MANILA, Philippines– At a meeting held in Malacañang on Monday, President Aquino told a group of lawmakers led by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. that resigned Philippine National Police director general Alan Purisima lied to him about the events that unfolded on the ground in Mamapasano, Maguindanao on January 25.
Purisima, who has since resigned from his post, had already been suspended on allegations of corruption at the time Aquino consulted with him on the Mamsapano mission to capture primary targets, terrorist bomb maker Abdul Basit Usman and Islamic militant terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan.
Aquino also said that aside from allegedly having been lied to by Purisima, the latter disregarded his orders to inform the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, PNP officer in charge, before the mission was carried out.
According to Antipolo City Rep. Romeo Acop, one of the lawmakers present at the meeting, Aquino displayed a transcript of the text messages between him and Purisima.
The latter was, at the time of the incident, in his vacation house in Nueva Ecija, and receiving information from then SAF Director Getulio Napeñas. Napeñas has since been removed from position.
Acop recounted asking Aquino if he had been given inaccurate information about the unfolding of events; to which Aquino reportedly replied: “They are not only inaccurate, they are lies. Don’t you think these are not lies with these?”
Be that as it may, it would seem as though Aquino has no regrets about having entrusted Purisima with “Oplan Exodus,” despite the fact that he was already suspended when the massively botched mission was in its planning stages.
“I didn’t hear or see anything in him [Aquino] showing anything regarding regret. What I saw during the past month has been the determination of the President to find out the whole truth so that his understanding would be complete and this would guide him for future actions,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma told reporters on Tuesday, after the Senate’s inquiry into the massacre.