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AQUINO: NAPEÑAS SHOULD HAVE ABORTED MAMASAPANO OPERATION


President Aquino delivers his message during a prayer gathering at the Malacañan Palace grounds on Monday. He again defended himself against public outrage over his refusal to take responsibility for the Mamasapano clash, saying the police counterterrorism operation would have had a different outcome had the ground commander followed his instructions to coordinate with the military. PHOTO BY GIL NARTEA/MALACAÑANG PHOTO BUREAU 
President Aquino on Monday again defended himself against public outrage over his refusal to take responsibility for the Mamasapano clash, saying the police counterterrorism operation would have had a different outcome had the ground commander followed his instructions to coordinate with the military. Aquino gave a more detailed account of the operation before an audience of evangelical church leaders, led by Bro. Eddie Villanueva, who prayed for the President’s political survival and rejected calls for his resignation over the Mamasapano debacle that cost the lives of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: At Senate PNoy's latest statement on Mamasapano has sown confusion


President Aquino is prayed over by leaders of evangelical Christian groups after a gathering and dialogue at the Malacañang Palace in Manila on Monday. Aquino answered questions on various issues, including the Mamasapano incident which he said he is not to be blamed. Photo by Benhur Arcayan, Malacañang Photo MANILA - Some senators are unconvinced by President Aquino's latest statement on the January 25 operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, saying it did nothing to shed light on the matter and that he should just apologize for it. The President said in a televised speech that former Special Action Force (SAF) commander Getulio Napenas fooled him about details of Oplan Exodus, which targeted two terrorists but ended in the deaths of 44 SAF commandos. Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., however, finds this inconsistent with the version of events that senators had heard in the Senate’s probe and from the President’s earlier pronouncements. “I have to admit…that this has sown confusion,” Marcos told reporters on Tuesday READ MORE...

ALSO What Went Before: Bishops on Aquino and Mamasapano


Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle has defended President Aquino against mounting calls, including those from several bishops, for him to step down following the Mamasapano debacle that killed 44 members of the Special Action Force in January. FILE PHOTO News Report INQUIRER: 
Late last month, former Tarlac Gov. Tingting Cojuangco said her husband, former Tarlac Rep. Peping Cojuangco, an uncle of Aquino, was able to convince Vice President Jejomar Binay to form an advisory body should the President be forced to step down from his post. But Binay’s camp denied this, saying the Vice President was opposed to the resignation of the President. Several Catholic bishops and a cardinal, members of the National Transformation Council that also includes former officials of the Arroyo administration, earlier called for the resignation of Aquino and other officials, and supported the creation of a transition council. Over the past weeks, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) itself has been vocal in criticizing Aquino for his poor handling of the Jan. 25 clash in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province, which left 44 police commandos, 18 Moro rebels and five civilians dead. READ  FULL REPORT.....

ALSO Napeñas’ camp: Why isn’t PNoy taking responsibility for Mamasapano ops?


Vitaliano Aguirre, Napeñas legal counsel, said the tragic encounter with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, with which the government has an existing peace agreement, was triggered by Aquino allowing his friend, then suspended PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima, to control the sensitive operation to arrest high-value targets in alleged MILF territory. “Bakit kahapon hindi man lang binanggit ang naging papel ni General Purisima? Bakit walang responsibility ang isang Pangulo?,” Aguirre said in an interview on GMA News TV's News To Go. “Ang unang-unang katanungan diyan ay bakit pinayagan niya (Aquino) na ang mangasiwa sa napakaselan na operasyon ay isang suspendidong chief ng PNP? Sa palagay ko sa kautusang iyan, sa nangyaring iyan, diyan nagsimula ang lahat,” he added.  It has been reported that it was Purisima who was calling the shots for Oplan Exodus, the PNP-SAF operation aimed at arresting Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alis Marwan and Filipino bomb-maker Abdul Basit Usman.  Purisima had earlier denied the reports, saying that he was only involved in supplying the intelligence packet and giving advice regarding the operation.  In a gathering of Christian leaders in Malacañang on Tuesday, Aquino enumerated the errors allegedly committed by Napeñas during the Mamasapano operation, which resulted to the high number of casualties on the side of the PNP. READ FROM THE BEGINNING.....

ALSO: Aquino draws heavy fire; Foes, allies’ flak triggered by President blaming Napeñas


PRESIDENT’S GUARDS President Aquino troops the line of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) during the 29th anniversary of the PSG at Malacañang Park. In a speech, he hit back at critics demanding accountability over the deaths of 44 police commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province, calling them “attention seekers.” GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE 
MANILA, Philippines–President Aquino’s more detailed account of the circumstances that led to the Mamasapano debacle gave his critics more ammunition against him. It drew not one praise but heavy flak from allies and critics alike, with one accusing the President of a cover-up, a day after he blamed the former head of the Special Action Force (SAF) of feeding him wrong information about the Jan. 25 police operation against two terrorists that ended in the slaughter of 44 police commandos. A defiant Aquino on Tuesday hit back at critics demanding his accountability over the death of 44 police commandos, describing them as “attention-seekers.”  The President unburdened himself during the 29th anniversary of the Presidential Security Group, citing the “most intense criticism especially fabrications from attention-seekers.”  “I have courage because I’m doing what is right, and if I have shortcomings, God will take care of them, including my security,” he said in a speech. “The President is engaging in a brazen cover-up of his responsibility and that of his trusted aide (resigned Philippine National Police Director General Alan) Purisima for the tragic SAF mission and placing all blame on the ground commander (Getulio) Napeñas,” said his erstwhile ally, Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello. READ MORE...

