"His most grievous crime is dereliction of duty. "
It has been four years since the Mamasapano massacre of the PNP Special Action Forces. Jan. 25 came and went with only a somber ceremony to mark the occasion at the Philippine National Police headquarters at Camp Crame. Many of the widows and relatives of the 44 members of the PNP/SAF commandos could not make it to Crame as they come from different places in the country. Some of the victims’ relatives who were interviewed by media lamented their loved ones have not been given justice. As next of kin, too, they have not been given compensation promised by the government. Only one man—former Senator Juan Pone Enrile—dared speak up as he called for former President Benigno Aquino III’s accountability for the death of the PNP-SAF commandos. Enrile said Noynoy Aquno should be held liable for the botched police operation because he put in charge suspended PNP Police Director General Alan Purisma in charge of the perilous mission to get terrorist and bomb maker Marwan in MILF territory. Enrile is right. At that time, Purisima no longer had any authority to perform any official function, much less a dangerous mission that put law enforcers’ lives at risk. I think Aquino’s most grievous crime here is dereliction of duty. Under the Constitution and as commander in chief of the AFP and the PNP, he has a sworn duty to protect his men from harm. This, he did not do. In nearby Zamboanga where he was ferried to receive Marwan dead or alive, Aquino told the AFP top brass with him to stand down and not send reinforcement to the beleaguered SAF commandos. The result was that they were butchered by a combined force of MILF, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and Abu Sayyaf group,