Napeñas to Aquino: No balls

Former SAF commander Getulio Napeñas says President Benigno Aquino III should own up to the bloody Mamasapano clash

Mara Cepeda

Published: 10:21 AM April 9, 2016

Updated: 10:22 AM April 9, 2016

NO BALLS. Former SAF commander Getulio Napeñas did not mince words against President Benigno Aquino III. Photo of Napeñas by Rappler, photo of Aquino from the Malacañang Photo Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – Former Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) commander Getulio Napeñas lashed out against President Benigno Aquino III for failing to own up to a botched police operation that killed at least 67 in 2015.

Kung gagawa sila ng trabaho, they have to own it, hindi ‘yung ipapasa ang responsibilidad sa ibang tao. Walang bayag. Even here, I have to tell the president himself, 'Wala kang bayag!'" said Napeñas during a proclamation rally of United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) candidates in Unisan, Quezon on Friday, April 8.

(If they are to do a job, they have to own it, not pass on the responsibility to other people. No balls. Even here, I have to tell the President himself, “You have no balls!”)

Napeñas, one of the UNA senatorial candidates, played a key role in “Oplan Exodus”, which involved over 200 SAF members who entered Mamasapano town in Maguindanao to target terrorists wanted by both the Philippines and the United States.

The operation triggered clashes between the PNP and fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and private armed groups.

The Mamasapano incident resulted in 67 casualties, including 5 civilians, 17 MILF fighters, and 44 SAF members. 

A report by the PNP Board of Inquiry concluded that sacked PNP chief Alan Purisima acted without authority when he continued to deal with then-SAF commander Napeñas up to January 25, 2015, the day Oplan Exodus was executed. At the time, Purisima was already serving a suspension order issued against him in December 2014.

Purisima and Napeñas, along with PNP Intelligence Group head Senior Superintendent Fernando Mendez, briefed Aquino about the police operation on January 9, 2015. 

The President, during a speech explaining his involvement in the operation, later called Napeñas an unprofessional cop caught "in a lot of wishful thinking” who “acted alone.”  

Aquino’s statement sparked calls for him to take responsibility for what happened, causing one of the worst crises to hit his administration. (READ: Aquino has no liability in Mamasapano – Roxas)

Three days ago, the Office of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said they will file usurpation of authority and graft charges against Napeñas and Purisima for the bloody clash in Mamasapano.

"Kaya galit ako. Ngayon hinabla ako, ngayon pinapasagot sa akin lahat, tinanggal lahat ng aking benepisyo,” said Napeñas. 

(That’s why I’m angry. I’m being persecuted now and they’re asking me to answer everything. They even removed all my benefits.) –