ALSO: MNLF says Noy psycho inconsistency exposed
[Aquino’s mistake, Petalcorin said, was that he gave a political decision over a tactical situation].


AQUINO The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rival Muslim group chided President Aquino’s latest version of the Mamasapano incident in which he, this time around, accused sacked Philippine National Police – Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) commander, Director Gertulio Napeñas of fooling him to support the fatal police operation, which the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) said only betrays Aquino’s incompetence and his psychological inconsistency. In its Facebook account, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) speaking through John Petalcorin, who claims to be the group’s director for communications, said Aquino’s pronouncement the other night, accusing Napeñas of fooling him on the Mamasapano operation, not only is a tacit admission of the president’s direct involvement on the Jan. 25 SAF operation, but also exposes his incompetence in validating information fed to him by his subordinates. “It is an admission that he (Aquino) has direct hands-on involvement as the highest authority in managing the decisions on the operation, he lacks the necessary inquisitiveness and fell short of competency in validating information reported directly by his operations officer, and that he does not take responsibility over the failure of the operations despite being a direct management participant of it,” Petalcorin stated in the group’s FB page. “Admission of incompetence will not excuse him (from) command responsibility,” he added. READ MORE...

ALSO by Federico Pascual, Jr: FBI not 100% sure yet Marwan is dead


By Federico D. Pascual JR. DNA TESTS: President Noynoy Aquino must know something about high-value Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, that even the US Federal Bureau of Investigation does not know for sure.  In a “bull session” last Wednesday, President Aquino told the PNP Special Action Force commandos who survived the Jan. 25 Mamasapano massacre that the SAF’s Oplan Exodus killed Marwan.  Yet the FBI, which conducted DNA tests on a finger taken from somebody that SAF believed was Marwan, has been unable until yesterday (six weeks after he was killed) to say categorically that the dead man was the terrorist on whose head was an “up to” $5-million reward.  The President’s account of Marwan’s supposed death was given by Interior Secretary Mar Roxas who was with the Commander-in-Chief when he met the SAF troopers at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City. “Diniin ng SAF troopers that ‘we got Marwan’… ang sabi ng Pangulo, walang kumekwestyon doon,” Roxas reported, adding“kinilala ng Pangulo na ang SAF nga ang nakakuha sa kanya.”   READ ON........


READ FULL MEDIA NEWS REPORT:

Aquino: Napeñas should have aborted Mamasapano operation, Says ‘Oplan Exodus’ became ‘Mission Impossible’


President Aquino delivers his message during a prayer gathering at the Malacañan Palace grounds on Monday. He again defended himself against public outrage over his refusal to take responsibility for the Mamasapano clash, saying the police counterterrorism operation would have had a different outcome had the ground commander followed his instructions to coordinate with the military. PHOTO BY GIL NARTEA/MALACAÑANG PHOTO BUREAU

MANILA, MARCH 16, 2015 (PHILSTAR) Christian V. Esguerra @inquirerdotnet - President Aquino on Monday again defended himself against public outrage over his refusal to take responsibility for the Mamasapano clash, saying the police counterterrorism operation would have had a different outcome had the ground commander followed his instructions to coordinate with the military.

Aquino gave a more detailed account of the operation before an audience of evangelical church leaders, led by Bro. Eddie Villanueva, who prayed for the President’s political survival and rejected calls for his resignation over the Mamasapano debacle that cost the lives of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos.

Facing his biggest political crisis over the deaths of the commandos, the President assailed critics he described as “attention seekers” for taking advantage of the public anger over Mamasapano.

He said he would continue pushing for peace in Mindanao, saying it would bring justice to “every Filipino” and the slain SAF troopers.

Speaking with more conviction and certainty since the Jan. 25 clash in Maguindanao province, the President put the blame squarely on the shoulders of Director Getulio Napeñas, the sacked SAF commander who, he said, “kept the operation to himself.”

Purisima role unexplained

“If I am at fault here, why should I take all the blame?” Aquino told members of Christian Leaders Coalition, which claims to represent around 3 million members nationwide.

But while he discussed the Mamasapano operation at length, the President did not say why he involved then suspended Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima.

“The truth is I was given the wrong information by the people who knew most of what was happening and, unfortunately, those who didn’t know anything couldn’t give me any further information rather than very raw information,” he said, apparently referring to Napeñas.

Aquino, the Commander in Chief, admitted he was communicating with Napeñas through Purisima, who was ordered suspended for six months by the Ombudsman over allegations of graft.

“Napeñas had a lot of wishful thinking as opposed to reality. It’s clear to me that he fooled me. There’s a saying, ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.’ I have no intention to be fooled twice,” Aquino said.

Villanueva, whose son Joel sits in Aquino’s Cabinet, said he had been approached by groups seeking to oust the President and form a transition government, but he rejected their offer.

“Even granting for the sake of argument that there were mistakes committed by the PNP SAF in fulfilling their noble duty in arresting a foreign terrorist … that along the way they committed mistakes,” Villanueva said, “is that a ground to demand the resignation of the [duly elected] President of the nation?”

Coordinate with military

Aquino recalled the Jan. 9 briefing on “Oplan Exodus” he received from Napeñas, a plan he described as “very thorough,” complete with a PowerPoint presentation and details on the phases of the moon to maximize the use of night vision equipment.

The President claimed he instructed Napeñas to “coordinate” with the military “several days” before the operation for fear of a “free-for-all,” meaning armed rebels in the area might join forces and gang up on the SAF troopers.

While the original plan was to deploy only 160 SAF commandos, Aquino said he ordered more troops, noting that 3,000 to 4,000 “potential enemies” such as the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and other private armed groups.

But though he had been assured of coordination, Aquino said Napeñas “went solo.”

