all-out offensive launched by the Armed Forces of the Philippines against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) would only add to the number of casualties in the Mamasapano tragedy, Dr. Joseph Carabeo, president of the Community Medicine Practitioners and Advocates Association, said.

Mamasapano, where 44 Special Action Force commandos, 18 Moro fighters and at least five civilians were killed in January, does not even have a health facility, Carabeo noted.

Bullets before medicines

“Having a health center should be a priority but bullets come before medicines and the military before doctors,” he said.

The government’s negligence in ensuring the health and well-being of its people and his alleged cover-up in the Mamasapano fiasco were among the reasons cited by medical practitioners in joining the call for President Aquino’s resignation.

Carabeo said the group could not wait for Aquino to end his term in 2016 because the country is in a critical situation where “every minute, every second counts.”

“If we let Aquino stay in power and in control of all the agencies and policies, it will spell more disasters, more suffering, more diseases and more illnesses,” the community doctor for nearly three decades now said.

Dr. Jean Lindo, chair of “Rx for Peace” in Mindanao, said Aquino should resign because of his incompetence to lead, inability to take responsibility and by aggravating the situation in Mindanao through the all-out offensive against the BIFF.

Stop all-out war

Based on her experiences in medical missions in war-torn areas in Mindanao from former President Joseph Estrada’s all-out war in 2000 to the 2008 conflict arising from the failed memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain during former President Gloria Arroyo’s administration, Lindo said women and children suffer the most.

“The government should stop the all-out offensive because it’s a foolish move,” Lindo, a Davao-based anesthesiologist, said in an interview.

Unhealthy policies

Civilians die and those who survive suffer from trauma and other diseases like diarrhea, respiratory infection, hypertension and mental illnesses each time the government wages war against alleged terrorists in Mindanao, she added.

Citing a government report, Lindo said the month-old operation has forced 80,000 to evacuate and 400 children are sick with respiratory illnesses and other stress-related disorders.


MANILA BULLETIN

I will welcome opportunity to face President – Poe by Hannah Torregoza March 20, 2015


POE

Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares said she is ready to face President Aquino should he decide to call her to Malacañang to discuss the Senate’s findings on the Mamasapano incident.

“I think it would even be better if I have the opportunity, of course,” Poe said in an interview over ANC Headstart.

“I didn’t want to do this, I feel very awkward. But it happened already, I have released the report already,” Poe added.

Poe released the Senate committee report last Tuesday, March 17, after a joint probe conducted by the Senate Committees on Public Order, Finance and Peace, and Unification and Reconciliation into the death of 44 Philippine National Police (PNP-SAF) commandos in the Mamasapano operation.

Twenty senators have signed the report which found that the President is “ultimately responsible” for the operation.

Poe said coming up with the committee report was the “most difficult thing” she has done since entering government service. “I have high regard for the President and I continue to have a high regard for him. I consider him a friend. It’s very difficult, plus you’re investigating institutions – the PNP, the AFP – and then we also have other groups, the MILF, the foreign entities,” she said.

“It’s so difficult and, up until the last minute, I was questioning myself: Should I tone it down? Should I be more diplomatic?”

Poe said she didn’t want the President’s credibility to suffer, especially since she knows him to be a “very good person.” “I did not want him to suffer or to feel bad about it but again, I think the reason he trusted me to be in his slate (in the 2013 senatorial election) is precisely because… maybe he thought I was sincere, I was honest, and I do my work,” she said.

“So if I didn’t do what I did, I would have gone against the ‘tuwid na daan’ (righteous path) that he would (pursue). That’s the criteria I think that he wants to do,” she said.

Poe, who ran under the Liberal Party senatorial ticket during the May, 2013, elections, said she remembers the President being kind to her. “He was very honest. So I know, he’s a very sincere person. That’s why I can say, you make mistakes and in any operation you can make a mistake,” Poe said.

“But what leaves doubt in our minds is he coordinated with a suspended PNP chief, who happens to have been suspended for corruption,” she pointed out.

Poe defended the draft committee report’s stronger stance than the PNP-Board of Inquiry’s (BOI) findings on the incident. The BOI report is more “operational and tactical” for the PNP organization, she said.

