Sources say Aquino was ‘duly updated’ on botched Mamasapano mission

By , on February 19, 2015

President Benigno S. Aquino III presides over the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board Meeting at the Aguinaldo State Dining Room of the Malacañan Palace on Monday (February 16, 2015). (Photo by Rey Baniquet / Malacañang Photo Bureau / PCOO)
President Benigno S. Aquino III (Photo by Rey Baniquet / Malacañang Photo Bureau / PCOO)

MANILA, Philippines – A report by local news source, The STAR, said that President Aquino was in the loop about the events that transpired on the ground during the botched Mamasapano operation on January 25.

The information was passed on to reporters by sources in the know of the investigation.

The STAR was likewise able to secure documents indicating that Aquino was duly updated regarding the situation at the scene of the massacre, even as Special Action Force commander Director Getulio Napeñas begged for reinforcements to be sent to the aid of the SAF commandos.

Last week, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II dodged giving straight answers to questions from Sens. Nancy Binay and Loren Legarda. Both senators have expressed their disbelief that Aquino was in the dark about the Mamasapano massacre.

According to sources privy to the investigation, and as reported by The STAR, Roxas told the Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge Deputy Director-General Leonardo Espina at about 10:27 a.m. of January 25 that Aquino was asking about the developments.

“P-Noy (has been) getting other reports that are conflicting with each other,” Roxas reportedly told Espina.

According to reports, Roxas had informed Espina that Aquino was inquiring about the conflicting reports on the ratio of police commandos to rebel troops in the encounter. Aquino had also allegedly questioned why the SAF had retreated, despite a supposed 8:1 ratio.
Roxas likewise told Napeñas that Aquino “gave guidance” to Armed Force Western Command as to how to come to the aid of the police commandos.

“Keep calm and keep your head. We will not abandon our troops. P-Noy gave guidance to AFP Westmincom.” Roxas allegedly told Napeñas

Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. remained silent on the issue at last Thursday’s Senate public hearing. Westmincom chief Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrer, on the other hand, stated that he briefed Aquino at approximately 5 p.m.