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Saturday, February 14, 2015

SENATORS BACK AQUINO


EVEN if I come from the opposition, I do not think PNoy (Aquino’s nickname) resigning or even removing him from office right now will be good for the nation. This will just worsen the divisiveness and create political instability–as evidenced by removing presidents from office,” says Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, a member of the opposition bloc in the Senate.

“Since he only has over a year left in his term (we) might as well let him finish. I just hope that PNoy will shape up, be more sensitive and have empathy towards the end of his term,” he said.

Ejercito’s own father, then President and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, was ousted in 2001.

At least two Catholic bishops have called for Aquino’s resignation, believing that the President cannot be forgiven for the death of 44 members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) killed in a bloody encounter with Moro rebels in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

Aquino, in a televised addressed to the nation, admitted knowing the operation aimed at serving the warrants of arrest against two suspected international terrorists.

Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, an administration ally, also came to the defense of the President.

“I disagree,” Escudero said when sought for comment on the resignation call against Aquino. “In fact, we don’t even know yet what really happened.”

The two senators did not also agree with former President Fidel Ramos’ reported statement that Aquino should accept liability for the death of the 44 SAF men since he broke the chain of command.

“Liable for what? What law did he exactly violate, if ever?” asks Escudero.

Noting that Ramos has been active lately in “taking potshots” at Aquino, Ejercito posed this question at the former leader: “Has FVR forgotten that it was during his administration when the MILF was at its strongest?”

“It was during his time when the MILF had 40 camps, including Camp Abubakar. Bunkers and other MILF facilities were said to even be funded by NIA (National Intelligence Agency) funds,” adds JV.

***

I like the explanation of resigned Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima on the chain of command in the Philippine National Police (PNP),

In his speech before a joint committee hearing on the Mamasapano clash at the House of Representatives, Purisima explained that the SAF force commander continued to exercise the delegated power of the chief PNP. This was never affected by my preventive suspension.”

‘’When the continuing law enforcement operations of PNP-SAF to implement the warrant of arrest against Marwan and Usman were approved, the chief PNP delegated to the force commander, in this case the director of SAF, the necessary control and supervision over the mission,’’ Purisima said.

‘’In military terms, the director of PNP-SAF is handling the operation at the top of the chain of command for that mission. Once the chief PNP delegates this authority to a force commander, that commander assumes control.”

Many have been critical over the supposed break in the chain of command when the SAF commander took the ‘’advice’’ of Purisima to keep PNP officer-in-charge Leonardo Espina and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas in the dark about the Mamasapano mission.

The sacked SAF commander argued that he considered his last meeting with President Benigno Aquino III last January 9 at the Bahay Pangarap for a mission update as a ‘’tacit approval’’ to implement the operation plan.

It was after the January 9 meeting that Purisima told Napeñas not to inform Espina and Roxas about the operation. 

In his speech, Purisima explained that he did not break the chain of command for the simple reason that this concept does not apply to the PNP, which is a civilian not a military establishment.

‘’The concept of chain of command is a military concept and does not strictly apply to a civilian organization like the PNP. Instead what applies to the PNP are the principles of supervision, direction, control and delegation of powers as understood in the context of civil service laws, rules and regulation, and administrative law,’’ he said.

Purisima said even though he was suspended as PNP chief, it did not prevent him from providing advice and inputs to the force commander.

He also said there was no need to inform Roxas about the raid, as the latter does not have control and supervision over PNP and is not included in the PNP command line.

In her presentation of the Department of Justice’s legal framework on the Mamasapano clash, Secretary Leila De Lima explained that the PNP, being civilian in nature, is not subject to the chain of command concept since the latter is supposedly a military construct.

De Lima said in line with this, the liabilities of PNP officials are determined using civil service rules and not the military justice system.

She said administrative charges against PNP officials who violate protocols include grave misconduct, insubordination, while criminal charges include usurpation of authority.

Some quarters say that President Aquino broke the chain of command by supposedly consulting a suspended PNP chief for a highly sensitive mission. This was aggravated by the fact that Espina was kept out of the loop.

Malacañang also says that the president did not violate any law when he consulted Purisima.

***

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- See more at: http://www.malaya.com.ph/business-news/opinion/senators-back-aquino#sthash.7sznSsmM.dpuf

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