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Aquino: I was fooled on Mamasapano mission

President Benigno Aquino III in a previous speech on the Mamasapano clash. File photo

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - President Benigno Aquino III on Monday said he was fed with wrong information about the January 25 operation that left 44 police commandos dead.

"The truth is, I was given the wrong information by the people who knew most what was happening," Aquino said during a prayer gathering at Malacañang.

Aquino continued to pin blame on dismissed Special Action Force (SAF) chief Getulio Napeñas, reiterating that the police official did not follow his directive to coordinate with military officials regarding the Mamasapano operation.

"Maraming wishful thinking si Napeñas as opposed to reality. Pero maliwanag sa akin, binola niya ako," Aquino said.

The President went on in criticizing Napeñas, saying he lacked professionalism and made the wrong decisions during the botched operation.

He said the operation could have been aborted after the condition on ground was changed.

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"Sinolo ni Napeñas. Siya ang nagdesisyon," Aquino said. "May times ang mga desisyon niya palpak."

Aquino said there was also no sense of urgency in the text messages from Napeñas that the SAF troopers were facing imminent death.

Despite the criticisms, Aquino said he is not making Napeñas the scapegoat. He denied washing off hands.

"Kung talagang ako ang may kasalanan dito bakit hindi ko aakuin?" he said.

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