Says BOI report fair, but limited, inconclusive
MANILA - The camp of relieved Special Action Force (SAF) director Getulio Napeñas branded as "limited" and "inconclusive" the Philippine National Police (PNP) Board of Inquiry (BOI) report on the January 25 Mamasapano incident.
Speaking to ANC's "Dateline Philippines" on Saturday, Napeñas' counsel Vitaliano Aguirre said the former SAF chief found the fact-finding report fair but noted facts were found wanting in the absence of statements from other resource persons.
"Okay naman, maganda ang findings nila... Nakita kung ano ang pagkakamali o kakulangan mula sa Presidente, mula kay [former PNP chief Director] General [Alan] Purisima, General Napeñas. But...very limited kasi ang findings ng BOI. Alam natin na factual finding lang ito eh, walang conclusion dito, legal conclusion or opinion ng taga-BOI," he said.
"Very clear dito sa BOI report na marami dito ang kulang. For example, they requested for an interview with the President, they requested repeatedly for an interview with General Purisima, with [Armed Forces of the Philippines chief-of-staff] General [Gregorio] Catapang, with [Western Mindanao Command commander] Rustico Guerrero, with [6th Infantry Division commander Edmundo] Pangilinan. Lahat sila tumanggi," he added.
According to Aguirre, Napeñas refuses to own up responsibility for major lapses in what they called a well-planned operation in Mamasapano.
The BOI, in its report, said the anti-terror operation in Mamasapano "was defective from the very beginning." The movement of the troops was "mismanaged" and there was lack of effective communication among them, it said.
"Yung mga lapses na major, hindi niya tinatanggap yun. Sabi niya sa akin, 'Papaanong mangyayari yun? Eh dalawang araw halos hindi kami natutulog...sa pagaaral ng Oplan Exodus na ito. Sinasabi sa BOI report na unfamiliar kami sa terrain, hindi totoo yan,'" Aguirre said.
He added President Aquino, who had pinned the blame solely on Napeñas, and Purisima should also take responsibility for the botched operation.
He pointed out that it was the President who authorized Purisima to be involved in the operation despite his suspension as chief of the PNP.
"Just like a good soldier, tinanggap na ni General Napeñas ang kanyang responsibility because as a commander, you are responsible for what your men failed to do... Kaya lang hinahanap din niya yun dun sa ibang mga matataas sa kanya, sa mga superior niya. Bakit hindi nila matanggap ang kanilang pagkukulang?"
"Nakalagay dun sa BOI report na the President knows and gave approval for this Oplan Exodus and then he appointed or placed General Purisima, a suspended chief PNP, to head this operation," the lawyer said. -- With ANC