Former SAF chief admits reporting only to suspended Purisima, PNoy
MANILA - ABS-CBN News has gained access to a video of the first time that former police Special Action Force (SAF) chief Getulio Napenas faced government, police, and military officials to tell them about Oplan Exodus.
It was where the Cabinet secretaries first learned that Napenas was answering to PNP chief Alan Purisima, even if the latter was already suspended from office.
The video was taken inside the headquarters of the Army 6th Infantry Division in Awang, Maguindanao, at a little past 11 a.m on January 26, the day after the Mamasapano operation.
That was when Napenas introduced Oplan Exodus to PNP officer-in-charge Leonardo Espina, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman, and Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero.
At around this time, some 31 more bodies of the slain SAF troopers were still being recovered in the cornfields of Barangay Tukanalipao.
This was the first time Cabinet officials found out why they were all kept in the dark.
Napenas claimed he had texted the Army about the operation as early as 3 or 4 a.m. The day before, which was Sunday, January 25.
When he said this, 6th Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Eduardo Pangilinan took his cellphone out.
Minutes later, Pangilinan leaned over and showed Gazmin his phone.
Contrary to Napenas' claim, the text message showed it was received at 5:06 a.m.
"Tapos na iyung operation. That's not coordination. Do you call that coordination?" Gazmin told Napenas.
Napenas also said the SAF tried three times to get Marwan and Basit Usman since 2013. This was when Roxas asked him who they were taking orders from.
Napenas said that from the first attempt, he had been answering to PNP chief Alan Purisima -- who was suspended when Oplan Exodus was launched.
Roxas' voice rose when he asked who knew about Oplan Exodus.
He was met with silence by Napenas when he asked who he coordinated the operation.
"I am SILG. I have not heard of these 3 attempts, nor this last attempt. This involves 400 men. So who did you coordinate with?"
Napenas replied: "General Purisima, sir."
Roxas:"Who was already…?"
Napenas: "On leave, sir. Myself, and Senior Supt. Jojo Mendez, sir. And we briefed the President, sir."
Roxas: "Was there a guidance to keep this from the Armed Forces? Was there a guidance to keep this from the hierarchy of the PNP? Was there a guidance to keep this to yourselves?"
Napenas: "My recommendation when I was briefing the President was we will inform the AFP time on target, sir."
Roxas fell silent for a while, before speaking again. "Now is not the time to… the most important thing is to find out to the care and welfare of these missing, if in fact they are dead."
After the series of briefings, Roxas and Gazmin proceeded to the mortuary where they would see the SAF troopers who never lived to tell anyone about their secret mission. - with ANC