President Benigno Aquino III believes he was fed lies by resigned Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Alan Purisima on the day of the Mamasapano operation which killed 44 police commandos.
“The President responded to my question and he told us that he was not only given inaccurate information, there were also lies,” Antipolo City Representative Romeo Acop said.
“I told the President that people are asking what he has done to help SAF members. It turned out based on the exchanges of text messages that he was given wrong information,” he added.
Acop was among the lawmakers who were in attendance in a meeting with President Aquino in Malacanang to discuss the Mamasapano operation and the implications of postponing the deliberations on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
Based on the exchanges of text messages between Aquino and Purisima, Acop said the President clearly instructed the then suspended police chief as well as relieved SAF chief General Getulio Napenas to coordinate the operation with the military.
“There were operational lapses because the order of the President was disregarded,” Acop said.
House Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora, who was also in the meeting, also recalled how Aquino said he “was lied to.”
“Ang dating sa kanya, he was not just misled, he had been told lies. I still remember the word: I was lied to. Di niya sinabi sinungaling si Purisima or Napenas, but he felt he deserves to be told the truth,” Zamora said.
But Zamora said it was Aquino himself who created the problem in the disastrous police operation because “he trusted the wrong people.”
“He did not go through regular channels, through the regular chain of command in PNP. Nakuha niya lahat kay Purisima, who was in Nueva Ecija, a strange place to be kung ikaw namamahala sa isang operation. If were going to take a look
at this sitution, why was a major operation done so casually? Kaya nung nagkakagulo na , nobody knew how to deal with it,” the lawmaker said.
Purisima was supposedly still calling the shots in the operation despite being under suspension since December over an alleged questionable contract entered into by the PNP with a courier service firm delivering firearms licenses.
“He himself broke the chain of command and he shouldn’t have done that. Presidente siya so he should’ve included in the loop yung mga taong nasa linya,” Zamora added.