Mar: It's Purisima's fault

Jovan Cerda (The Philippine Star) - March 13, 2015 - 12:29pm

MANILA, Philippines - Interior Secretary Mar Roxas II on Friday heaped the blame on former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Alan Purisima for the botched Mamasapano operation that killed 44 members of the PNP Special Action Force (SAF) last January 25.

"The one with the primary responsibility is none other than suspended Director General Alan Purisima," Roxas said in a press conference following the Board of Inquiry's submission of its report on the incident.

Citing the report, Roxas said Purisima supervised the operation and delegated tasks to SAF chief Director Getulio Napeñas, instead of passing the chain of command to PNP officer-in-charge (OIC) Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina.

Roxas said the president recognized Purisima's suspension and ordered that Espina be informed about the operation.

"In all operations, Purisima was on top until he was suspended. PNoy ordered him to tell OIC Espina which he did not do," he said.

When Oplan Exodus was carried out, Purisima was under preventive suspension over an allegedly anomalous contract between a courier service and the PNP in 2011.

Roxas added that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was unable to send reinforcements to the SAF troops because they were kept in the dark, even if President Benigno S. Aquino III ordered for their help in the mission.

"The president as commander-in-chief gave guidance to coordinate with AFP. They have the capability to retaliate," he said.

Roxas added that it is no longer the responsibility of the president to confirm if those who were supposed to inform did what they were asked to do.

Oplan Exodus was the PNP-SAF's mission with the objective to neutralize Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alis Marwan and his local cohort Basit Usman. Marwan was killed in the operation while Usman is still on the loose.

The botched operation broke the ceasefire between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and had lawmakers withdrawing support for the Bangsamoro Basic Law, a draft measure that will create a region replacing the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES AUTONOMOUS REGION BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW BASIT USMAN BOARD OF INQUIRY DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL LEONARDO ESPINA DIRECTOR GENERAL ALAN PURISIMA DIRECTOR GETULIO NAPE ESPINA PURISIMA ROXAS
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