I have written a few pieces last year on the Mamasapano carnage that resulted in the gory death of 44 commandos of the PNP Special Action Force, which President Rodrigo Duterte aptly describes now, as “gallant officers who were fed to the lions to be eaten by death”.
In all of those pieces I was very critical of the way former President Benigno Aquino, PNoy, handled the operation as president and commander-in-chief.
PNoy’s biggest and indefensible mistake is not only his mistrust in his own DILG secretary who was then Mar Roxas and the PNP OIC chief, then Gen. Leonardo Espina, who were left in the dark about the SAF mission, dubbed Oplan Exodus, but in his misjudgment in believing and in having faith and confidence that a friend and savior by the name of PNP Director General Alan Purisima had all the competence to make the covert operation successful.
What made it even dumb and damning for PNoy is that he was surreptitiously conniving with Purisima about the operation and giving the latter the authority to direct the risky and perilous operation even when the latter did not have the adequacy and the power to do it because at that time he was under suspension.
Even the military was out of the loop about Oplan Exodus, would you believe it?
Thus, it is commendable therefore for Duterte to show once again strength of character and political will to have the Mamasapano carnage re-investigated if only to put closure to this misadventure sanctioned by no less than the president and commander-in-chief, when the truth, the whole truth is finally divulged.
In fact closure has started already when Duterte hinted that he would award the PNP’s Medal of Valor to all 44 fallen SAF commandos and that a date will be set to remember their heroism.
Note that PNoy’s indifference and insensitivity showed all the more when he awarded the Medal of Valor to only two commandos that made eyebrows raised from the 42 other bereaved families.
Calling for justice and demanding an explanation from PNoy for his presidential booboo on the Mamasapano carnage is only fitting as it falls under the dictum of command responsibility.