Malacañang has denied the allegation by an administration ally in Congress that President Benigno Aquino III is trying to manage the flow of information regarding the top secret police operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao that left 44 Special Action Force (SAF) troopers dead.
In a press briefing, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Aquino’s meeting with 25 members of the House of Representatives last Monday was intended to reiterate the importance of passing the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
“I would not say that the President is managing the flow of information because that would imply that there are things that do not get out because the President wishes it so,” Valte said.
Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello on Thursday called Aquino’s meeting select House leaders “a thinly orchestrated effort on the part of the Palace to manage the flow of information about Mamasapano” that is directed at making resigned Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima the “fall guy” for the botched SAF operation, codenamed “Oplan Exodus.”
He urged the President to stop managing the news and own up to his responsibility in the incident.
Lawmakers present at the meeting said Aquino explained to them in detail the chronology of events in the SAF operation by showing the text messages he exchanged with Purisima, who was by then already suspended by the Ombudsman.
When asked if Aquino was not being forthright when he first said Purisima helped explain to him the “intricacies of the plan” regarding Oplan Exodus, Valte said: “I fail to see how sending text messages back and forth can exist outside of the explanation or tapping for intricacies as well as to explain some of the matters relative to the planning of the operation.”