MANILA — Sacked Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) Police Director Getulio Napenas should start acting like a true officer and a gentleman by admitting that he is solely responsible for bungling the Mamasapano raid that killed 44 SAF commandos and stop dragging other people including president Benigno Aquino into his mess, Samar Congressman and Liberal Party Secretary General Mel Senen Sarmiento said over the weekend.
“The Mamasapano operation is his mess. He should stop dragging other people into this because he alone had full control of the operation. He planned the operation and he executed it. Even the people who were involved in the operation were handpicked by him. General Napenas should man up and start acting like a true SAF commando. Blaming other people for your own mistake is definitely not one of the characters of a true SAF officer,” Sarmiento said.
“Being the one who planned and executed the Oplan Exodus, Napenas must accept responsibility. His shortcomings in planning the operation proved fatal and he has nobody to blame but himself. His failure to obey the directives of his Commander in Chief is the proximate cause of the death of the 44 SAF members,” he said.
The senior House solon said that it was obvious that Napenas got too “greedy” to own all the credits in the Mamasapano operation and this was the reason why he refused to obey a direct order by President Aquino for him to coordinate his efforts to his superiors and to the Armed Forces of the Philippines which caused the death of 44 of his men.
“The unquestioned narration of facts stated that the SAF already killed their target at 4:15 am, a fact made known to Napeñas 15 min(utes) later. What prevented Napenas from informing right away the AFP of the mission? Was he driven by greed? The fact that he coordinated only with the AFP at around 5:30 a.m. or an hour after killing Marwan showed that desperation to extract his men being assaulted brought him back to his senses,” Sarmiento said.
“I wonder if the Oplan Exodus was perfectly executed, will he own all the accolades and proclaim to have single-handedly planned it all?” he said.
He also opted to report the progress of his operation to suspended PNP Chief Director General Alan Purisima despite the absence of a formal directive from the president.
“He just assumed that it was okay for him to get his orders from General Purisima for the simple reason that he is a friend of the president. That already shows his lack of prudence in dealing with operations as sensitive as Oplan Exodus,” Sarmiento said.
Sarmiento said that being the chief of the PNP’s most elite unit, Napenas was expected to be the expert in the tactical aspect of Oplan Exodus and the president counted on him to do everything necessary to ensure the success of their operation and protect the lives of his men.
“Similar to a doctor, it was Napenas who convinced the relatives of a patient to conduct a surgery. When the surgery fails, the doctor cannot blame the relative or the patient for relying on his expertise in good faith. Following this analogy, President Aquino is just a relative who just wanted the surgery to take place,” Sarmiento pointed out.
The veteran solon said President Aquino only issued the order for Napenas and the SAF to conduct law enforcement operation against international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias “Marwan” that was the end of his role in the Mamasapano operation.