President Aquino met this morning in Malacañang Palace with Speaker Feliciano Belmonte and other leaders of the House of Representatives to discuss the Mamasapano incident and its implications on the peace process in Mindanao, particularly on the enactment of the proposed Bangsamoro basic law (BBL)
During the meeting, President briefed them on the background of the operations for the capture of high-value terror suspects Marwan and Usman.
Aquino revealed the instructions he gave to Philippine National Police Special Action Force commander, Police Director Getulio Napenas who was accompanied by then PNP Director General Alan Purisima.
“The President said that he had given specific instructions to Napenas on the need for coordination with the AFP and for Purisima to inform PNP OIC Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina. However, he found out later that these instructions had not been followed,” said Sec. Herminio Coloma Jr. in a statement.
Coloma said the President shared with the lawmakers an official transcript of the “highlights” of his text messages with Purisima on January 25.
Aquino reiterated to lawmakers his statement during his televised message last February 6 regarding the instances which would have clearly called for the mission to be aborted, but which was not done.
During the meeting, the lawmakers told the President about the rising clamor for justice for the slain SAF 44 commandos and the need to “level off” with the Moro Islamic Liberation Fron on the parameters of their partnership with the government in the peace process including the containment of the Bangsamor Islamic Freedom Fighters; and their active cooperation in bringing those responsible for the deaths of the PNP-SAF troopers before the bar of justice.
The President assured that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) were now gathering information and evidence so that appropriate charges would be filed in court.
The President pressed on the lawmakers on the need to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law which he said should be approved the measure in a timely manner “to pave the way for the holding of a plebiscite and if the people will approve the same, to give the members of the Bangsamoro Transitional Authority sufficient time to demonstrate their capabilities.”
Among those who were in the meeting were Rep. Neptali Gonzales II, majority leader; Rep. Ronaldo Zamora, minority leader; Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, chairman of the House ad hoc committee on the draft BBL.
Also in attendance were former senior military and PNP officers who are now House members: Representatives Samuel Pagdilao, Romeo Acop, Leopoldo Bataoil, Gary Alejano, and Ashley Acedillo.
Also present were the chairpersons of the House committees that conducted hearings last week, namely: Rep. Jeffrey Ferrer of the committee on public order and safety, and Rep. Jim Hataman Salliman of the committee on peace, reconciliation and unity.
Joining the President at the meeting were Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr., Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras, Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, PMS Secretary Julia Abad and Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma.