Mamasapano debacle PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 29 January 2016 14:49

Sound Snipings

BY Jimmy Cabato


After this item immediately hereunder, the rest of this piece would be full of the Enrile-initiated re-opening of the Mamasapano carnage a year ago. When you shall have read the stories in full and in behind the lines, you -  by yourself - would readily assess just how things are turning out.

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The Zamboanga City Water District has announced it was cutting back further water distribution hours to the city’s three sectors by four hours. It was barely three weeks since ZCWD re-imposed water rationing in the city,

Effective 27 January at 5:00PM, water rationing schedules for the city’s sectors was reduced to eight hours a day with water from the present 12 hours.

ZCWD Officer-in-charge and Operations AGM Alejo Rojas Jr. disclosed of an alarming drop in the water inflow to the system and has reduced water production considerably.

The current situation Rojas added, makes it imperative for ZCWD to seek coordinative assistance from other concerned agencies to immediately work on mitigating measures to soften the impact of the prevailing weather condition.

The ZCWD official said they will meet with Dr. Elmeir Apolinario, City Risk Reduction Management Office chief, to come up with whatever emergency measures to mitigate the effects of the drought.

For its part, the city water district has to tightly manage and regulate water production to insure ample water supply until the middle of the year, Rojas added.

The state weather Bureau PAGASA reported, the prevailing ‘El Nino’ weather phenomenon, considered to be one of the harshest ever to hit the country in the last 15 years, will persist until June.

Among the mitigating measures which could be implemented immediately is cloud-seeding operations in coordination with the Department of Agriculture and the city government. 4 million pesos is on standby for use in the rain inducing operation in the city, Rojas said.

He expresses optimism, the district will be able to procure much needed equipment such as water tankers to help in the distribution of water in far-flung sitios during the crisis period. (With DZT feeds)

* * * *

Now on the Mamasapano debacle. Unless attributed to another source, the following items were supplied by TMT.

Pres. BS Aquino III deliberately kept Oplan Exodus to himself and only to his trusted man, former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima, even if the mission was too    perilous, Thus spoke Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile at the reopening on Thursday of the Senate investigation of the killing of 44 police commandos in Maguindanao.

The President, according to Enrile, disregarded the chain of command system of both the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the PNP.

He explained what he described as the compartmented Oplan Exodus, whereby President Aquino intentionally, deliberately and actually confined and arrogated unto himself and Purisima full knowledge, command and control, and strategic decisions over Oplan Exodus.

It was the President who assumed personal responsibility for the operation and set aside the command system of the police and the military.

Former Special Action Force (SAF) chief Getulio Napeñas expressed agreement to Enrile’s observation. Enrile concluded, Aquino took direct control in the operation and sent the SAF troops on the dangerous operation to capture terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and two other targets, to the exclusion of concerned members of his Cabinet and officials of the police and the military.

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Pres. Aquino was altogether silent on his role in the Mamasapano fiasco yesterday, not sending any communication, but during the investigation his allies in the Senate were there to defend him.

Allaying criticisms for the President’s decision to allow his friend, former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima, to be involved in the planning and execution of Oplan Exodus despite his suspension by the Office of the Ombudsman, Senate President Franklin Drilon shifted the blame to former Special Action Force (SAF) chief Getulio Napeñas, saying the police official disregarded instructions given to him by the President.

Drilon added, Napeñas insisted on a time-on-target system, disregarding the instructions of the President for coordination with the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines).

Also dispelling claims that the President compartmentalized the operation, Drilon pointed out that it was Napeñas who kept the operation to himself when he decided that Oplan Exodus be done time-on-target.

Now, this other contention here could very well be fanciful. Read on. On an allegation that the President was monitoring the entire incident in Zamboanga but did nothing to save the SAF troops, Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV asked the officials who were with the President in Zamboanga if they received live feeds from drones that were deployed during the operation and they all said no.

Check out this point. Indeed, if as assumed by Enrile, Aquino deliberately kept Oplan Exodus to himself and his trusted man, former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima, how could those other officials with him have known.

Clearly, in keeping things to one’s self and to a trusted man necessarily means, only the two of them would have known.

For his part, Napeñas had so many damaging revelations made. For one, ““We exhausted all avenues to seek the President’s and the generals’ help. Even before the first shot by my men was fired, after they realized they were fatally surrounded by enemies, we already sought the help of the AFP from morning, mid-morning, noon, mid-noon until late afternoon.”

He went on, clearly with pleas, “We begged for our men’s lives but to no avail.. The President was fully aware the SAF commandos would enter the MILF territory and my men knew the chief executive and commander-in-chief was informed of the operations. With that thought, my men were expecting help when they got there but no help came,” said Napeñas, in a later interview.

“I should know. I was the one who briefed the President,” Napeñas said. “We only asked for basic leadership. My men were denied that. They all thought they had his back.”

Napeñas also said the Senate should review the testimony made by then AFP chief of staff General Gregorio Catapang Jr. when he said on the first day of the Senate inquiry that the military’s inaction to the series of requests for a rescue operation was to not jeopardize the peace process.

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The Salary Standardization Bill that would have increased the salaries of government workers is on a stand-still in the bi-cameral committee of Congress.

The impasse’ is on Senate’s insistence that calls for the inclusion of the military and Police in the increase, whereas the Lower House is cool to it.


More on this in later editions. The full net release doesn’t open.