Mar 142015

(Updated 5:28 p.m.) Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Saturday said the Philippine National Police Board of Inquiry’s report on the Mamasapano clash had a “wrong premise” on President Benigno Aquino III’s involvement in the Mamasapano operation.

“Comprehensive as the BOI Mamasapano Report wishes to be, it starts on the wrong premise insofar as the role of the President as commander-in-chief of the PNP is concerned,” De Lima said of the 130-page report.

The BOI report, which was made public on Friday, pointed out that Aquino’s meeting with suspended PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima and Special Action Force commander Dir. Getulio Napeñas Jr. was against protocol.

The BOI said “the act of dealing with Napeñas instead of OIC-PNP [Deputy Director General Leonardo] Espina bypassed the established PNP Chain of Command.”

De Lima: PNoy not PNP commander-in-chief, but chief executive

But de Lima pointed out that Aquino cannot be considered the commander-in-chief of the PNP, which is civilian in nature.

“In relation to the PNP, the President is the Chief Executive, in the same way that he acts as the Chief Executive to all the civilian agencies of the Executive bureaucracy,” she continued.

De Lima added that the error, which she labeled an “unconstitutional and even illegal operating premise of the PNP”, cannot bind Aquino.

“Based on a wrong premise, the BOI Report on the nature of the President’s role can only arrive at a wrong conclusion,” she said.

De Lima concluded that although the PNP BOI tried to deliver a comprehensive report, it should have first corrected these long-standing errors.

“In this sense, the PNP BOI cannot assume to impose upon the President his role and corresponding accountabilities as Commander-in-Chief of the PNP, without itself understanding the very nature of the PNP as a civilian agency that should relate to the President as its Chief Executive,” she said.

Asked for comment, Senior Superintendent Robert Po, PNP deputy spokesman and a member of the BOI, told GMA News Online that De Lima’s statement was not unexpected “from an ally of the president.”

Palace: PNoy had prerogative

“Siguro i-point out lang natin na kahit ho ‘yung mismong BOI report, nilagay doon na prerogative ho ng Pangulo na kausapin ang kahit sinong subordinate niya. So isa po ‘yang importanteng pahayag mula naman ho doon sa BOI report,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.

Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, whose department has administrative control over the PNP, has also cleared Aquino, saying the blame lies mostly on Purisima, who was suspended on a graft complaint during the planning and execution of Oplan Exodus., and Napeñas for failing to coordinate with Espina and with the military.

“PNoy recognized that Purisima was suspended, kaya niya iniutos na sabihan si Espina, pero hindi nasunod ang kanyang utos,” he said.

Asked if Aquino should be held liable for not informing concerned government officials of the operation, Roxas said it was not the president’s job to inform him or EspinaAndrei Medina with Amanda Fernandez/JDS, GMA News

 Leave a Reply