“Of course, ours would be a step harsher than the BOI because we have to make recommendatory functions in aid of legislation. Plus, we can also recommend the filing of charges,” she pointed out.

Poe said she prayed hard before releasing the Senate report. “I prayed to God, No. 1, that He help me say what I need to say, what He wants me to say. That’s how I pray, but I also asked the intercession of my Dad. It’s important,” said the daughter of the late actor Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ). FPJ ran for the presidency in the 2004 elections against then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.


MANILA BULLETIN

Magalong: Aquino did not violate chain of command; he just bypassed it by Elena L. Aben March 20, 2015


MAGALONG

Director Benjamin Magalong, the head of the Philippine National Police-Board of Inquiry (PNP-BOI), yesterday denied clearing President Aquino of any wrongdoing in the Mamasapano operations.

While he said that the President did not violate the PNP chain of command, Magalong stressed that the Chief Executive bypassed it.

“The President is not part of…. the established chain of command of the PNP. If you will read the 2013 fundamental doctrine of the PNP, it’s very clear that the chain of command starts with the Chief, PNP. The President is not part of that so what’s his liability there? Nothing,” Magalong explained. But Magalong, the chief of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), said the President bypassed the chain of command when he directly dealt with then SAF commander, Director Getulio Napeñas.

“We just stated the fact that the President exercised his prerogative which is true… kaya lang he bypassed the chain of command. He dealt directly with Napeñas,” said Magalong.

“Now, based on the established standard, tama ba ‘yan? Kayo na ang maghusga. Nag-state lang kami ng fact,” Magalong said.

Magalong issued the clarification following the BOI’s meeting with President Aquino last Tuesday. But he stressed that the meeting does not and will not affect their report on the Mamasapano incident.

“I stand by our word na hindi namin pinapalitan yung conclusions namin, yung findings namin doon sa BOI report,” Magalong told reporters at Camp Crame.

He emphasized that their meeting with the President “does not at all affect their report on the Mamasapano incident.”

Present in that meeting were Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, and BOI member Chief Supt. John Sosito.

According to Magalong, among the contentious issues raised by the President during the meeting was the matter of coordination prior to the implementation of the January 25 SAF operation, dubbed “Oplan Exodus.”

Magalong even described the meeting as “very straightforward,” “free flowing,” and “no-holds barred.”

“Unang-una walang nabago sa ating resulta ng ating imbestigasyon (First of all nothing has changed in the result of our investigation),” Magalong said, adding that he spoke about their meeting with the President because he wants to be truthful.

“But will it change the outcome, the conclusions of our BOI report? It does not. We will stand by it. We stood our ground,” he said.

“Pinayagan niya (President) ako na magtanong sa kanya at very straightforward yung discussion pero kung iniisip ninyo na… papalitan ko na yung result ng imbestigasyon dahil nagkaroon kami ng meeting, I did not,” said Magalong.

Admitting that he was hurt by published reports, saying he has cleared the President of any liability in the Mamasapano, Magalong said: “It doesn’t give justice to those people who helped us come up with that report and the investigation.”

“We already sacrificed our personal ambitions here… We are no longer thinking of our careers here. We have to set aside our personal ambitions para lang maging objective kami dito because we owe the public, we owe SAF44, we owe those SAF families na mabigyan ng hustisya yung kanilang mga namatay na miyembro,” he further stated.

FINAL

Meanwhile, Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. acknowledges that the BOI report on the tragic Mamasapano incident is already “final” and does not expect any change in the report even after President Aquino summoned police officials to Malacañang Tuesday.

“This is an independent undertaking of the Philippine National Police (PNP). Many have observed its independent and objective fact-finding report. And like I said, it is already final as it is. It’s a matter of public record,” Coloma said in a press briefing.

Coloma said it is now up to the concerned government agencies to use the BOI report to pursue further investigation against individuals involved in the Mamasapano clash.

“The BOI has certain recommendations and the concerned government agencies to use this as basis for further gathering of information and case buildup. In other words, the responsible government agencies can already pick up from where the BOI report left off,” he added.

Coloma made the remarks to dispel speculations that the President supposedly tried to influence the outcome of the police investigation following a recent meeting with the BOI head Police Director Benjamin Magalong and other police officials in the Palace.