“It now appears that he didn’t have any intention to [obey] my order to coordinate,” the President said. “If I knew that he would do this from the start, I would have said no to this mission.”

Mission Impossible’

“What could have been a successful mission became ‘Mission Impossible,’” he added.

Aquino said he felt “no sense of urgency” from Napeñas, going by text messages he had received from Purisima on the morning of Jan. 25.

He said one message informed him that “extraction” for the SAF troopers was “ongoing.”

“When I arrived in Zamboanga City (to check on the aftermath of the previous day’s bombing), that’s when it became clear that no one else knew [about the operation], that there was no coordination,” he said.

Aquino said it was only later in the afternoon that he was told that not one, but two SAF units (the 84th Seaborne and the 55th Special Action Company) were the subjects of extraction.

He said Napeñas “hid” the operation from the military despite his order for coordination.

PNP warned

And with the Mamasapano debacle, the President warned the PNP to “ensure there is justification for deviation” in future operations.

“Because if you fail to justify one degree of deviation, there would be no benefit of the doubt. That’s insubordination right away and you will be out and [appropriate charges will be filed against you],” he said.

The SAF operation killed Jemaah Islamiyah bomb expert Zulkifli bin Hir, a Malaysian-born terrorist also known as “Marwan.”

But as they withdrew from Mamasapano, the SAF commandos were set upon by rebels from the BIFF and the MILF and lost 44 of their own in a 12-hour gun battle.

The MILF lost 18 fighters in the fighting. Five civilians were killed in the cross fire.

The deaths of the commandos drew widespread public anger and eroded lawmakers’ support for the passage in Congress of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), throwing in doubt the completion of the peace process between the government and the MILF.


ABS-CBN

'PNoy's latest statement on Mamasapano has sown confusion' by Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News Posted at 03/10/2015 3:03 PM | Updated as of 03/10/2015 3:06 PM


President Aquino is prayed over by leaders of evangelical Christian groups after a gathering and dialogue at the Malacañang Palace in Manila on Monday. Aquino answered questions on various issues, including the Mamasapano incident which he said he is not to be blamed. Photo by Benhur Arcayan, Malacañang Photo

MANILA - Some senators are unconvinced by President Aquino's latest statement on the January 25 operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, saying it did nothing to shed light on the matter and that he should just apologize for it.

The President said in a televised speech that former Special Action Force (SAF) commander Getulio Napenas fooled him about details of Oplan Exodus, which targeted two terrorists but ended in the deaths of 44 SAF commandos.

Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., however, finds this inconsistent with the version of events that senators had heard in the Senate’s probe and from the President’s earlier pronouncements.

“I have to admit…that this has sown confusion,” Marcos told reporters on Tuesday.

“We more or less already have an idea kung ano ang nangyari. Bago na naman ito (We more or less already have an idea about what happened. This is something new),” he added. “Imbes na magbigay-liwanag, nagpalabo ngayon ito ng sitwasyon (Instead of shedding light, it muddled the situation).”

Senator JV Ejercito, meanwhile, said it was hard to believe President Aquino was fed lies about the incident, considering he was with top military and police officials in Zamboanga on that day.

Ejercito also believes Aquino’s latest statement only created more confusion, saying he should just take responsibility for the incident.

“What probably the people are also waiting for [is] for the President as commander-in-chief to assume responsibility for the incident because he knew it from the start, and then probably just apologize for the debacle,” he said.

AWKWARD

Ejercito also said the President’s speech puts the police’s Board of Inquiry, which is due to release its findings on the incident this week after several delays, in an awkward position.

“While they are wrapping up or finishing the report, the commander-in-chief already spoke, giving is own version or account of what really transpired,” said Ejercito.

The Senate committee on public order, which conducted its own probe into Mamasapano incident, is releasing its report soon. But Marcos said senators now need to look into President Aquino’s version of events.

In particular, Marcos said he wants to know the exact lies that Napenas supposedly told the President. He pointed out that Aquino earlier told congressmen that resigned police chief Alan Purisima, who was under suspension at the time of the operation, lied to him about the operation.

Ultimately, Marcos said, the mess was was result of President Aquino’s bypassing of the PNP’s chain of command. It has emerged that the PNP’s officer-in-charge, Leonardo Espina, as well as Interior Secretary Mar Roxas were kept in the dark about the operation.

“Because he bypassed the entire command structure and depended only upon this line of command from the Presidnet to Purisima to Napenas, diyan nagkaproblema (that’s where the problem was),” he said. “Now he’s saying that they both lied to him. But that was the weakness of bypassing.”


INQUIRER

What Went Before: Bishops on Aquino and Mamasapano Philippine Daily Inquirer 3:13 AM | Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 26


CATHOLIC BISHPOS OF THE PHILIPPINES

Days after the Jan. 25 Mamasapano clashes that claimed the lives of 44 members of the Special Action Force (SAF), the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said it was not joining calls for President Aquino’s resignation. The CBCP said the decision to step down should come from the President himself.

In a Feb. 4 statement, CBCP president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said that Aquino should consider his capacity to lead and the people’s support in his decision to step down.

“The CBCP cannot morally join in the calls for his resignation, leaving this decision to his humble and prayerful discernment of his capacity to lead and the support he has not only from officials of government but from members of Philippine society,” Villegas said.

The statement was issued amid calls by two CBCP members—Batangas Archbishop Ramon Arguelles and Zamboanga Archbishop Romulo de la Cruz—for the President’s ouster.

Both bishops slammed the President for being “incompetent” in leading the country following the bloody encounter.

Days after the Mamasapano clashes, Lucena Bishop Emilio Marquez issued a strongly worded message, saying any talk of amnesty for the culprits behind the deaths of the SAF 44, even if it was meant to advance the pursuit of peace in Mindanao, was “very wrong.”

