Friday, February 13, 2015

PNP OIC Espina turns emotional, recalls overkill of SAF men

PNP, AFP hit for relying on SMS at height of Mamasapano battle

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Gringo Honasan on Tuesday said coordination between the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the conduct of the deadly Mamasapano operation should not have been done just through text message.

“Coordination should not be verbal and through text message. It should be written in the operations plan,” Honasan said in Filipino.

The senator issued the statement after the PNP and the AFP told a Senate hearing that coordination between them was done through text messages when members of the Special Action Force (SAF) were embroiled in a firefight with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Honasan said the operations plan should contain information like coordinating instructions, withdrawal plan, re-supply of bullets among others.

“Sa gitna ng putukan wala kang panahon para maghintay ng desisyon,” he said.
On January 25, 44 members of the PNP-SAF were killed in a clash with Moro rebels in Mamasapano town, Maguindanao.


PNP OIC Espina turns emotional, recalls overkill of SAF men

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police officer in charge Leonardo Espina on Wednesday broke down in tears as he recalled the brutal killing of the members of the Special Action Force (SAF) amid finger-pointing during the House of Representatives’ probe on the Mamasapano incident.

Espina emotionally recounted how Moro rebels shot to death some of his anti-terror commandos as they lay wounded in a fierce gunbattle in Mamasapano last January 25.
“Ano ba itong overkill na ginawa niyo sa mga tao ko? Hindi ako nakatulog kagabi nung malaman ko ang medico-legal report. Si Inspector Tayrus Inspector Pabalinas, they did not suffer any lethal shots, tinamaan sa paa lang. Pero paano namatay yan? Binaril sa ulo Buhay pa ‘yung tao eh,” Espina said before the House investigation on the incident.
Espina was referring to Police Inspector Rennie Tayrus and Police Senior Inspector Ryan Pabalinas.

Espina castigated the Moro fighters for slaying their men despite the peace deal with the government.

“Nakita niyo na ngang SAF yan eh, kahit na anong violation yan, kahit sinabi nating walang coordination, kahit na sabihin natin sino una nagpapaputok, kausap ‘yan sa usaping pangkatihimikan eh. Bakit niyo kininis tao ko?” Espina said.

Philippine National Police officer in charge Leonardo Espina and sacked Special Action Force commander Getulio Napeñas. MARC JAYSON CAYABYAB/
Espina also expressed frustration with Zamboanga City Rep. Celso Lobregat’s question if the operation in Mamasapano was legal or not.

“Tinatanong pa natin bakit legal? Tapos you will blame coordination to justify the killing of my men?” he said.
He said he hopes the congressional probe could yield answers so that when he meets the 44 slain SAF men in another life, he could provide them answers.

“I seek answers for my people. So that when my time comes, I can face my people and at least I can say something. It is always sweet to die for this country. Itong mga taong ito will always be there in your front and say ‘Mission accomplished,'” Espina said.
“Sana nga sinasabi ko kasama ako dun eh personally, so I can lie down before them and say ‘mission accomplished.’ Inuulit namin, we are all for peace. Sagutin niyo lang ako so that when we face all of them in heaven, I can tell them what happened,” he added.”
Sacked Special Action Force commander Getulio Napeñas approached Espina to console him and openly wept. Then he leaned his head on the shoulder of Espina, who tapped his subordinate on the head.

Espina then stood up and hugged Napenas, who went back to his seat wiping his eyes with his handkerchief.

Twenty other commandos were shot in the head, Espina said, even when it was clear they were government policemen.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels have said the fighting was a “misencounter” because the police commandos did not coordinate the anti-terror raid with them. They said they were unaware that Marwan and a suspected Filipino bomb-maker, Abdul Basit Usman, were hiding in their Mamasapano stronghold.

The slayings have cast uncertainty over the draft of a law creating an autonomous region in the southern island of Mindanao as part of a peace plan aimed at ending a four-decade rebellion.

The government had hoped it could become law by March to have time for a plebiscite and the creation of the region’s transition authority before President Benigno Aquino III ends his term in 2016.

Government chief peace negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer told a forum despite the delay, they still hope Congress can approve it before the current session ends in May, and the plebiscite held September or October. But she said that would leave little time before the start of the election period, when Aquino would be banned from appointing members of the region’s transitional authority. With a report from Associated Press


Gringo advises Espina: Don't be in a hurry to die


Santiago: SAF 44 could still have been alive had Purisima not meddled

MANILA, Philippines–Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago said Thursday that the 44 slain Special Action Force policemen could still be alive had former Philippine National Police chief Director General Alan Purisima not dipped his fingers in the operation.

“Biruin mo, 44 ang namatay at kung hindi ka kasali doon siguro buhay pa sila,” the Senator told Purisima during the Thursday committee hearing on the deadly Mamasapano incident.

(Think about it, 44 men died, and had you not meddled (in the operation), they could still have been alive.)
The cancer-stricken Senator questioned Purisima’s violation of his preventive suspension ordered by the Ombudsman.

“A suspended official is barred from performing functions of his office. You performed the function of your office albeit in a surreptitious manner. Nakialam ka eh?” she said, raising her voice.

Without even letting Purisima respond, Santiago continued asking him: “What made you violate? Masyado kang busy eh. Masyado kang maraming kinakausap at tungkol pa naman sa official police and military operation.”

“Why did you do that while you’re under preventive suspension and don’t play words with me. Words are my livelihood,” she added.

Purisima then replied: “Prior to my suspension, I have already delegated a commander in control…”
But Santiago cut him off and asked: “We know that but you’re participating and it’s none of your business.”
Reiterating his defense in earlier hearings, the beleaguered police official said: “When I made remarks, it was merely an advice.”

“It was an advice not an order. Really? Buti sana kung wala akong doctorate or di ako nag-graduate sa UP. Bakit di ka na lang nanahimik sa estate mo sa Nueva Ecija (Tell me that if I didn’t hold a doctorate degree or graduated from UP. Why didn’t you just stay at your estate in Nueva Ecija)?” she retorted.
“I delegated the responsibility but I did not delegate the accountability,” Purisima answered.

Irked by Purisima’s response, the Senator said: “Lahat na lang ituturo niyo sa SAF. Sentido kumon na lang. Si President Aquino lang at ikaw ang nag-usap (You blamed everything to SAF. Use your common sense. It was only you and President Aquino who talked)!”

But Purisima said he talked with Aquino about the operation only once. With a report from Maila Ager/




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