The President gave his side of the Mamasapano operation in a bid to clarify certain findings of the BOI report during the meeting. Aquino reportedly took offense at the BOI findings that he violated PNP chain of command and allowed a suspended official to participate in the operation.

Coloma said there was “no animosity or hostility” during the meeting with the police investigators.

“It was a cordial and frank exchange of views. One of the descriptions mentioned by Director Tagalong was it was a no-holds barred meaning they were able to freely ask the President,” he said.

The President reportedly complained of not being given the courtesy to give his side.

Magalong said the BOI coursed the request to speak with Aquino through Interior Secretary Mar Roxas. The Cabinet secretary supposedly forgot to inform the President about the BOI request due to too much work. (With a report from Genalyn D. Kabiling)


TRIBUNE EDITORIAL

A shameful volte-face Written by Tribune Editorial Friday, 20 March 2015 00:00

Board of Inquiry (BoI) chairman Director Benjamin Magalong just blew the chance of becoming having an iconic status of an exemplary member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) after evidently bowing to the pressure of the Palace.

Sen. Grace Poe did the same but that is expected of her as an obedient political lackey of the Palace. But many have looked up to the members of the BoI from the time the report was made public.

It was uncharacteristic of investigations done by the police force involving high officials, and the report concluded the culpability of Noynoy, resigned Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima and dismissed Special Action Force commander Director Getulio Napeñas on the death of the 44 SAF commandos in the botched Oplan Exodus, although Maglong denies this.

The BoI report clearly indicated that the three violated the chain of command of the PNP which resulted in the Mamasapano bloodbath.

Magalong along with the other members of the BoI were summoned by Malacañang last Monday where Noynoy met them, obviously not for a lazy afternoon chat.

The police official said that Noynoy was offended by the report and at the same time Magalong indicated that the report really did not say that Noynoy was accountable for the botched raid.

It was clearly indicated in the BoI report, however, that “the President, the suspended CPNP (chief PNP) Purisima and former Director Napeñas kept the information to themselves and deliberately failed to inform the OIC (office-in-charge) PNP Leonardo Espina and the SILG (Secretary of Interior and Local Government) Manuel “Mar” Roxas. The Chain of Command should be observed in running mission operations.”

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In the report’s Chapter IV or the Conclusions, the BoI allotted its first three conclusions to the involvement of the President in Oplan “Exodus.”

“The President gave the go-signal and allowed the execution of Oplan Exodus after the concept of operations was presented to him by Napeñas,” the BoI stated in its first conclusion.

Number two stated that “the President allowed the participation of Purisima in the planning and execution of Oplan Exodus despite the suspension order of the Ombudsman.

“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,” the BoI also stated.

Magalong says that the report ceded that Noynoy has the prerogative as president to do as he pleased during the police operation which was not how the conclusion was worded.

Evidently the pressure on Magalong is coming both from his superiors at the PNP aside from those coming from Noynoy, his Palace aides, Roxas and even Espina directly as a result of the perceived too independent outcome of the investigation in the Mamasapano incident, given the fact that it was the subalterns that investigated their bosses.

The Palace and the PNP hierarchy likely thought that despite giving the group of Magalong a free hand, the police officials would still get guidance from the fact that they have the future of their careers in mind to prevent locking horns with Noynoy.

Apparently Magalong et. al., thought otherwise since the Palace and the aggrieved Mar Roxas were saying all along that all wanted to know the truth behind the incident.

The PNP earlier came out with a disclaimer saying that the BoI findings did not reflect the views of its ass-kissing officials.

The BoI did a sidestep on a lot of issues in the investigation such as the huge involvement of the Americans in Oplan Exodus that targeted Malaysian terrorist Marwan and his Filipino henchman Usman yet the conclusion was still damning for Noynoy and his sidekick Purisima.

Obviously Noynoy was looking for a whitewash with Magalong and company opting for the Palace line of dumping all the blame on scapegoat Napeñas.

Magalong should have stood his ground against the Palace and his PNP bosses and would have done the public proud.


INQUIRER  ANALYSIS by Amando Doronila

Senate report blasts subservience of peace panel to MILF Amando Doronila @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:11 AM | Friday, March 20th, 2015

Twenty senators have signed a Senate report that denounces the Aquino administration’s peace panel for subservience to the demands of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that is seeking an autonomous Bangsamoro substate in Mindanao.

