P-Noy, Commander in Chief | Inquirer Opinion
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P-Noy, Commander in Chief

/ 12:04 AM February 12, 2015

There are several disturbing questions and issues concerning the actuations of the Aquino administration in the wake of the Mamasapano debacle that cost 44 lives on the side of the police’s Special Action Force (SAF):

  1. President Benigno Aquino III has admitted he was aware of the ongoing mission to arrest the terrorists Marwan and Usman. But he hemmed and hawed about giving a specific go-signal for the launching of Oplan Wolverine last Jan. 25; after all, he said, the search for the two terrorists had been going on since 2002.

SAF chief Getulio Napeñas, on his part, admitted he was receiving direct guidance from suspended Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima and the President himself. But he assumed sole responsibility for the botched mission.

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Is Napeñas being made a fall guy, especially because neither Interior Secretary Mar Roxas nor PNP OIC Leonardo Espina was informed about the mission, not until after it had hit a crisis? Did the President and Purisima perhaps think that should the mission succeed, the “bypassing” of Roxas and Espina would not matter, with the PNP and they, surely, to gain international renown? What promises were made to Napeñas that he agreed to become the scapegoat? PNP insiders will know in due time.

  1. Mr. Aquino was conveniently in nearby Zamboanga City two days before Oplan Wolverine. He even skipped an important family event in Manila, celebrating the 82nd birth anniversary of his mother, Cory Aquino, purportedly to sympathize with the family of a bombing victim in that city—which is highly implausible considering that he had said before that he does not go to the wake of people he does not know. (Remember Jennifer Laude?) Which tells us he must have known about Operation Wolverine and was waiting for the presentation of the terrorists, dead or alive, assuming the mission succeeded. This would have redeemed also his protégé, suspended director Alan Purisima.
  2. Many have complained about P-Noy’s not attending the arrival honors for the dead SAF commandos in Villamor Air Base and his gracing instead the inauguration of a new plant of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. in Laguna. His flawed priority speaks louder than all the medals and other benefits he is now frantically giving to the bereaved families of the dead policemen. No wonder one of the wives of the slain commandos refused to accept the medal he was handing her; another refused to look at his face while he was sympathizing with her.

The people are tired of the crocodile tears of politicians, and that means not only P-Noy’s. Some of them even profess undying love for the masses while robbing them blind.

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Mr. Aquino should take full accountability for Oplan Wolverine as Commander in Chief of all security forces in the Philippines. He must act like a true president, if not like a real man, and own up to his bungled handling of that operation instead of covering up his misdeed by using fall guys.

—DON VILLAR, [email protected]

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TAGS: Alan Purisima, Benigno Aquino III, Cory Aquino, Getulio Napeñas, Jennifer Laude, Leonardo Espina, Mamasapano, Mar Roxas, Marwan, Oplan Wolverine, Usman
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