I AM not sold on the idea of asking the President to resign.
Because he won’t. And no amount of pressure will make him do it. This is the same man whose government mishandled the preparations for and the aftermath of the strongest storm to ever make landfall in the world. A storm that killed thousands of Filipinos, displaced countless others, ravaged whole towns and provinces. The President and his cabinet did not resign post-Haiyan/Yolanda. Why do we imagine that they’d even resign now?
Yes, the Mamasapano tragedy has the failure of the President as commander-in-chief written all over it. And, yes, there is the shadow of America now becoming the backdrop of this story. But this President has just 16 months to go. Were I Vice President Binay, I wouldn’t want to take over now —I would rather win in 2016, and win cleanly.
And because the resignation ain’t gonna happen, it might be more fruitful to start working on making sure that the Liberal Party —whoever its candidate might be—does not win in the 2016 elections. Of course, we have the Smartmatic-PCOS machines to contend with.
In place of a resignation, I would be happy enough with an apology. With the President —for once!—taking responsibility, unequivocally, categorically stating that he is at fault here, and he is sorry. Yes, that’s a script that his predecessor has used. So here, ways to say he’s sorry.
1. Use another language: Ako ang may kasalanan ng nangyari sa Mamasapano noong Enero 25. Ako ang may kasalanan kung bakit nasawi ang 44 SAF troopers at ang mga sibilyan ng Mamasapano. Ako ang may kasalanan. Humihingi ako ng kapatawaran sa sambayanan.
2. Talk about America: Anuman ang papel na ginampanan ng Amerika sa operasyong ito, sa bandang huli, ako ang nag-desisyon na ituloy ang operasyon. Inaako ko ang responsibilidad.
3. Stop blaming SAF Chief Napeñas: Walang kasalanan si SAF Chief Napeñas, at humihingi ako ng paumanhin sa kanya na siya ang nadidiin sa usapin ng lack of coordination. Maraming pagkakataon para ako mismo ang maghanap at tumawag kina DILG Secretary Roxas, DND Secretary Gazmin, at PNP OIC General Espina nang makasama sila sa paguusap tungkol sa operasyon. Hindi ko iyon ginawa. Pagkakamali ko kung bakit hindi nasunod ang chain of command.
The more serious
4. I request the Senate, as commander-in-chief, that the proceedings of the executive sessions they’ve held so far with regard the Mamasapano operation be made public.
5. Alan Purisima may speak about our exchanges with regard this operation without having to clear it with me. The Senate and House may ask him all that they wish about our communications.
6. I have requested that Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa to appear at the House and Senate investigations. I have told him to waive his executive privilege.
7. I want to tell the nation of what truly happened in Mamasapano, and I waive my executive privilege and offer myself as a resource person to the House and Senate investigations.
8. The Bangsamoro Basic Law in its present form has been junked. I have requested that the peace negotiating panel to go back to square one, and build on a new BBL based on the events of Mamasapano, in order to do justice to the lives lost in the tragedy.
9. I have asked my team to make sure that the victims of this tragedy are properly taken care of, beyond my term in office. I humbly request the Presidents after me NOT to forget about the families of the 44 SAF soldiers, and the innocent civilian victims of this operation.
10. I will do right by nation in my last 16 months in office. I will listen to criticism and not take offense. I will question the advice of people who have given me advice throughout my time in office.
11. I promise that for the next 16 months, I will not put my signature on any and all police and military operations, no matter the pressure from outside forces, including the US.
12. I promise that for the next 16 months, my government will spend its time tying up loose ends of the projects that we have started, and humbly request the next administration to continue with unfinished ones, especially infrastructure projects.
13. I have ordered the members of my Cabinet to make sure that in the 16 months, they spend a percentage of their Departments’ time and resources on putting together a credible and transparent auditing of how they used their budgets throughout my administration.
14. I have requested the Department of Social Welfare and Development to come out with a complete and detailed auditing of the conditional cash transfer funds, revealing where taxpayers’ money has been distributed, and how this has changed the lives of the most impoverished in the country, if at all.
15. I have requested the DILG and the DSWD for a complete and detailed report on where the donations, monetary and otherwise, for Haiyan/Yolanda survivors went, and how the affected towns and provinces have been changed by the rehabilitation efforts.
16. I humbly request the House and the Senate to pass a law that makes the MRT and LRT a public utility service that will be delivered to the public by government and not the private sector. I have also requested all public-private partnerships reassessed, and ordered cancelled all partnerships that have been to the detriment of delivering an essential service to the public.
17. I have asked that the Department of Health continue with the trials for the dengue cure that was started by resigned Secretary Enrique Ona. I humbly request Secretary Ona to take back his office. I will support any and all his endeavors for the next 16 months.
18. I am pushing for the P15,000-peso across-the-board wage increase for all public school teachers. I am asking the House and Senate to approve this increase within the next 16 months.
19. I am also pushing for the P125-peso across-the-board increase on minimum wage. I am asking the The National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) to approve this as soon as possible.
20. I request that the OPM Bill in the House be scratched, and that they go back to square one and make sure that a broader spectrum of musicians are part of the new bill.
21. I have asked the following to stop speaking for me on social media in whatever form or manner: Leah Navarro, Jim Paredes, Cynthia Patag, Noel Cabangon, Ogie Alcasid.
22. I promise not to attend any weddings—celebrity and otherwise—for the next 16 months. There are better things to do. I also promise not to attend any inaugurations, ribbon cuttings, awards nights, for the same reason. This means not watching the premier nights of my nephew Bimby’s movies for the next 16 months as well.
23. I have asked my sister Kris to cease and desist from talking about me and my government for the next 16 months. I have also disallowed her from wearing statement shirts on TV, and posting anything in relation to me and my government on her social media accounts. I have requested the same from Boy Abunda.
24. I have agreed to stop wearing what has come to be known as Cory yellow, and will stop wearing those yellow ribbons as well. I have requested that no one in my Cabinet wear yellow. Kris has also been disallowed from wearing any hue or shade of yellow.
25. She is also disallowed from crying on national television about anything at all.