The report, the executive summary of which was released on Wednesday, came on the heels of the Philippine National Police board of inquiry (BOI) report that held the President liable for the Jan. 25 massacre of 44 Special Action Force commandos by MILF guerrillas in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

The Senate report went further than the BOI report. It found the government’s peace negotiators “suffering from wanton excess of optimism,” and called on them “to speak for the country and for the government.”

The report said the government negotiators should take a more critical look at the MILF demands. It said they may be too optimistic in their dealings with the MILF and promising too much at the expense of the government.

While the pursuit of peace in Mindanao is to be appreciated, the Senate report said, the investigating committee could not abandon its responsibility of questioning the government peace panel for “defending” the MILF.

“In the process of achieving peace in Mindanao, we should not overlook the seeming inadequacies of our partner in this process, the MILF, such as [its] lack of control over [its] ground forces and [its] disrespect for legitimate government operations,” the Senate report said. “The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and the peace panel, while advocating peace on a high ground … are suffering from a wanton excess of optimism that ‘blinded’ them in negotiating a fair agreement for the government.”

CONTINUE READING...
It pointed to the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) as an example, given its provisions that would seemingly create a substate in Mindanao and pour too much money into the Bangsamoro region to be created.

It said: “The BBL, in fact, is an exemplar in this regard: While founded on a noble vision of harmony for Mindanao, indications show that there are major areas, including but not limited to the largesse found in its high cost of appropriations, and allegedly allowing the creation of a substate.”

The peace process should also pursue justice and bring the guilty MILF members to account for their roles in the killing of the SAF commandos in Mamasapano, the report said.

For the peace efforts in Mindanao to succeed, the people must accept and support this, it said, adding: “The peace that we seek must be based on justice, where the rule of law reigns supreme, and where criminals are brought before the bar of justice and punished.”

The report, which called the Mamasapano incident a “massacre” rather than a “misencounter,” was issued by the Senate committees on public order and dangerous drugs together with the committees on peace, unification and reconciliation, and on finance.

It is partly based on the testimonies of 37 resource persons at the investigative hearings. It also determined the President’s liability for the massacre and took pains to define his responsibility for the fiasco.

It determined that the President “must bear responsibility for giving assent and failing to prevent the unlawful exercise of official functions by suspended and later resigned [PNP] Director General Alan Purisima in connection with Oplan Exodus that led to the massacre.”

The report said it was beyond doubt that the President was fully aware that Purisima was preventively suspended by the Ombudsman on Dec. 4, 2014, and yet he allowed Purisima to join the Jan. 9 meeting at Bahay Pangarap in Malacañang, where Oplan Exodus was discussed.

He also instructed Purisima to coordinate Oplan Exodus with the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

He communicated exclusively with Purisima in regard to the progress of Oplan Exodus on Jan. 25, as well as in giving Purisima instructions as to the conduct of the operations.

The Senate report concluded that Purisima’s actions with respect to Oplan Exodus during the period of his suspension constituted “usurpation of authority or official function under Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code.”

While the report questioned the conduct of the members of the peace panel in apparently defending the MILF on the Bangsamoro issue, it also questioned the commitment of the MILF to the peace process.

According to the report, while representatives of the MILF were present at the Senate hearings, they have been less than forthright.

Today, almost two months after the Mamasapano incident, the committees have not been furnished copies of the results of the MILF’s own investigation.

“In fact, the MILF has categorically refused to furnish the government altogether its report. The MILF, particularly its chairman, Al Haj Ebrahim Murad, and Commander Wahid Tundok refused to cooperate when they denied the request of the Department of Justice for an interview to present its findings of the incident. The MILF continues to refuse to divulge the names of [its] fighters responsible for the deaths of the SAF troopers. MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal had told media that the MILF will not surrender them to the government. This is a clear indication of the MILF’s unwillingness to work with us in our search for truth, much less for justice.”

The report described the massacre as an “overkill.”

“We should not forget that the majority of the SAF 44 lost their lives at the hands of our so-called ‘partner’ in the peace process,” it said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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