MANILA — President Benigno Simeon Aquino III held a prayer meeting with various Christian groups at the Malacañan Palace Monday afternoon.
The Commander in Chief also chose this event to air his sentiments and disclose the errors allegedly made by sacked Special Action Force (SAF) chief Director Getulio Napeñas Jr. in the January 25 carnage forever embedded in our memory as the Mamasapano clash in Maguindanao.
“The truth is, I was given the wrong information,” PNoy said. “Maraming wishful thinking si Napeñas compared to reality. Malinaw na binola [niya] ako.”
(He [Napeñas] had a lot of wishful thinking compared to reality. It is clear that he fooled me.)
The President also asked why he should take all the blame for what happened in Mamasapano, which claimed the lives of 44 Philippine National Police SAF (PNP SAF) commandos, at least 5 civilians, and about 18 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
“Kung ako ang may kasalanan dito, bakit di ko aakuin lahat? (If I’m the only one guilty, why wouldn’t I take all the blame?)” PNoy asked.
During the open dialogue after the prayer meeting, PNoy did not mention anything about resigned PNP Chief and his close friend General Alan Purisima and the general’s role in the Mamasapano operation.
Washing hands or taking the blame?
It can be recalled that during PNoy’s address to the nation on February 6, 2015, he said that he is responsible for the “mis-encounter” in Mamasapano.
“As President and Commander-in-Chief, I am fully responsible for any result—any triumph, any suffering, and any tragedy—that may result from our desire for lasting peace and security,” Aquino said on February 6th.
He also added that he is the father of the nation and the fallen policemen were his sons.
“I am the father of this country and 44 of my children were killed. They can no longer be brought back… They were my responsibility, together with the rest of the forces of the SAF involved in this operation, as well as those who rescued them, and whose lives were likewise put in danger,” said PNoy in the same speech.
“This tragedy happened during my term, and I will carry this to the end of my days,” he added.