A cock and bull story

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A highly informed source at the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force has denounced as a pure “cock and bull story” the alleged three hour-plus “bull session” between President B. S. Aquino 3rd and the SAF commandos before last Wednesday’s assumption of command by Chief Superintendent Moro Virgilio Lazo as the new SAF commander. The bull session was supposed to have taken place behind closed doors at the SAF Headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City (Metro Manila) while, at the open-air quadrangle fronting the headquarters, the top PNP officials reportedly waited for Aquino to finish.

“I was there the whole time,” said the source, “and I saw no such ‘three-hour bull session.’ The President stayed for not more than a few minutes after talking to PO2 Christopher Lalan, (the lone survivor of the Jan. 25 massacre in which 44 SAF commandos were killed by the combined forces of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters). The President walked out in a huff after Lalan told him, ‘The SAF are very much disappointed in you, Sir, and expect you to resign’,” the source said.

The various Manila dailies had carried the same story about the supposed three-hour bull session without any mention of Lalan. They did not quote any official source for their story, but made it appear that the press reporters were outside the hall when the alleged bull session was going on, and were later fed by “sources” on what had transpired inside. The bylined stories reported the SAF men talking to Aquino about the system of promotion, hazard pay, equipment, benefits, training, the use of “ antiquated bullets,” and other “concerns.”

SAF’s only known demand— resign, Mr. President
Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd, whom Aquino had shut out of the PNP chain of command during the Mamasapano operation, was later quoted as saying the President had directed that the SAF demands be complied with in 30 days. What demands are these? Our source said the only demand he had heard was from Lalan—that Aquino resign. “Does Roxas mean we should now expect Aquino to quit in 30 days?” the source asked.


If what our source is saying is all correct, and I do not doubt it, then the attempt to lie to the nation has become total. The public can no longer trust even apparently harmless and supposedly non-controversial news stories about the simplest official activity of government. The beleaguered Aquino regime lies about everything, and has made not only the Congress and the Cabinet its principal partners and instruments in it, but also the uncritical press.

I myself was led to routinely repeat the cock and bull story in my Friday column (Crisis of survival deepens, March 6) without the slightest suspicion it was a complete fraud. In my 50 years in journalism, I have not had to go through anything like it. I humbly apologize to my readers.

What is of immense value, however, is that the SAF has taken a stand, although it has not been widely reported so far. Even Aquino’s former defenders and allies on the Left are also making the same call. Many other groups have since come out reiterating the call of the National Transformation Council for Aquino and his entire regime to “step down” and allow a multi-sectoral caretaker council to take over and fix the broken constitutional order before we hold our next national elections.

44-km march for justice
At this writing, a 44-km March for Justice, organized by the PNP Academy Alumni Association for the Fallen 44, is on the road from Salitran, Dasmarinas, Cavite to the PNP Headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City. Led by PNPAAA board chair Tomas Rentoy, and Rev. Fr. Robert Reyes, known to many as the “running priest,” and several others, the march is supposed to end the official 40-day mourning period for the Fallen 44. It will end in an ecumenical service at Claret School in Teacher’s Village, Quezon City. PNPAAA Chapter President Senior Superintendent Jerome Baxinela has called on the PNPAAA members not to join the march, but even non-PNP related groups had been calling on citizens en route to offer the marchers water and food when they pass, and if possible to also join the march.

If successful, this march could push the calls for Aquino’s departure to the next level. Until now, he and his propagandists have argued that nothing in the Constitution requires him to step down before the end of June 2016. Aquino should know that he is beaten. He had long become thoroughly impeachable for all his crimes, but has avoided impeachment and removal only because the members of Congress, who have the exclusive power to impeach, were his accomplices in the commission of those crimes.

A case of treason
To those crimes has now been added the charge of treason as a result of the Mamasapano massacre. Some of the bereaved families of the Fallen 44 have raised this charge unofficially against him, for denying reinforcement to the 44. To them, this act was equivalent to taking the side of the enemy during the massacre. He has tried to ignore the accusation; but he is not the first Aquino to be accused of treason.

