Malacañan Palace Grounds
9 March 2015

President Benigno S. Aquino III recounted his side of the story leading to the Mamasapano clash that killed 44 Special Action Force (SAF) troopers during the prayer gathering held at the Palace Grounds in Malacañang.

In a question and answer portion between the Jesus Is Lord (JIL) evangelical church leaders, the President gave a detailed account of what he knows about the “Oplan Exodus”, saying that it would have had a different outcome if only the former SAF Commander Getulio Napeñas reported an accurate information of the actual situation. The failure of Napeñas to coordinate with the Armed Forces, lack of preparation, and the failure to give accurate reports resulted in the Oplan Exodus to become ‘Mission Impossible’.

President Aquino also reiterated the importance in having the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) passed in Congress to speed up development in Mindanao especially in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). He added that with an improved economic situation yielded by this peace agreement, it will cease terrorism in the region.

“Naniniwala tayo: Kapayapaan ang susi sa kaunlaran at ito ang maghahatid ng katarungan sa bawat Pilipino,” the President said in his speech.

Led by JIL founder Brother Eddie Villanueva, the prayer gathering was organized to seek God’s help and blessing for nation-building especially now that the country is divided following the Mamasapano tragedy.

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