SAF carnage: Napeñas hits back at P-Noy
President Aquino has “no balls.” This was the stinging rebuke of former Special Action Force (SAF) commander Getulio Napeñas Jr. who was visibly mad at his former commander-in-chief for blaming him for the botched operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao that led to the death of 44 SAF commandos.
“Sana yung dating pangulo natin katulad ng pangulo natin ngayon na kung inutos niya, decision niya inapprove niya tinatayuan nya dahil may bayag siya. Pero ang nakaraan eh hindi ganun eh. Iiwas siya. Isisi sa iba (I wished the former president was like our President now who stands by his decision and order because he has balls. But the former president is not like that. He evades and blames it on others),” said Napeñas, who was here to grace the shootfest in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu hosted by the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas in honor of the SAF 44.
He pointed out that they knew it was the directive of Mr. Aquino but when problems arose, he left his men hanging. “Di lang iniwan sa ere tinapakan pa at diniinan pa. Siya ang nag approve at nag-utos (of the operation) ngayon wala daw siyang kasalanan? Taong bayan na ang manghusga kung tama ba yun (He didn’t just leave us hanging, he stepped on us and blamed us. He approved and ordered the operation and now, he had no liability? Let the people decide if what he did was right),” he said.
Last Thursday, former president Aquino gave a point-by-point reply to the allegations hurled against him by President Rodrigo Duterte on his alleged failure to prevent the carnage in the botched Mamasapano anti-terrorist operation two years ago where Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan was killed.
Mr. Aquino answered seven points, but primarily emphasized that it was the insubordination of Napeñas that led to the deaths of the SAF 44. He said his only fault was trusting Napeñas who lied to him. The statement of the former president didn’t sit well on Napeñas, who maintained that Mr. Aquino was aware of all the preparations and planning of the operation to get Marwan.
He claimed that Mr. Aquino even made comments when he showed the former president on the plans at Malacañang.
He added Mr. Aquino could not also say that he was not involved in the execution of the plan since the former president even sent a text message to former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima on Jan. 25, 2015, the day of the operation.
Napeñas denied the claim of Mr. Aquino that he didn’t heed the order of the former commander-in-chief to coordinate with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
He said he was told by Purisima that the latter already coordinated with former AFP chief of staff General Gregorio Catapang. He also pointed out that Mr. Aquino didn’t call Catapang when they had a meeting in Malacañang.
“Bakit di niya tinawag si General Catapang sa telepono? Kaya hindi ako dumeretso kay General Catapang dahil dadaan pa ako kay (Retired Deputy Director) General Leonardo Espina that is the protocol. SAF ako eh. Di naman ako pwedeng pumunta sa chief of staff ng AFP without the permission from chief PNP or OIC (officer in charge). So nakita niyo na ang inconsistencies niya? (Why didn’t he call General Catapang? I didn’t go directly to Catapang because I had to go through General Espina because that is the protocol. I belong to SAF. I am not allowed to call the chief of staff of the AFP), ” Napeñas said.
He said that he was ready to face Mr. Aquino in any investigating body, but the former president should not expect a smile from him.
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