“Giving a pardon to whoever is behind the bloody killing is reprehensible. All persons responsible must suffer. They should be sent to jail,” Marquez said.

On Feb. 9, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo told Church-run Radyo Veritas that the President should consider stepping down from his post “for the good of the people” if he thought he no longer had the competence to lead the nation.

On Feb. 15, Villegas challenged Aquino to disclose his role in the Mamasapano debacle. In a strongly worded statement, Villegas said the policemen went after “high-value targets”—international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan,” and his Filipino deputy, Abdul Basit Usman—because they were ordered to do so.

“The President and his advisers must give a full satisfactory accounting of their actions in respect to this tragic loss,” said Villegas, noting that policemen, even the SAF, “do not order themselves.”

In Cebu City on Feb. 13, Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal read a statement of the National Transformation Council, which includes former officials of the Arroyo administration, calling on Aquino to step down.

Five prelates—Archbishop Arguelles, Archbishop De la Cruz, Archbishop Ramon Villena of Bayombong, Archbishop Filomeno Bactol of Naval and Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla of Davao—stood behind Vidal as he read the statement.

Villegas, in a Feb. 23 letter to all ecclesiastical jurisdictions in the Philippines, sought obligatory prayers (Oratio Imperata) to help “calm the anxieties” of the people and “touch the hearts of the enemies of peace” after the Mamasapano massacre.

The situation, not just of the country but of the world, now calls on all bishops “to turn to the Lord in humble supplication and gather our people to pray,” he said.

Earlier this month, some bishops also called on the President to apologize for the debacle.

“Certainly, he’s the Commander in Chief,” said Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez of Marbel, Cotabato province. “Humility is a sign of true leadership. He should accept responsibility. Genuine leaders never pass the buck. Humility is truth, a Christian virtue.”

Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said the President should apologize. “Humility is a great virtue needed by public servants. Pride can lead to destruction.”

Archbishop Arguelles and Bishop Pabillo earlier called on Aquino to resign. “He should step down to give the forsaken 44 members of the Special Action Force eternal rest and give the Filipino people a fresh start,” said Arguelles.

“It’s not enough to apologize. Punish and prosecute the ones who are responsible because lives have been lost,” Pabillo said.–Inquirer Research


GMA NEWS NETWORK

Napeñas’ camp: Why isn’t PNoy taking responsibility for Mamasapano ops?  March 10, 2015 1:00pm


Vitaliano Aguirre, Napeñas legal counsel, asked “Bakit kahapon hindi man lang binanggit nag naging papel ni General Purisima? Bakit walang responsibility ang isang Pangulo?,” Aguirre said in an interview on GMA News TV's News To Go.

A day after President Benigno Aquino III blamed former Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) director Director Getulio Napeñas Jr. for the Mamasapano clash that killed 44 commandos, the beleaguered police officer on Tuesday through a lawyer hit back at the Commander-in-Chief.

Vitaliano Aguirre, Napeñas legal counsel, said the tragic encounter with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, with which the government has an existing peace agreement, was triggered by Aquino allowing his friend, then suspended PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima, to control the sensitive operation to arrest high-value targets in alleged MILF territory.

“Bakit kahapon hindi man lang binanggit nag naging papel ni General Purisima? Bakit walang responsibility ang isang Pangulo?,” Aguirre said in an interview on GMA News TV's News To Go.

“Ang unang-unang katanungan diyan ay bakit pinayagan niya (Aquino) na ang mangasiwa sa napakaselan na operasyon ay isang suspendidong chief ng PNP? Sa palagay ko sa kautusang iyan, sa nangyaring iyan, diyan nagsimula ang lahat,” he added.

It has been reported that it was Purisima who was calling the shots for Oplan Exodus, the PNP-SAF operation aimed at arresting Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alis Marwan and Filipino bomb-maker Abdul Basit Usman.

Purisima had earlier denied the reports, saying that he was only involved in supplying the intelligence packet and giving advice regarding the operation.

In a gathering of Christian leaders in Malacañang on Tuesday, Aquino enumerated the errors allegedly committed by Napeñas during the Mamasapano operation, which resulted to the high number of casualties on the side of the PNP.

Aquino said he had instructed Napeñas to coordinate with the military days before the execution of the operation, contrary to the latter's claim that there was an agreement that the coordination would be “time on target” or when the SAF troopers were already in the target area.

Aquino also said that he was “fooled” by Napeñas by giving him wrong information about the operation.

Aguirre indicated that if Aquino was indeed after proper coordination, he would not have allowed Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and PNP acting officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina to be kept in the dark about the operation.

“Bakit ang naging parang superior ni Napeñas ay si Purisima na isa nang suspended [official] nung January 9, nung nagkaroon ng briefing? Bakit ang dalawang matataas na pinuno ng kapulisan, si General Espina at Secretary Roxas ay wala doon sa briefing na yun?” Aguirre said.

Aguirre was referring to a briefing about Oplan Exodus at the Bahay Pangarap in Malacañang on Jan. 9.

In previous hearings of the Senate and the House of Representatives about the Mamasapano incident, Napeñas said that only him, Purisima, PNP Intelligence Group director Senior Superintendent Fernando Mendez and Aquino were present during the said meeting.

“Kung talagang inutusan niya si General Napeñas na i-coordinate yung dalawang opisyal na yun (Roxas and Espina), bakit hindi siya mismo ang nagpatawag nang makita niya na wala sila doon sa briefing? Sandali lang naman ipatawag sila,” Aguirre said.

