The Senate hearing on the Masasapano failed SAF-PNP operation hugged the limelight in almost all social media forms. Though it's the first session of what could be a long truth-seeking forum; the initial findings has provided the public vital pieces to what we may call the Fallen 44 jigsaw puzzle.
Personal views, opinions, and speculations entertained every Juan dela Cruz mind, after hearing the testimonies given by relieved SAF Director Getulio Napeñas and suspended PNP Director General Alan Purisima - the two principal personalities. The hearing has just started and it is too early to make conclusions. In due time, Pinocchio will be unmasked!
This writer has his own views too. The heated arguments fired during the opening salvo of the Senate hearing had offered him three truths.
First truth: Violation of chain of command
It is crystal clear that the chain of command rule was totally violated!
Sec. Mar Roxas II, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, and PNP officer-in-charge Gen. Leonardo Espina were left out in the cold about the concealed operation. Only President Aquino and few of his 'trusted' men knew of the operation.
What role do suspended PNP chief Purisima played in the operation that meetings were held in his house? Also, meetings occurred in Malacanang without the knowledge of Gen. Leonardo Espina. Napeñas even mentioned in the said hearing that he received orders from the suspended Purisima. In the first place General Purisima should not have had a hand in the planning of the operation. This is a clear evidence that chain of command was violated.
Second Truth: No coordination at all
Our troops is the first to violate the ceasefire agreement with the MILF. There was a need to coordinate with the MILF group since the SAF assault team will enter an MILF controlled area. There was also no coordination with the AFP regarding the operation. Armed Forces chief General Gregorio Catapang Jr. admits that they were informed about the incident several hours later and the reinforcement came late.
The general further stated that the SAF troops were fully extracted by 11:30p.m. because the military did not know the exact location of the forces.
Third truth: Cover up
The first Senate hearing also unveiled the true colors of some senators. Their questions unveiled where they stand - as if some are covering up Aquino's role in the operation. Tsk,tsk,tsk....
Addressing the nation for the second time after the January 25 incident, President Benigno "Noy" Aquino III assumed full responsibility for the failed Mamasapano clash. The president had mishandling of what was otherwise successful operation to capture Marwan. "As President and the Commander-in-chief, the responsibility rests in me for whatever results, be it a success, or failure, or tragedy in our search for long-term security and peace," President Aquino declared.
Pnoy had apologized and it is better for him to attend the Senate hearing to shed light about some of the operation's sensitive details. His bosses clamor for the truth to come out, so Pnoy should give it to them. It is now up for the good senators, not to be stumbling blocks, but a smooth conduit in unveiling the truth. Thus, throw away those 'cover up' and 'whitewash' things.