‘Sacked SAF chief a man of principle, true leader’
Bebot Sison Jr., Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) - February 8, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - He may be getting the blame for the death of 44 police commandos in the hands of Muslim rebels, but for many of his peers, relieved Special Action Force (SAF) director Getulio Napeñas is a “true leader” and a “man of principle.”

Napeñas is also known to be a mission-oriented person and one who would not let his people down.

A police officer recalled how they were impressed when Napeñas had presented SAF’s plan to arrest terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, and Abdul Basit Usman.

“Director Napeñas made a presentation during one of our command conferences in Camp Crame and all those present were impressed with the meticulous preparation. It was a quick one-way-in-and-one-way-out plan,” said the police officer. “I must admit that from that presentation, it was perfect.”

“He (Napenas) is man of principle, mission-oriented and a true leader. He really does the operation. He does not want any fanfare,” an official said.

“But not all operations are perfect, we planned it out but somehow during the execution, there may be delay and that could be costly, like the lives of our 44 SAF commandos,” he added.

Another official said the death of 44 SAF men was difficult for Napeñas, who consider his men as his children.

Another police official described Napeñas as a “true gentleman” and has no enemies.

Napeñas had said the operations against Marwan and Usman started in December 2010 in Parang, Sulu, but all turned out negative.

A source admitted that several factors were overlooked during the preparations and these may have  “contributed to the tragedy” last Jan. 25.

Napeñas, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Sandigan Class of 1982, took over as SAF commander on Dec. 11, 2013. He replaced Carmelo Valmoria, who also belongs to PMA Class ‘82, who was appointed chief of the National Capital Region Police Office.

Napeñas was assigned to Maguindanao after graduation and led the Regional Special Company.

He was among the pioneering batch of officers of the SAF, which was created on May 16, 1983, as the Philippine Constabulary-Special Action Force.

He also served as chief directorial staff and deputy director of SAF before he was designated as director of the Police Regional Office in the Caraga region in January 2012.

ABDUL BASIT USMAN CAMP CRAME CARMELO VALMORIA DIRECTOR NAPE GETULIO NAPE MARWAN AND USMAN NAPE NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION POLICE OFFICE PLUSMN
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