In a hearing at the Senate last month, Napeñas admitted that Aquino neither looked for nor required the presence of Espina during their briefing at the Bahay Pangarap on January 9.

Napeñas also recounted that after the briefing, Purisima told them not to inform Roxas and Espina about the operation until the SAF men are already in the target area.

Purisima had earlier admitted that he may have said such words to Napeñas but maintained that his statement was more of an “advice” rather than an order.

But Aguirre maintained that his client should not be blamed by taking Purisima's words as an order from the Aquino. “Masisisi ba natin si General Napeñas kung sumunod kay General Purisima?” he asked.

“Pagkatapos ng meeting nilang apat, lumabas si General Napeñas at General Mendez. And then nag usap pa ang Pangulo at si General Purisima sa loob. Pag labas niya (Purisima), sinabi kay Napeñas na 'wag sabihin sa dalawa (Roxas and Espina)' Ano aakalain ni General Napeñas? Di ba yan utos mula sa Pangulo?” he added.

Aguirre also slammed Aquino for being too quick in putting the blame on Napeñas when the PNP Board of Inquiry has yet to release its report on the Mamasapano incident.

“Siguro mapapansin ng madami na kahit minsan hindi nagpa interview sa anumang sangay ng media ni General Napeñas kasi nga sinabihan siya ng kanyang mga superiors na kung pwede bago magpainterview ay dapat nakalabas na ang BOI report. Ngayon, di naman namin akalain na talagang ibabagsak sa kanya ang lahat ng sisi samantalang ang BOI report ay di pa lumalabas,” Aguirre said.

Aguirre said Aquino's statement yesterday might pre-empt or even influence the outcome of the BOI investigation.

“Ngayon ang katanungan, ano kayang magagawa ng BOI? Maaari pa ba nilang salungatin ang stand ng Pangulo na siya (Napeñas) ang may kasalanan ng lahat?” Aguirre said.

“Iyan ang malaking katanungan ngayon at sana magawa ng BOI ang kanyang katungkulan na magpalabas ng isang report na kapani-paniwala at patas,” he added. —Elizabeth Marcelo/NB/KBK, GMA News

MORE REACTIONS

JV blasts PNoy speech: Timing was off Posted at 03/10/2015 11:22 AM

MANILA - Senator JV Ejercito criticized President Aquino's speech during a prayer gathering in Malacanang.

Ejercito said the timing of the speech was off since the Board of Inquiry is about to release its report on the incident.

He said the President's account of what happened during the operation puts the Philippine National Police Board of Inquiry in a difficult position.

"Bad timing lang... In the morning, the BOI head, General [Benjamin] Magalong, had a press conference asking for more time now for them to submit the report on the Mamasapano incident and in the afternoon President Aquino is already talking on his account of what happened so he put the BOI in an awkward position. If you're General Magalong, your commander in chief has already spoken his version. So will you be singing the same tune or masisintunado ka ba na you will say what has to be said?"

Senators’ take

Sen. Francis Escudero said he did not think the President was able to answer the people’s questions on Monday.

“He has not been able to show the public that he was hurt by what befell the 44 policemen and that those who killed the policemen would be made to account while seeking peace with the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front),” Escudero said.

Sen. Nancy Binay said Aquino should take responsibility for the fiasco.

“Maybe, in a way, because if you follow the line of command, he’s the one on top, at the very top,” Binay said.

She said the No. 1 question was why Purisima had a role in the Mamasapano operation.

Sen. JV Ejercito said it was impossible that the President was fooled about the police operations against Marwan and Usman.

Ejercito pointed out that on that fateful day, Aquino was in Zamboanga City the entire day with his top police and military officials, and could have easily asked information from them.

“If you were the Commander in Chief why would you rely on one person if you have the luxury of getting access and information from all top officials with you the whole day? So, it’s hard to believe that,” the senator said.

Be more sensitive

Ejercito said he hoped Aquino “shapes up, be more sensitive… listen more” and just tell the truth.

“What probably people are waiting for the President, as Commander in Chief, [is] to assume responsibility because he knew (the operations) from the start, and probably apologize for the debacle to the families of the SAF 44, to the nation in grief,” he said.

Ejercito asked the President to show more empathy and sincerity.

Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the President blaming Napeñas was sowing confusion because there would be a need to look into what these supposed lies from Napeñas were.

Marcos said Aquino earlier told House of Representatives members and relatives of the slain SAF troopers that Purisima had also provided him with false information about the Mamasapano mission.

“That brings us back to the question. Why did you listen only to them?” Marcos said.

He said there was a need to look into the President’s statements and to determine their implication. “How does this fit in with all the rest of the testimonies that we have received in the public hearings and in the executive session?” he said.

Incomplete

For Sen. Grace Poe, the President’s statements were consistent with what the Senate had heard in its hearings on the Mamasapano incident.

But Aquino’s statements were incomplete, particularly with regard to the role of Purisima and the MILF, Poe said.

She added that there were many investigating bodies looking into the incident, including the Senate, and they could fill in the gaps.

Preempting BOI

In the House of Representatives, lawmakers said the President’s third public statement on the Mamasapano fiasco preempted the findings of the PNP board of inquiry (BOI).


INQUIRER

Aquino draws heavy fire; Foes, allies’ flak triggered by President blaming Napeñas Christian V. Esguerra, Christine O. Avendaño, Gil C. Cabacungan, Leila B. Salaverria, Tina G. Santos | Philippine Daily Inquirer 1:04 AM | Wednesday, March 11th, 2015


PRESIDENT’S GUARDS President Aquino troops the line of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) during the 29th anniversary of the PSG at Malacañang Park. In a speech, he hit back at critics demanding accountability over the deaths of 44 police commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province, calling them “attention seekers.” GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines–President Aquino’s more detailed account of the circumstances that led to the Mamasapano debacle gave his critics more ammunition against him.

