President Rodrigo Duterte criticized his predecessor Benigno Aquino III and senatorial candidate Mar Roxas on what happened during the Mamasapano Encounter which resulted in the loss of 44 members of PNP Special Action Force.
“Hindi ko talaga maintindihan at gusto ko talagang tanungin, bakit pumasok ang SAF alas otso tapos ang away ang firefight was almost one day hanggang hapon.. ang kampo may regiment doon just a few kilometers.. bakit walang tulong na pumunta doon?” Duterte said in his speech in Tuguegarao.
“Dyan talaga ako nagtataka.. hanggang ngayon,” he added.
Duterte also narrated what happened during the command conference in Zamboanga City on January 25, 2015, led by former President Aquino.
He said that one army official told him during the meeting that they really wanted to help the SAF, but they cannot go there because their commander-in-chief during that time is not giving them orders.
According to him, he walked out in the middle of the meeting after hearing Aquino asking one of the generals on what they’re gonna do, saying that it’s already too late to ask that question because the operation is already over.
“For the first time ilalabas ko, nakaupo na kami doon.. andyan yung mga generals.. tinanong niya yung general na medyo na assign dito banda sa away.. tapos ang tanong niya.. ‘kung ikaw general ang nandoon anong gawin mo?’ p**** i** tumindig ako,” Duterte said.
“It’s a very ignorant [question].. magtanong ka ng ganon pagkatapos ng araw wala na ang mga sundalo,” he added.
Duterte also criticized Roxas who’s the Interior secretary during the incident.
“Tapos ibalik niyo ito [Roxas] sa Senate? DILG? he wasted 44 lives for nothing they could not even explain why it was the police went there? who’s totally ignorant of the topography and physical arrangement of the bukid..” he said.
The President said that if Roxas can explain what happened during that day, he will encourage the people to vote for the latter.
“Kung may masagot kayo na maganda.. pwes ang i-number one niyo [sa balota] si Roxas,” he said.
The Mamasapano Encounter affected the image of Aquino and Roxas and even until today, critics are still blaming the two politicians for what happened.