Senate Minority Floor Leader, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile blames the President of the Republic of the Philippines, Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III for the deaths of the 44 member of the elite PNP-Special Action Group (SAF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last January 25, 2015.
According to the 91-year-old Sen. Enrile, the line of command in the Armed Forces of the Philippines was paralyzed the day 44 elite troopers were massacred in Mamasapano a year ago.
The senator who is seeking to prove an alleged failure of leadership said that President Aquino had “compartmentalized” the Mamasapano operation on Jan. 25, 2015, that left out the existing police and military hierarchy, immobilizing ground commanders at the critical moments and leading to the massacre of the Special Action Force (SAF) commandos.
During the reopening of the Senate inquiry of the Mamasapano incident, the senator noted that the planning and execution of “Oplan Exodus” were left only to Alan Purisima, the then suspended chief of the PNP, and Getulio Napeñas, the director of the Special Action Force (SAF) who had been sacked.
In a meeting in Malacañang’s Bahay Pangarap on Jan. 9, with Napeñas, Purisima and Supt. Fernando Marquez, the President gave the go ahead that Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and then the PNP officer in charge, Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, be informed of the operation “time on target” when the SAF troopers were on the ground.
Sen. Enrile also berated Catapang for not responding fast enough to help the trapped SAF men. He was irked at Catapang at first when he asked the number of military troops sent to aid the SAF men and the former AFP chief replied by saying this could be answered by Maj. Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, commander of the 6th Infantry Division.