President Benigno Aquino III, resigned Philippine National Police Chief Alan Purisima, and sacked Special Action Force Director Getulio Napeñas should be blamed for breaking the chain of command in the Mamasapano incident that left 44 SAF troopers dead, Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello said in a news report.
“I think what we have here are shortcomings in a very confused situation. I think the prime responsibility of the fiasco are the President’s, Purisima’s, and Napenas’ for deliberately violating the terms of the territorial access agreements with the MILF and keeping the insertion of the SAF force from the AFP, which had responsibility for the implementation of these agreements, along with the MILF, ” said Bello.
During last week’s address to the nation, President Aquino took responsibility for the operation, which also led to the death of an international terrorist.
Aquino, however, said Napeñas, had sole discretion on the mission. He also defended Purisima from the operation.
“So who began or provoked the shooting takes 95 per cent of the blame. That is why I am so upset the president took so long to assume responsibility for the fiasco. This was total abdication of presidential leadership. What a difference from President Carter, who immediately took responsibility for the Desert One fiasco in 1980,” said Bello.
Also to be blamed are the government peace panel and MILF leadership for failing to douse water on the heating gunfight, according to Bello.
“But I do not think the responsibilty of the president and his two renegade subordinates should be foisted on the peace panel. Unless it can be shown that members of the peace panel deliberately sabotaged the ceasefire process, I don’t think they should be replaced,” said Bello.