Press Release
February 12, 2015

Statement of Senator Nancy Binay on the apparent silence of senior officials on the ongoing crisis at Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25, 2015

Mahirap paniwalaan na wala man lang nagsabi sa Pangulong Aquino noong araw ng January 25 sa mga pangyayaring nagaganap noon sa Mamasapano, Maguindanao kahit umabot na sa punto na galing na mismo sa radyo ng dxMY-Cotabato na marami ng miyembro ng Special Action Force (SAF) ang nasawi sa lugar na kontrolado ng Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Alam natin na hindi mape-predict ang mga mangyayari. But there was an unfolding crisis early in the morning of January 25.

From the statements from military and police senior officials who were invited in the Senate hearings, it is hard to accept the reasoning that an operation on high-value targets does not need the consent of the President.

Was there a lapse in judgement on January 25 considering that it was a crisis that had the potential of derailing our peace efforts with the MILF?

Based on their statements, not one senior official composing the national security cluster--Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas or National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin or Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gregorio Pio Catapang, or PNP Officer-in-Charge Leonardo Espina--saw the need to inform the President from the moment the reports came in at 5:00am until late in the afternoon on January 25.

Assuming some key officials were kept out of the loop, this business-as-usual attitude borders on neglect of duty at the least.

We hope that no one is trying to insulate or trying to protect those who are directly responsible for loss of lives on the part of the PNP-SAF, the MILF and the innocent civilian casualties.

It's quite saddening that no one from the Security Cluster present in Zamboanga informed the President about the Mamasapano incident, much more the report that Marwan was already killed by SAF forces.

As commander-in-chief, he needs to know these things, especially such a matter that could destroy all the painstaking efforts to achieve peace in Mindanao.

Kung hindi si Gen. Catapang, o si Gen. Purisima, o si Sec. Gazmin, o si Sec. Roxas ang nagbigay ng impormasyon sa Presidente--sino?

Their lack of candidness on the matter is disturbing to say the least.

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