Wednesday, March 25, 2015


PRESIDENT Aquino is responsible for the death of 44 Special Action Force commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao because he allowed resigned PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima, who was then under suspension, to meddle in the SAF’s “Operation Plan: Exodus.”

This is the draft report prepared by the joint Senate committees on public order and dangerous drugs, on peace, unification and reconciliation, and on finance.

The three committees first released an executive summary of the report which was read by Sen. Grace Poe, and later a copy of the 129-page draft report. The report needed the signature of the members of the three committees. It has been signed by 15 senators and has become a majority report of the whole Senate

The report says the following are “indicative findings of liability” but the committees are leaving the determination of liability to the prosecutorial arm of the government: 

The concerned members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and other armed groups “murdered and robbed” the SAF commandos.

Purisima is liable for “Usurpation of Authority or Official Functions, violating Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code and Section 36(b)(4) of Presidential Decree No. 807, in relation to Section 46(A)(3), Rule 10 of the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service.”

Director Getulio Napeñas, who was sacked as SAF chief after the January 25 operations, “committed grave misconduct, violating Section 36(b)(4) of Presidential Decree No. 807, in relation to Section 46(A)(3), Rule 10 of the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service.”

And “The President must bear responsibility for giving assent to and failing to prevent the unlawful exercise of official functions by PDG Purisima in connection with Oplan Exodus.”

Senator Poe, as chairman of the Senate committee on public order and illegal drugs, said “it is beyond doubt” that Aquino was aware that Purisima was serving six-month preventive suspension for alleged plunder and yet the President allowed Purisima to join a meeting at the Bahay Pangarap on January 9 when the sensitive and classified PNP operation was discussed. 

Poe also noted that when Purisima reported to the President that Marwan had been neutralized in the early morning of January 25, Aquino even sent a text message to Purisima saying “Basit should not get away.”

Even the communications between the President and Napeñas were coursed through Purisima, Poe said.

“The foregoing shows that the President knew that PDG Purisima was exercising official functions despite the latter’s preventive suspension, and did nothing to prevent it,” Poe said.

Purisima’s lawyer, Kristoffer James Purisima, said: “At no time since his preventive suspension did PDG Purisima perform official duties and functions. Neither did he misrepresent or falsely represent himself as the Chief PNP under pretense of official position.”

“It appears that the President, along with (Interior) Secretary (Manuel) Roxas, (Defense) Secretary (Voltaire) Gazmin, (AFP chief) Gen. (Gregorio) Catapang), could have done more… perhaps if the President and the key security officials… discussed the incident and shared information with each other at the early stages of the day, coordination between the Army and the PNP might have been hastened and fewer lives would have been lost,” said Poe.

Poe says that the President should explain why he decided not to use his “awesome powers” as the commander in chief of “all armed forces of the Philippines” and as President, during the operation.

“The President is ultimately responsible for the outcome of the mission,” she said.

She said “it is imperative that the President display unquestionable leadership, be forthright and candid with our people, accept responsibility for all decisions he makes as President, and admit mistakes he made along the way.”

The joint panels said the Mamasapano incident is not an encounter as suggested by the MILF and other sectors, but a massacre.

The joint panel, Poe reports, recommended the filing of murder, frustrated murder and robbery charges against individuals who killed and robbed the SAF commandos.

Poe said that the joint panels also found Napeñas committed grave misconduct.

“Given that Getulio’s actions in directly coordinating and reporting with Purisima instead of Espina, he broke the PNP chain of command and for which he may be held administratively liable for grace misconduct……,” Poe said referring to Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, PNP officer in charge * * *

Another storied Philippine family has gotten into hard times. The Benitez family has been connected with the Philippine Women’s University (PWU) for several generations. Now, businessman Eusebio Tanco is about to take over the assets of PWU and has expressed his displeasure over the recent move of the Benitez family to prevent STI Education Systems Holdings Inc. from getting hold of PWU’s assets.

In a statement sent, Tanco said: “I am deeply saddened that there are still people like the Benitezes who, after I have extended help to save their university from imminent bankruptcy and their assets from certain foreclosure, who I trusted completely to manage the school which they unfortunately run to the ground, now turn around and brazenly reneged on their commitment and refuse to pay their obligations.” 

Tanco, chairman of STI Holdings claims the Benitez Family has been telling falsehoods on what the real score is between their ruined partnership.

“On top of this unprofessional conduct, the Benitezes continue to spin stories to portray themselves as victims when they actually are the oppressors. I am however, confident that the discerning public will see through this haze which they deliberately create,” Tanco says.

The Benitez family on Monday sought for an involuntary rehabilitation of PWU in hopes of preserving the school’s operations after Tanco’s STI Holdings initiated foreclosure proceedings.

Benitez matriarch Helena Z. Benitez, PWU chairperson and a longtime creditor of the university, filed a petition to the Manila Regional Trial Court for the said rehabilitation of PWU.

Benitez is asking the court to issue a commencement order and a stay or suspension order which shall “suspend all actions or proceedings, in court or otherwise, for the enforcement of claims against PWU and against third party mortgagers.”

The order, if granted, would suspend the extrajudicial sale of lands currently occupied by PWU in Manila and Jose Abad Santos Memorial School in Quezon City worth about P1.2 billion.

STI in December last year initiated default proceedings against PWU which the Benitez family contested in court.

STI’s move to foreclose the PWU properties stemmed due to the latter’s alleged failure to pay almost P1 billion in accumulated loans, interest, and expenses.

STI had acquired PWU’s loan with BDO worth P223 million in 2011, and loaned another P198 million to Unlad, the corporate arm of the Benitez family.

PWU earlier offered STI P644 million to settle the dispute which the latter rejected.


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