While grief and outrage is being felt by well-meaning Filipinos over the death of the 44 police members of the elite Special Action Force (SAF), the one person that should also really be feeling the same and calling for justice is Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas.
It is simply incredibly ironic that while Roxas has the authority over the Philippine National Police (PNP), yet in the covert operation that resulted in the carnage of the police troopers, supposedly after the heads of Jemaah Islamiya bomb maker Zulkifli Bin Hir and Filipino cohort Abdul Bassit Usman in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, he claims he never knew about the planned assault at all.
What has made Roxas’ predicament even worse is that the officer directly responsible to him, PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, was also unaware of the surreptitious mission.
Apparently, according to reports, SAF director, Chief Supt. Getulio Napeñas, who has since been sacked, was communicating directly to suspended PNP chief Alan Purisima instead to Espina, thus making Roxas blind about the whole thing. All these, purportedly, had been known by and had the blessings of President Benigno Aquino (PNoy).
One can just imagine, therefore, and it shows in his face, how stunned Roxas was when he learned about the massacre.
Many were expecting that Roxas would raise hell and show his balls by lambasting those responsible for the carnage in government for being ignored, by-passed and utterly disrespected as head of DILG.
But, being non-confrontational, and, perhaps, thinking that acting rude will cost him the presidential nomination he is expecting to get from the Liberal Party, he just let the succeeding events follow its course.
To Roxas, confronting PNoy would probably be more disadvantageous for his political ambitions.
And so, it looks like an independent investigative body is going to be formed to look into the outrageous killings of the ‘fallen 44’, aside from the Board of Inquiry being put together within the PNP organization to determine where and how the operation went awfully wrong and suggest solution to possible future doctrinal, tactical and operational issues.
“Like all of you, I am very interested to know the results of the investigation of the Board of Inquiry for us to know the truth. Let us patiently wait for the report and see the findings of the board,” Roxas said.
Roxas said the BOI probe will be truthful and transparent and will be finished under a clear timeline. This remains to be seen.
That being the case now, I still lament at the fact that Roxas did not show balls over the ignominious treatment he got from PNoy and those close to the president who were privy to the botched Mamasapano PNP-SAF covert mission.
In outrage, and in calling for justice for the hapless troopers and for himself, the least that Roxas would have done was resign from his post and strongly denounce the seemingly inutile action of government.
What is the use of serving in Aquino’s administration when the president himself has shown distrust in Roxas’ capacity as Interior Secretary?
Not being a pushover and defending ones integrity is what is needed in government for as long as it is done for the people.
This is what balls and leadership should be about for Roxas.