A Nationalist People’s Coalition member asked President Benigno Aquino III to disclose everything he knows about the Jan. 25 Mamasapano operation and to avoid giving piecemeal information that tend to raise more questions than answers.
Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian warned that failure on the part of the President to reveal what he knows about “Oplan Exodus” will further erode the commander-in-chief’s credibility and will ultimately result in the chief executive’s “death”, politically speaking.
“The more President Aquino talks piecemeal about the Mamasapano incident, the more he buries himself in the political quicksand of his own doing. And if the chief executive can’t extricate himself in this quicksand, he will be politically dead sooner than expected,” Gatchalian, whose political party is current allied with the administration, said.
Gatchalian said the President’s political quicksand began when he started giving conflicting statements on the top secret SAF operation.
The SAF operation had resulted in the massacre of 44 commandos in the hands of Moro fighters, including the Moro Islamic Liberation Front or MILF and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters or BIFF.
The administration solon said President Aquino’s “unstatesman-like” and “unpresidential” remarks against relieved SAF Director Getulio Napenas were indications that he himself is already confused on who to blame for the botched Mamasapano operation, the plan of which was presented and approved by the commander-in-chief during the Jan. 9 briefing at Bahay Pangarap.
“The most glaring inconsistency on the President’s statement before Christian leaders was his admission that suspended PNP Chief Alan Purisima was the one texting him about the developments on ‘Oplan Exodus’ based on the information being relayed to him by Gen. Napenas,” Gatchalian pointed out.
He added: “This fully contradicted the President’s Jan. 28 statement before Malacañang reporters that Gen. Purisima was directly involved in the Mamasapano operation only up to the time that he was suspended by the Ombudsman December of last year.”
Gatchalian maintained that creating scapegoats and pinning the blame on the likes of Gen. Napenas will not do the President any good since his own statements reveal that he knew about the SAF operation. He added that as commander-in-chief, he has command and control on both the SAF teams and the army units in Maguindanao.
“What the President should do is to tell all, be humble enough to assume responsibility for the fiasco, and render justice to the SAF 44 soonest,” Gatchalian concluded. (R. Burgos)