Marcos once denounced his father, the late former Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., of “treason,” for exposing without any justifiable motive a top-secret government plan to send political assets to Sabah in order to bolster the Filipino presence in the territory, which is the subject of a Philippine legal claim. During the war, Ninoy’s own father (PNoy’s grandfather) was accused of collaborating with the Japanese while the Filipinos were fighting side by side with the Americans. He was arrested in Tokyo, brought back to be tried in Manila, but died while watching a boxing match at the Rizal Memorial Stadium before he could be tried.

The charge of treason has since been made official by lawyer Homobono Adaza and newspaperman columnist Herman Tiu Laurel who filed a complaint against Aquino and several other officials before the Ombudsman last week, although on different grounds. They denounced as “treasonous”Aquino’s official acts related to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, which seeks to carve out a separate territory for the Islamic rebel organization through the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (Babala), now pending in Congress. Aquino remains undeterred in his push for the Babala, despite the public outcry against it and the MILF.

A matter of honor
Even if the Constitution does not require him to quit, and nobody had called for his resignation or stepping down for all his previous sins against the people, after Mamasapano, he did not need a single protester or lone survivor to tell him to step down. He should have done so on his own immediately thereafter. In any civilized country, that’s what the head of government would have done. He would have apologized to the nation, resigned, and accepted all the consequences, particularly if he had been in charge of the wretched operation. A Japanese defense minister once resigned after a military aircraft accidentally grazed the wing of a civilian aircraft while parking. It is a question of self-respect and honor.

The free fall
“Like a helicopter that has run out of fuel, Aquino is now on a free fall,” said one Palace source. “His advisers sit in stony silence, as if shell-shocked, looking at the ceiling without saying anything to each other, as though someone in their family had died, while Aquino smokes and drinks and plays video games. Of course, his last video game was at Mamasapano and it cost us 44 of our best trained policemen. If he had not been functioning at all as president from the very beginning, he has for all intents and purposes vacated his job now. He has not even been sleeping at the Palace, but rather at the private residence of one of his sisters. He could develop serious depression and eventually break down,” the source said.

This leaves us this question: who is minding the store? No one.

Time to pray?
Today, several paper organizations would be hosting a peace assembly in Malacañang in an effort to shore up Aquino’s rapidly sinking morale. The assembly is reportedly organized by “Teach peace, build peace movement,” “Young Moro Professionals Network,” and “All out Peace Network,” all of doubtful existence. Invited are members of the Armed Forces, the PNP, MILF, religious leaders, academe, civil society, “civilians,” youth, Muslims and “peace advocates.”

The presence of “religious leaders” suggests that the assembly would be offering prayers. This is probably to allay any suspicion that Aquino had turned atheist or pagan, although he might be just a little confused about whether or not someone in his godhood should still worry about praying. But the Catholic bishops, religious and clergy appear to have been excluded. Why? Just because many of them are in the National Transformation Council? They constitute the overwhelming majority, and they regularly pray for Aquino, every day. I can attest to it, for although I want him out on moral and constitutional grounds, I always include him in my prayers.

The only possible explanation, it seems, is that the proposed assembly is a purely partisan political activity, meant to assure Aquino that he could ignore the rising clamor for him to step down and just dig in. This doesn’t make sense anymore. His best move is not to await his fate inside his bunker but to negotiate his way out and try to help in facilitating the transition that would restore the devastated constitutional order. And the time for it is now.