It drew not one praise but heavy flak from allies and critics alike, with one accusing the President of a cover-up, a day after he blamed the former head of the Special Action Force (SAF) of feeding him wrong information about the Jan. 25 police operation against two terrorists that ended in the slaughter of 44 police commandos.

A defiant Aquino on Tuesday hit back at critics demanding his accountability over the death of 44 police commandos, describing them as “attention-seekers.”

The President unburdened himself during the 29th anniversary of the Presidential Security Group, citing the “most intense criticism especially fabrications from attention-seekers.”

“I have courage because I’m doing what is right, and if I have shortcomings, God will take care of them, including my security,” he said in a speech.

“The President is engaging in a brazen cover-up of his responsibility and that of his trusted aide (resigned Philippine National Police Director General Alan) Purisima for the tragic SAF mission and placing all blame on the ground commander (Getulio) Napeñas,” said his erstwhile ally, Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello.

“This is the latest development in the shrinking of the man from a credible President to a small-minded bureaucrat trying to erase his fingerprints from a disastrous project,” said Bello, who declared on Tuesday that he was cutting his ties to the President.

Before a gathering of evangelical church leaders on the grounds of Malacañang, Aquino on March 9 absolved himself of responsibility for the Mamasapano fiasco, saying he “was given wrong information by the people who knew most of what was happening.”

The President noted that Napeñas, who was later sacked as SAF commander, had given him conflicting reports on the Mamasapano mission to get Malaysia terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan,” and his Filipino deputy, Basit Usman. Marwan was shot dead but Usman was able to escape.

Aquino acknowledged that he was communicating with Napeñas through Purisima, then suspended in connection with a graft case in the Office of the Ombudsman. Purisima resigned days after the Mamasapano debacle.

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The President further claimed that Napeñas had failed to coordinate with the military, had refused to abort the mission even if the risks were getting higher, and had “fooled” him.

‘Scapegoat’

Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, who is among the clerics calling on the President to resign, said Napeñas was just being used as a scapegoat.

“I hope he (Napeñas) tells the whole truth,” Arguelles said.

Asked about Aquino’s claim that he was fooled by Napeñas, Arguelles said: “If subordinates can deceive a higher-ranking officer, definitely there is gross incompetence.”

“Other AFP and PNP support units were not far away (from the clash site). It seems there was an order to refrain from intervening or the order to intervene was withheld. Wasn’t Aquino himself in Zamboanga monitoring the operation?” he added.

Equally responsible

Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Public Affairs, said Filipinos were not fools.

“The more the President blames others for that botched operation, the greater the belief of the Filipino people that he is as equally responsible for it,” he said.

Secillano said Aquino’s claim that he was fooled by Napeñas should not be used as a defense not to take responsibility for the Mamasapano fiasco.

“His being fooled does not absolve him of any responsibility for that operation,” Secillano said in a text message to reporters.

Navotas Rep. Tobias Tiangco, United Nationalist Alliance interim president, said the President cleared himself and Purisima of any wrongdoing.

“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 Napeñas. Either he is indirectly reporting the contents of the BOI report or sending a subtle message to the BOI on what should the report contain,” Tiangco said.

Ultimately responsible’

Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said the President “glossed over the fact that he was the one who broke the chain of command and allowed a suspended general to take command of a very sensitive operation.”

Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon said it was the President and not Napeñas who was making a fool of the public.

“He’s saying to us that Napeñas’ poor judgment and direction made Operation Exodus a ‘mission impossible.’ Yet at the end of the day, we have to return the question: ‘Who greenlighted the mission? Who authorized the offensive?’ Napeñas cannot issue commands without delegated authority from his superiors. And Aquino as Commander in Chief is ultimately responsible,” Ridon said.

Responsibility, culpability

Malacañang on Tuesday acknowledged that “the buck stops” with the President.

But Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. made a distinction between “responsibility and culpability,” saying the President “clearly had no involvement” in the “so-called lapses” committed on the ground during the Jan. 25 operation.

“Are responsibility and culpability the same in doing actions with willful intent?” he said in trying to explain why Aquino on Feb. 6 assumed responsibility over the fiasco but heaped all blame on Napeñas.

“If we make this clarification, we will better understand that there is no contradiction… In the ultimate analysis, there is no higher authority than him and the buck stops here. After this, there have to be corrective actions and he considers that his responsibility.”


TRIBUNE

MNLF says Noy psycho inconsistency exposed Written by Charlie V. Manalo Wednesday, 11 March 2015 00:00


AQUINO

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rival Muslim group chided President Aquino’s latest version of the Mamasapano incident in which he, this time around, accused sacked Philippine National Police – Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) commander, Director Gertulio Napeñas of fooling him to support the fatal police operation, which the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) said only betrays Aquino’s incompetence and his psychological inconsistency.

In its Facebook account, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) speaking through John Petalcorin, who claims to be the group’s director for communications, said Aquino’s pronouncement the other night, accusing Napeñas of fooling him on the Mamasapano operation, not only is a tacit admission of the president’s direct involvement on the Jan. 25 SAF operation, but also exposes his incompetence in validating information fed to him by his subordinates.

“It is an admission that he (Aquino) has direct hands-on involvement as the highest authority in managing the decisions on the operation, he lacks the necessary inquisitiveness and fell short of competency in validating information reported directly by his operations officer, and that he does not take responsibility over the failure of the operations despite being a direct management participant of it,” Petalcorin stated in the group’s FB page.

“Admission of incompetence will not excuse him (from) command responsibility,” he added.

