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Thursday, February 12, 2015

More questions than answers


By Emil Jurado
If a man is 40 years old, much more when he reaches the age of 55, and remains unmarried, there must be something very wrong with him either psychologically or physiologically. I know many of them.
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In the two days of Senate hearings on what happened during the Mamasapano clash, many more questions have cropped up. This makes me doubt whether justice and accountability will ever be achieved.
Why was resigned Police Chief Alan Purisima on top of the situation of the so-called “Oplan Exodus” when he was already suspended? And why was he at the Bahay Pangarap meeting with President Aquino, together with relieved PNP-SAF chief Getulio Napeñas? The President was very much aware of the suspension of Purisima.
Since Purisima knew that PNP Officer-in-Charge Leonardo Espina was the acting PNP chief and that the entire PNP is administratively under Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, why did Purisima give that “advice,” as he called it (not an order), to Napeñas not to inform Roxas and Espina about the plan?
Advice, not an order my foot! When a police general tells something to a subordinate, Santa Banana, that’s order, not an advice. Thus, the chain-of-command was broken. Purisima, although resigned as police chief, is still considered a member of the PNP. As much, under the law and since the PNP is “civilian in nature” under the Constitution, Purisima can be charged for usurpation of authority.
There is also the question of Napeñas acting by his lonesome, claiming that the “intrusion” into alleged MILF territory was his judgment call. And in so doing, he did not coordinate with the MILF, knowing that the police commandos in effect were being fed to the lions. It does seem that Napeñas is being made the fall guy assuming all the blame, trying to exonerate Purisima and the President for that matter.
My gulay, doesn’t Napeñas realize that he can be charged under our laws? He committed procedural lapses.
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas was right in saying that the lack of coordination between the PNP-SAF and the armed forces which were stationed not far away could have saved lives.
The AFP offered many excuses, like not having the full knowledge of the clash and the place of conflict. The AFP copout is unacceptable since it has all the necessary means to help the beleaguered police commandos. It would seem that the AFP and the PNP do not trust each other.
There’s no doubt that President Aquino knew about Oplan Exodus from the beginning. This resulted in the massacre of the Fallen 44. He was always in consultation with Purisima.
If Napenas wants to be the fall guy, let him be.
Santa Banana, the buck now stops with Napeñas, who seems not to realize that he could be charged administratively and even criminally for sending the “Fallen 44” to their death. And even  his 36 years in police services can go to waste; all his pension and benefits would be forfeited.
In yesterday’s hearing, Senator Bongbong Marcos quoted from the message of MILF negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, who said that until the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between government and their MILF is fully implemented, the MILF remains a revolutionary organization. This simply means that from the MILF’s point of view, the Moro rebels are still at war with government.
It was too bad that Senator Grace Poe, chair of the public order committee, did not allow Marcos to pursue that point. To me, that’s crucial to the ongoing deliberations of the Bangsamoro Basic Law. And the MILF should explain what it meant.
I don’t know how the joint hearings by the Senate will end. But, three sensitive issues are now very clear. First, why were DILG Secretary Mar Roxas and PNP officer-in-charge Leonardo Espina kept out of the loop? And since the President knew everything about Oplan Exodus, did he authorize it, and why? Second, why did Napeñas send the police commandos to their deaths, relying on an “implied” order? My gulay, did Napeñas realize the situation he would be in? Obviously not.
No wonder in both last Monday’s and yesterday’s Senate hearings, the relatives of the Fallen 44 were so dismayed .
The nation can only be mollified if heads roll. Responsibility must stop at Mr. Aquino’s desk. He must own up to his shortcoming and mistakes for the slaughter of the police commandos as well as the accountability and responsibility of the MILF while negotiating peace with government.
Sincerity is an issue. Can the MILF be trusted?
Peace Adviser Teresita Deles and Peace Negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer are so naïve to think that the Moros they are negotiating with can be trusted. The slaughter of the police commandos is the best proof. And Santa Banana, if at this point in time, the MILF still thinks that it is a revolutionary organization, alarm bells should be ringing. This simply means that they are still at war with government.
Why do you think that MILF broke away from Nur Misuari’s Moro National Liberation Front? Simply because the Maguindanao who head the MILF now do not trust the Tausogs of Basilan and Sulu who head the MNLF. And why is the MNLF splintered now in three factions? Again, simply because there’s a lot of distrust among them. Moros do not believe in autonomy, but in total independence.
Moro history and culture tell us that Muslim Mindanao is basically composed of tribes and clans that are constantly at war with each other. But, when government steps in, the Moros ally with each other and go after a common enemy. That’s the reason the MILF and the BIFF attacked the PNP-SAF. Most of the Moro rebels are related to each other. And when the AFP tries to go after the Abus in Sulu, the ASG terrorists soon disappear and melt with the populace. They are all related.
Knowing the history and culture of the Moro rebels, I have my doubts that final peace can ever be attained in Muslim Mindanao. I want to be proven wrong.
In the wake of the fact that Purisima and Napeñas have been weighed and found wanting, the question now is; Will they be held responsible and accountable for their actions? Or, are they just to be the fall guys?
What has been said during the Senate hearings simply shows the need for better coordination and collaboration. The MILF must be laughing at us now.

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