Blood in his hands

There is a clear effort to steer away the blame from the Commander-in-Chief, President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, over the bloody‪#‎MamasapanoClash‬ fiasco.
But we have to remember that it happened because Mr. Aquino broke all the rules. He embarked on this operation without the knowledge and participation of his national security team. He entrusted it to his suspended friend, Alan Purisima.
It was the President himself who disregarded the chain of command. He violated the Constitution and the law. It matters little what information was filtered to him on the day on the operation. He must take full responsibility for what happened. The blame must not just fall on Police Director Getulio Napeñas. It should not even fall on Purisima.
No matter how hard he tries to wash his hands, the blood will forever glisten with freshness in his hands.

The people’s wrath

The first time President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III and his bosom friend Alan Purisima were under fire 26 years ago, they escaped with minor scratches.
Those were real bullets they had to face.
Now, it is the wrath of the people they are confronted with. Not as deadly as the first encounter, but it is unlikely the two friends will survive this one (although they will be live long enough to suffer the consequences).

Obvious facts

The January 9 mission update given by Director Getulio Napeñas, erstwhile SAF commander, for the President in the presence of resigned PNP DG Alan Purisima established the following facts: a) The mission had the president’s approval. b) Purisima was tasked by the President to oversee the mission. c) The last instructions were given by the President to Purisima during those moments Napeñas and Mendez were waiting outside the Bahay Pangarap. d) These instructions were what Purisima relayed to Napeñas when he emerged from that private conversation with the President.

Where the culpability lies

The objective of the Senate investigation is to find out who are responsible for the bloody fiasco at Mamasapano that resulted in the deaths of 44 Special Action Force commandos, 18 MILF rebels and several other civilians on January 25, 2015.
This clash also put the peace process with the MILF at grave risk, as it triggered a massive uproar against the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law which is now being tackled in Congress.
Unfortunately, the investigation after two long days of questions and answers is turning out to be a deliberate effort to cover up the culpability of the individual primarily culpable for this senseless loss of lives and putting the peace process in jeopardy.
That individual is no less than President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III.
Based on the testimonies that have come out so far, it is now clear the operation to take down Marwan and Usman was approved by the highest authority possible — the President. And calling the shots for the President was his bosom friend and buddy, suspended (now resigned) PNP director general Alan Purisima.
Despite efforts to water down the involvement of the President, it cannot be denied that the final briefing before the SAF operation on January 25 took place was held in the official residence of Mr. Aquino. As relieved SAF commander Director Getulio Napeñas stated, he came out of that final briefing with the belief he had the tacit approval of the President. And what other conclusion could be drawn from the President’s conduct and demeanor?
It was here that culpable violation of our laws took place. President Aquino tasked the suspended PNP director general to run the show for him. It broke the chain of command. To make matters worse, the President kept Secretary Mar Roxas and Secretary Voltaire Gazmin out of the loop. The OIC Chief of the PNP and AFP chief of staff were also kept in the dark.
We have to keep this in mind. This is the only issue that matters to most people. We want to know if the President was behind this, and the answer is a resounding “yes”. Quite expectedly, the allies of the President, including Purisima and Napeñas, are deflecting the issues that would pin him down.
Let’s make sure this truth is fully exposed. That’s the only way for justice to be exacted. The President has to be held accountable and responsible. He cannot hide from his blunder. The lives of so many people were sacrificed because of his incompetence and stupidity.