DAVAO  CITY – Criticism came in fast and furious against President Benigno Aquino III few minutes after reporters questioned him as to who gave the go-signal for the Sunday’s operation of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP SAF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao that killed 44 cops.

President Aquino gave his speech Wednesday night where he admitted knowledge of the operation but said that he, too has questions.

“Gaya po ng marami, may mga katanungan din ako ukol sa insidente, kaya inaasahan natin na mahahanap ng binuong board of inquiry ang katotohanan ukol sa insidenteng ito. (Like everybody else, I too have questions regarding the incident that’s why we are expecting that the board of inquiry tasked to investigate will provide the answers about the incident),” Aquino said.

Aquino said that during the briefings given to him by the PNP about the continued operation against Marwan and Usman, he repeatedly stressed the “need for accurate information, and sufficient and timely coordination.

Aquino also said that the Moro fighters outnumber the SAF forces.

“At sa ganitong klaseng bakbakan, kung kakailanganin ng ayuda mula sa Sandatahang Lakas, hindi ora mismo ay makakarating ito, lalo pa’t may iba’t ibang mga tungkulin ang mga kasapi ng 6th Infantry Division na siyang pinakamalapit sa aksiyon (And with this kind of fight, should they need assistance from the armed forces, they cannot readily assist especially that there are other responsibilities which the 6th Infantry Division attends to),” Aquino said.

Aquino said he repeatedly reminded PNP-SAF chief Getulio Pascua Napeñas to have proper coordination before the operation.

“Sa paulit-ulit kong pagpapaalala sa pangangailangan ng koordinasyon, ang isinagot po sa akin ng direktor ng SAF, “Yes Sir.” Ang sabi lang niya, kailangan din ng operational security, o ang pagsigurong ang dapat lang makaalam ang masasabihan ukol sa operasyon. Gayunpaman, idiniin kong kailangan pa ring ialerto ang ibang mga sangay o ng kanilang mga hepe; kailangan nasa tamang oras ang abiso, at kumpleto ang impormasyon, para makapaghanda nang maayos.”

But netizens remain unconvinced with the president’s explanation.

“Can we start the election for a new President this year? Can’t stand the next 11 months under the current administration,” said one Facebook user who requested anonymity.

“Let’s elect someone who will never sacrifice 64 PNP-SAF over money or whatsoever,” the post added.

Rainer Tacang, also a Facebook user from Davao City said the president only washed his hands over the incident.

“Nanghugas ra man sa kamot… dugay na man diay nga plano, panahon pa ni GMA… (He merely washed hands over his responsibilities…the operation was planned long time ago during the time of Pres. Arroyo),” his post read.

Another Facebook user from Tagum City commented that the president “gave a litany of history” instead of answering directly to the question asked by reporters.

Meanwhile, Princess Jacel H. Kiram-Hasan said the president “has once again proven that he is incompetent to maximum level.”

“Why can’t he take full responsibility to what happened? Is it a sign of abandoning his people? How many more lives of our uniformed men are to be sacrificed?” she said. (davaotoday.com)

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