PNoy won’t resign over deadly Mamasapano operation

3 years ago

President Benigno Aquino III will not heed calls for him to resign over the botched operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, last week, which left 44 PNP-Special Action Force (SAF) members dead, Malacañang said Wednesday.

In a text message, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Aquino is keen on finishing his term until next year.

“Tutuparin ng Pangulo ang sinumpaang tungkulin hanggang sa pagtatapos ng termino sa pamamagitan ng tapat na paglilingkod,” Coloma said.

The Palace official made this statement in reaction to calls from some Roman Catholic bishops and militant groups for Aquino to step down because of the incident that has cast a shadow on the ongoing peace process between the goernment and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

[WATCH] Nakabibinging katahimikan tugon ng mga SAF members kay PNoy

On January 25, 44 PNP-SAF members were killed and 12 were wounded in a firefight with the MILF and its breakaway group, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

The SAF members supposedly entered an MILF-controlled area in Mamasapano town to arrest Filipino bomb maker Abdulbasit Usman and Jemaah Islamiyah leader Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan.

[WATCH] ‘Philippines not worth dying for if gov’t can’t protect us’, SAF member

Government and security officials earlier said Marwan was most likely killed in the operation, although the terrorists’ death still needs to be confirmed.

Last week, Aquino, the military and police’s commander-in-chief, admitted to knowing about the Mamasapano operation, although he did not categorically say who gave the go-signal to the SAF members.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said earlier in the day that it will not support calls for Aquino to resign, until the facts on the Mamasapano incident have been established.

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Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, CBCP president, nevertheless said that Aquino  should “willingly accept just criticism rather than have his spokespersons concoct excuses at every turn.”