PANTS ON FIRE meme. (from this morning’s inbox content) It apparently refers directly to Alan Purisima.
“The President said that he had given specific instructions to Napenas on the need for coordination with the AFP and for Purisima to inform PNP OIC Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina. However, he found out later that these instructions had not been followed.” — Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma
Purisima told Napenas NOT to tell Espina, adding that he would take care of the AFP. He certainly did NOT tell Espina. At yesterday’s Senate hearing, Purisima also dodged responsibility for coordinating with the AFP.
Napenas, on the other hand, says he was following orders from Purisima, the man who arranged, and escorted him to, briefings with President Benigno Aquino III.
Without going into the various interpretations of Time On Target, and the confusion of text messages to and from and between all parties, what’s clear is that Mr. Aquino depended on Purisima to oversee the #Mamasapano operation.
Purisima was on preventive suspension while the plans and finalisation of these were underway, all the way to the tragic results of the failure to coordinate. There was a PNP OIC.
This was, by every official account, a high-value and very high-risk undertaking that needed coordination. Purisima had been in charge of the hunt for Marwan from day one, through several attempts. The President cited this as a main reason for keeping the suspended PNP chief close to “advise” on the “nuances and intricacies” of the operation.
The risks, as an array of military officials have stressed, included the very high, almost guaranteed odds, of several armed groups fighting back. The risks included repercussions on a peace process touted by President Aquino as one of his chief legacies.
And you order the police chief on preventive suspension to inform the man appointed in his stead.
The issue goes beyond the need for secrecy. The issue goes beyond the capacity to think about potential setbacks. The issue goes beyond dodgy legal interpretations. The issue is accountability. The issue is leadership. The issue is the yawning gap between standards you act on and those you impose on the world. The issue is leadership. The issue is trust.
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