Obviously he is afraid of going to jail. He need not be. For although he has jailed his predecessor and three members of the Senate opposition, while protecting all his sycophants and cronies from far more serious accountabilities, it need not follow that the next government would do to him what he did to his victims. Under our laws, he could still avoid any culpability for anything and everything he has done– from his corruption of Congress in order to railroad the Reproductive Health Law and to impeach and remove Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona; to the gross manipulation and misuse of the budget through the unconstitutional Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP); to the denial of reinforcement to the SAF 44—if his defense lawyers could but prove the psychological equivalent of what our Lord said of his executioners on the Cross at Mount Calvary: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.”

fstatad@gmail.com

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28 Comments

  1. P-Noy- if he is man enough to send 44 SAF personnel to their deaths, then he ought to be man enough to face the consequences….. this is not a video game. real men died.

  2. This despicable, irresponsible, disrespectful, lying coward should be exiled from this country and never allowed to return. He and his supporters in Congress are all shameless and totally devoid of self-respect. Ganito na ba kababoy ang mga politico ng Pilipinas? Pweh!!

  3. Mary Joy Estores on

    As the leader of this nation, PNoy should know the responsibilities that assigned to him since Day 1 of his term. He should be accountable for the SAF44, the DAP scandal and all the unconstitutional acts that his administration did.. Stop pointing finger because the remaining fingers is already pointed at you.. Stop the blaming game and be man enough to face the truth . A true leader should lead his people into greatness and not into destruction..

  4. oh my gosh, our special forces was sent to Afghanistan in a special mission with only two weeks supplies of provision without the land craft and nobody at home except the very few in high Govt. command knew that they were there..the CO of the Mission did not even knew that the super secretive force was there…they only was able to survive the initial 6 weeks because they were trained to do so..and with a little help from their fellow special Force, the Green Beret they get some food and bullets until the “bunggling” high command admitted that indeed 40 of our troopers were in there…

    They all survived the 6 months mission…received the US Presidential Citation, the highest recognition given by the Office of the US President for a job well done and nothing more than an exemption of paying an INCOME tax from their own government “extorted’ during the Minister visit to their secretive camps in Afghanistan..all told by the Daily Star investigative Reporting in 2010, the JTF 2 been hailed by the Green Beret as their Equal and has a confirmed kills of some 100 Leaders of Taliban and Al Queda..and captured a score of prisoner delivered to the us…

    My point is nobody get Blamed for all the bunglings, the misinformed public, or even the military high command of the civil Govt. decision…The Govt. is elected by the People to make that decision..if that decision ended up costing lives for our soldiers, they have to be voted out…that is the process..or they can quit…which usually they do…

    Servicemen and women are Volunteers…they knew the Risk…they will be provided with the best resources but there are times that decision are to be made and can not be right all the time..

  5. If the story is true, then it begs the question who is manipulating the mainstream press to dance to the palace tune. I think it is the noble responsibility and obligation of the media to expose these puppeteers and spin masters. Most especially, who is funding all these make-believe stories. Wala bang gagawa ng alternative na diyaryo katulad noon para maihatid ang mga totoong nangyayari sa taong bayan? Di ako umaasa sa mga malalaking diyaryo kasi nakapag-buy-in na mga mamumuhun sa Inquirer, Phil Star, at kahit na ang Manila Times.

  6. Hector David on

    Somebody had the courage to say that the Empeoror’s new clothes were no clothes at all … The truth is obvious but courage is needs to make it known…. I blame the lawyers as with thief r knowledge of the law and the constant unlawful and unconstitutional acts of BSAlll the majority has remained silent . The politicians on the other hand use our trust and money to further advance themselves .. What greed and callousness

  7. Asking him to step down will be a drawn out process…ask him to SUBMIT himself to a PSYCHOLOGICAL exam. If he relents, then he refuses to be transparent. We the people must know the real physical and emotional condition of the leader of this land!

  8. after the mamasapano incident, every details of pinoy presidency starts to come out.(i never though there could somebody to be an ashtray man and glass man for pinoy.)hell this is absurd . the fallen 44 open the way about this BBL. most Filipinos(except for the aqunio accomplices)were shock upon disclosure of it’s contents.imagined pinoy governmenrt will give a hefty ammount of 70billion php to this group and in turn BBL establish their own government? wtf. as far as i can recall tyhere is a similar issue during Marcos time.but never materialize.-pinoy can not be trusted as leader. he has nothing to prove. all this stupidity happening now under his watch can all be attributed to us because we voted for him.

