‘Noy repeatedly lauded SAF 44’
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - August 4, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino has repeatedly hailed the gallantry of the 44 policemen killed in the bungled Mamasapano operation, contrary to the claims made by Vice President Jejomar Binay, a Palace spokesman clarified yesterday.

Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. of the Presidential Communications Operations Office maintained the President has repeatedly mentioned the slain policemen in several speeches, particularly in the aftermath of the incident.

He pointed out that no less than Aquino himself admitted during his speech at the Philippine National Police Academy last February that he is also responsible, even if then suspended PNP chief Alan Purisima called the shots in the police operation.

Coloma said the President went on to see to it that all the benefits to the families of the slain policemen are given priority.

The Aquino administration also made sure that the families will be given livelihood, aside from ensuring the education of their children, providing housing units and jobs, he said.

Coloma admitted the President has the “ultimate responsibility” in the death of the 44 policemen.

“In any given perspective, whether it is the Chief Executive or the commander-in-chief’s perspective, there is only one principle, the President has ultimate responsibility,” he said.

His remarks delved on the PNP’s Board of Inquiry report that concluded Aquino broke the chain of command and bypassed then acting PNP chief Leonardo Espina when he gave the go-signal for the operation.

Aquino admitted having dealt with Purisima over Oplan Exodus, the plan to capture Zulkfli bin Hir, alias Marwan, who was hiding in a remote village in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, tucked in an area controlled by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The mission went haywire after the policemen from the PNP Special Action Force figured in a firefight with Muslim rebels after killing Marwan.

Malacañang is refuting the BOI’s findings, claiming there was no intent on the part of Aquino to violate any law.

ACIRC ALAN PURISIMA AQUINO BOARD OF INQUIRY CHIEF EXECUTIVE COLOMA LEONARDO ESPINA MAMASAPANO MARWAN MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT OPLAN EXODUS
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