SENATOR Grace Poe on Tuesday admonished ex-Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) chief, Gen. Getulio Napeñas for “thanking” the military for their assistance during the Mamasapano siege only to blame them for the deaths of his men seconds later.
During the Senate panel hearing, Poe asked Napeñas to set the record straight about the alleged failure of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to help them during the SAF’s dire moments in the Maguindanao town last January 25.
“Contrary to the reports of media that the AFP did not help us, we acknowledge that they gave us a big help, the mechanized and infantry. I’d also like to acknowledge the effort of the brigade commander and the division commanders for helping us,” Napeñas told the panel in reply before asking Poe if he could “speak his feelings”.
“Had we been given the support of artillery that we’ve been asking from the very morning of that day…Maybe if we were given that three requirements to comply to avail of artillery, maybe we could have done and we could’ve avoided this incident of losing the (Fallen) 44,” he continued.
Napeñas went on to reiterate his appreciation for the AFP “although they were not successful in providing necessary support to the 55th SAF wherein 35 of my men died in the incident.”
Not pleased with what she heard, the lady politiko reminded Napeñas that “everybody has their own faults” with regard the bloody Mamasapano clash between the SAF troops and Moro rebels.
“Pwede rin naman kasing sabihin ng military, halimbawa, na dapat sinabihan nyo kami ng mas maaga. Wala po kaming kinakampihan dito, pero kung ganun po ang pagpapasalamat, na babawian naman po ng pambibintang, ay nawawala rin,” Poe said.
(The military, for example, could’ve said that you should’ve informed them early. We are not siding with anyone but if your way of saying thank you is coupled with an accusation, then it’s useless.)
“Bumabalik po tayo doon sa ating punto na kinakailangan ay tumuloy-tuloy tayo sa pag-usad nito, sa isang produktibong pamamaraan (We should move forward with this in a productive way), she added.
For his part, Maj. Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, commander of the AFP’s 6th Infantry Division, admitted that it hurts to be blamed for the police deaths when in fact they tried to help.
“Ang hindi ko naman matanggap, nagpasalamat pero just the same we are being blamed for the deaths. At iyon po ang masakit sakin,” he said. (Randy K. Ortega)