Aquino’s mistake, Petalcorin said, was that he gave a political decision over a tactical situation.

“He had in his hands the authority, power, resources and sufficient time to save the lives of the SAF who are in a life-and-death situation, but he choose to sacrifice their lives for his personal ambition to get a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize that (Presidential Peace Adviser) Teresita Deles lured him (into believing),” Petalcorin said.

The MNLF official stressed the president has multiple functions and that he has to make the best decision in any given circumstance.

“As president, he is the highest political decision-maker as well as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. In this case at hand, he demonstrated incompetence and lack of responsibility as commander-in-chief of the armed forces and this puts all of our lives at imminent risk,” Petalcorin stated.

“The Philippine Society, as a whole, should find a way to make him resign. This is a life-and-death situation. It is our life which are at risk here while he sits as commander-in-chief of the armed forces,” he stressed.

Petalcorin said the President’s psychological inconsistency should also be taken into account.

“Given two similar situations, did the person responded consistently? In the Zamboanga siege of September, 2013 (which the MNLF denies participation) (Aquino) was provoking the MNLF peace process by ordering three battalions of his armed forces to create havoc for almost one month which destroyed the homes of some 100,000 indigenous peoples minority Badjaos in Mariki and Rio Hondo, in response to an alleged MNLF shooting of one navy man,” Petalcorin recalled.

“In this Mamasapano incident of January, 2015, his 44 peacekeepers were slaughtered by the MILF yet he is withholding military response using the peace process as an excuse. So, given two situations, he behaved differently – obviously he has some form of psychological inconsistency,” he said.

But whether Aquino resigns or not, voluntarily or forcibly, Petalcorin said he still should be charged with treason.

“He may use insanity as a legal defense and we will be lenient. We will consider the facts of his psychological inconsistencies. We will gladly accept insanity as a plea bargain because it’s long been established already with a complete medical record,” he said.


READ MORE AT HIS BLOG:
Voice from the Resistance By John Remollo Petalcorin, MNLF

Meanwhile, Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon accused Aquino of being a compulsive liar, castigating the president for saying that Napeñas was the one to blame for the bloody Mamasapano clash.

“If there’s a mambobola (fabricator) around, it’s President Aquino. He is saying to us that Napeñas’ poor judgment and direction made Operation Exodus a ‘mission impossible.’

Yet at the end of the day, we have to return the question: who greenlighted the mission?

Who authorized the offensive?

Napeñas cannot issue commands without delegated authority from his superiors. And Aquino as commander-in-chief is ultimately responsible,” Ridon said.

During a prayer gathering in the Palace yesterday, Aquino said that Napeñas “fooled” him during the operation.

The president also said that he only coordinated with Napeñas during the operation, contradicting his earlier statements wherein he mentioned coordinating with sacked PNP Chief Alan Purisima.

“It is Aquino – not Napeñas – who’s engaging in ‘wishful thinking.’

The president is daydreaming if he still thinks the people will believe what he’s saying. He’s clearly living in multiple planes of reality,” Ridon said.

“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 said.


PHILSTAR OPINION

FBI not 100% sure yet Marwan is dead POSTSCRIPT By Federico D. Pascual JR. (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 10, 2015 - 12:00am


By Federico D. Pascual JR.

DNA TESTS: President Noynoy Aquino must know something about high-value Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, that even the US Federal Bureau of Investigation does not know for sure.

In a “bull session” last Wednesday, President Aquino told the PNP Special Action Force commandos who survived the Jan. 25 Mamasapano massacre that the SAF’s Oplan Exodus killed Marwan.

Yet the FBI, which conducted DNA tests on a finger taken from somebody that SAF believed was Marwan, has been unable until yesterday (six weeks after he was killed) to say categorically that the dead man was the terrorist on whose head was an “up to” $5-million reward.

The President’s account of Marwan’s supposed death was given by Interior Secretary Mar Roxas who was with the Commander-in-Chief when he met the SAF troopers at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

“Diniin ng SAF troopers that ‘we got Marwan’… ang sabi ng Pangulo, walang kumekwestyon doon,” Roxas reported, adding“kinilala ng Pangulo na ang SAF nga ang nakakuha sa kanya.”

* * *

NOT 100% SURE: This bystander is 99.99 percent sure that the dead man who owned that index finger subjected to DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) testing was Marwan.

But check for yourself. Visit the FBI website (http://tinyurl.com/6yan2p6) listing 30 “most wanted terrorists.” Marwan, with two vintage 2000 pictures and several aliases, is still there as “wanted.” If indeed he had been killed, he would have been pulled off the list.


SNIPPED FROM FBI WEBSITE HOMEPAGE: Aliases: Marwan, Zulkifli Abd Hir, Zulkifli Bin Abdul Hir, Hulagu, Holagu, Lagu, Musa Abdul Hir, Zulkifli Abdul Hir, Zulkifli bin Hir, Abdul Hir bin Zulkifli, Abduhir Bin Hir, Bin Abdul Hir Zulkifli, Zulkifli, Zulkifli Hir, Musa, Abdulhir Bin Hir, Ahmad Shobirin, Armand Escalante, Hassan, Hendri Lawi, Henri Lawi, Hogalu, Hugalu, Muslimin Abdulmotalib, Norhana Mohamad, Normina, Hashim, Omar Salem, Salim Alombra

The FBI said: “It is… important to note that these individuals will remain wanted in connection with their alleged crimes until such time as the charges are dropped or when credible physical evidence is obtained, which proves with 100 percent accuracy, that they are deceased.”(emphasis mine)

Earlier news said the FBI compared tissue from the finger with that taken from Marwan’s brother detained in California. While the two samples “matched,” the FBI could not yet say the dead man was Marwan, as it did not have a file sample of his DNA for comparison.

Comparison for matching is different from identification. To erase all doubts, the FBI should issue a statement categorically identifying the man killed by SAF commandos as Marwan, and then remove him from its wanted list.

* * *

TRAINED IN US: Marwan, 49, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for “providing material support to terrorists; conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists; contributing goods and services to a specially designated global terrorist; making false statements.”

He is thought to be the head of the Kumpulun Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM) terrorist organization and a member of Jemaah Islamiyah’s (JI) central command. He is allegedly a supplier to terrorist organizations and conducts bomb-making training for terrorist organizations, specifically the Abu Sayyaf Group. He is an engineer trained in the US.

Among his aliases are: Hulagu, Lagu, Musa Abdul Hir, Ahmad Shobirin, Armand Escalante, Hassan, Henri Lawi, Muslimin Abdulmotalib, Norhana Mohamad, Normina, Hashim, Omar Salem, and Salim Alombra. Hiding in Mindanao since 2003, he speaks Malaysian, English and Tagalog.

* * *

NO BOI REPORT: The postponement of the release yesterday of the Mamasapano report of the PNP Board of Inquiry kicked up cries of possible manipulation by Malacañang to save the President from blame, particularly for the death of 44 SAF commandos.

With its credibility plunging, it was useless for Malacañang to have denied insinuations that a cover-up, whitewash or laundry job was in progress.

The BoI is not under the care of the presidential press office. The latter should have left the explaining of the delay to Director Benjamin B. Magalong, the BoI head, who asked for at least three more days to wrap up the report.

Magalong, chief of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, struck me as trustworthy. When he said yesterday he would not let a less-than-truthful BoI report ruin his reputation and that of the PNP, I believed him.

* * *

NO TALK, NO MISTAKE: Malacañang is not helping Magalong submit a credible report by ignoring the BoI’s request to interview the President, coursed through Roxas who chairs the National Police Commission.

There was a similar failure to cooperate with ex-PNP chief Alan Purisima, who refused to give the BoI access to the cellphone where his alleged text messages to and from the President had been saved.

Why are the two long-time buddies afraid to talk? What are they hiding? No talk, no mistake?

Their conspiracy of silence reinforces the impression that Oplan Exodus was carried out by Purisima outside the PNP chain of command on direct orders of his President.

Also missing from the BoI report is the side of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The Palace negotiating panel itself has been unwilling and unable to extract a copy of the MILF report.

* * *

HINDSIGHT: But it appears that the President ignored the BoI request because he had his own avenue for explaining what he did and did not do in connection with Oplan Exodus.

Speaking in a prayer rally in the Palace grounds yesterday afternoon, the President played his usual blame game. He said the Mamasapano debacle was the fault of then SAF chief Getulio Napeñas who was the top PNP officer on the ground.

The President said Napeñas, familiar with the terrain and the local culture, should have aborted the operation when it became clear it was a mission impossible. He said the jump-off alone, planned at 2:30 a.m. was delayed, resulting in daylight overtaking the SAF troops.

Had he known the operation would be as faulty as Napeñas managed it, the President said, he would not have approved it.

The problem, Mr. President, is that you are talking in hindsight. Today is not even the morning after. The massacre has been more than a month ago. ..

READ ON ...

FROM INTERAKSYON ONLINE By: InterAksyon.com | Video report by News5 February 7, 2015 12:45 AM  InterAksyon.com The online news portal of TV5

NEEDS MORE TESTS | FBI did not declare Marwan dead, it merely confirmed DNA linked to terrorist's bro


MARWAN

MANILA, Philippines – The United States Federal Investigation Bureau (FBI) did not categorically say that international terror suspect Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Marwan, is already dead.

In its report, the FBI said that initial results of the laboratory test showed that the DNA samples provided by the Philippine government was related to Rahmat Abdhir.

Rahmat is the brother of Marwan, who was arrested in California in 2007 for conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, providing material to terrorists, false statements, and providing material to Zulkifli bin Hir, said to be a senior member of Al Qaeda-affiliated Jemaah Islamiyah.

Rahmat, a computer engineer in San Jose, the third largest city in California, was also accused of providing at least $10,000, firearm accessories, radios, backpacks, knives, and other equipment to his brother, who had been living in the Philippines since 2003, according to a news report.

In its report, the FBI said that Rahmat and the DNA samples from the Philippine government shared the same parent.

The bureau said further testing and analysis would be done to fully identify the DNA sample that was provided to the FBI by the Philippine government.

It was Philippine authorities who said that Marwan was killed on January 25 in an exchange of gunfire with members of the elite Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF).

According to local authorities, a finger from Marwan’s right hand was cut for DNA sample. The PNP commandos were supposed to bring Marwan’s remains but the latter’s security aides were roused by the gunfire, which triggered the PNP-SAF’s day-long firefight with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Marwan’s remains have not yet been found, only a picture of his alleged dead body was shown to the media.

Marwan's body was allegedly buried in an unmarked grave next to Pusaka Mosque in Sitio Libutan nearest to Brgy. Tukanalipao in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

But local officials recently denied that Marwan’s body was buried in the said area.

[READ RELATED STORY: Still no proof of Marwan’s body, local execs dispel report of terrorist ‘burial’]

In 2012, the Malaysian police obtained and delivered to Philippine authorities DNA samples from Marwan’s family. Malaysia gave the samples to the Philippines after it was reported in February 2012 that Marwan had died in Jolo during a U.S.-backed military airstrike on the island.

In August 2014, the Philippine military said that Marwan was still alive. Reports said that he was seen roaming with 10 to 12 terrorists in Mindanao.
 


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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