There is no doubt the Mamasapano massacre, where 44 police commandos of the Special Action Force (SAF) were mercilessly killed, allegedly by the joint MILF and BIFF rebel forces, while attempting to capture high-valued terrorists, need to be investigated if only to determine what really happened so that the same will not be repeated in any covert police or military operation in the future.
We had had a good share of reports and information coming from reporters, opinion writers and pundits all over about the controversial killings that is stirring the people’s sensitivities and putting the nation in quandary, but can’t we resolve the issue at hand decently and reasonably without getting carried away, like calling for the resignation of President Benigno Aquino (PNoy)?
It is bad enough that the nation is grieving for the contemptible death suffered by the fallen 44, and is now searching for answers, but to subjectively inject political incrimination over what happened by some opposition politicians is nothing but pure grandstanding and a deed of disservice to the nation.
There is no doubt also that PNoy has plenty to explain and clarify over what he knows about the covert operation as commander-in-chief, for, surely, in such a delicate and critical mission with far-reaching implication, he must be on top of the situation and should be privy to whatever plans being hatched.
But do we really have to have different investigative bodies formed to look into what lapses were made, who committed them and whose overall responsibility was it?
The military has now convened its Board of Inquiry and the Senate, and maybe the Lower House, too, is also putting up theirs. The Department of Justice (DOJ) says it is also going to investigate. I don’t know for what purpose, but it appears that the MILF and the International Monitoring Team, headed by a Malaysian, are also interested in finding out about the killings.
What is bugging me though is that if this covert operation was planned a long time ago, because the suspected international terrorist and his cohort were in our midst and seemingly harbored by the Muslim rebels belonging to the group the government is talking peace with, then why wasn’t this clandestinely brought up to and coordinated with the MILF leadership to find how, if possible, could they turn over the deadly criminal to the government forces. After all, if the MILF peace panel is serious in pursuing peace in Mindanao, then the case of the high-valued terrorists were simply kinks in the peace process that has to be ironed out. If the MILF could not comply with this request, then what is the use of having peace talks, knowing that their presence in the negotiating table is in bad faith?
On the other hand, if an assault was planned by the elite police commandos of SAF to capture the terrorists, dead or alive, then why wasn’t it properly communicated and coordinated with the appropriate military authorities whose unit and personnel has the capability to give able assistance in case the police commando’s raid won’t go smoothly as planned?
Granting that suspended PNP Director General Alan Purisima has had all the intelligence info about the terrorist’s whereabouts, how sure was he that his participation in the tactical operation will not result to any miscalculation?
Was arrogance and brinkmanship key factors in Purisima’s decision to keep Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Deputy PNP Director General (OIC) Leonardo Espina out of the loop to redeem himself from his tarnished image and get credited, had there been only a few casualties?
What would this have made of Roxas and Espina had the number of casualties been acceptable as the price to pay for the death of the high-valued terrorist?
This is definitely where PNoy has gravely failed as commander-in-chief.
Not only has he failed miserably in making sure that those ordered in harms way must have all the chances of getting out alive, but somewhere along the line, the chain-of-command, which matters most, was purposely breached, while he entertained the thoughts and judgment all the time of his friend and protégé, suspended PNP Director Purisima.
What a shame!