  9. chuck o. angeles on

    One widow cried that she wants justice.
    Another said that all monetary-allowances were not important.
    The survivor wants Pnoy to resign.
    For reasons of their own, the massacre was the doing of the prez.

    How the SAF and the US Army’s Delta Force or the Israelis differ in perspective.
    Those outfits carried out their missions & their dead without complaints, accusations & remorse. No call for heads to roll. After all, they are in the military to fight & die.

  10. sa aking mga kababayan..panoorin niyo po ang pelikulang BEHIND THE ENEMY LINES…para maunawaan po nating lahat ang nangyari sa ating SAF.

  11. This President has no shamed at all. He is really have dementia attitude. and should resign ASAP as he is incapable to do his duties as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the philippines, aside from being MENTALLY ILL…
    theres no question at all..

  12. jesus tamesis on

    Yes, I think the president should own up to the Masasapano massacre. People are waiting to hear the words “I am sorry…” come from him being the commander in chief. If he had done so from the beginning,the people’s trust might still remain. However, what he has done has angered so many, most especially the families of the SAF members who died. My problem with his resignation before any elections is about the economic gains the country has. It may not have started from him stepping in a president. It may have come from the past administration of GMA. But to step down now means destabilizing the country once again. For me, he must not step down but own up. This may in some way bring down the frustration of the people. What lies ahead for him after this is the consequence he must accept as a man, and as a leader of a country looking for closure.

  13. Larry Ebersole on

    problems of the government, created by the sitting president and his allies in tongress; created by those who were ruling before this regime are now open on the table for every one to dissect and process to have a short and long term solutions. Is the NTC up to it, is anyone strong enough to stand up and do something about it….I hope the usual paid voters will not be utilized to promote another psychopath to run our beloved country.

  14. If Aquino resigns or dies right now the people will not accept Binay as a replacement even if the Constitution mandates that the VP will takeover in case of vacancy or incapacity of the incumbent because Binay is worst than Aquino in terms of corruption. The general perception is Binay is the most corrupt politician and his entire clan. The best thing for us is to have a transition government composed of highly reputable and able men and women to administer the affairs of the state while we prepare for a national election that is truly democratic,credible, and honest. We have a lot of brilliant people to help restoring normalcy, democracy and rule of law in this country. We should not be afraid that once Aquino dies or resigns there is no body to replace him. The people cannot wait to see him gone. He is a bane and the father of all the miseries we are now experiencing.

  15. It is clear now that the government is being run on the basis of lies. Those who lie, those who are being fed and swallow the lies, those who are misled by the lies. If this continues the country will reach a point of no return in the downward slide to hell.
    we must replace a government of lies with a government of truth. NOW NA

  16. One other quick thing when purisma was asked to sign a waiver for smart so smart could give what texts were sent when & to whom he said no. Now does it take a genius to tell you something is wrong here. He & pnoy are hiding something.
    Then we have estrada in court right now trying to get bail, the prosecution are using the amlc to show how his dollar bank accounts received money from other accounts that had received money from the bogus ngo’s & he said they shouldnt be able to look at that because of the bank secrecy law. Now ask yourselves why congress voted to keep the bank secrecy law. Just in case you are struggleing i will help you. By having the bank secrecy law it makes it so much easier to hide ill gotten monies. To hide stolen monies. There is no other reason that law was implemented in the first place. Its so strange how every civilised country that doesnt have a bank secrecy law somehow manages to keep their banking going, it doesnt affect them from prospering, so now again ask yourself why these congreemen voted to keep tha bank secrecy law.
    Again i will help you. Its because every single last one of them has something to hide. They may be clean now but they havent always been clean & by removing the secrecy law they may get found out so are protecting themselves.
    Eventually in years to come that law will go as international rules will make it so, or people will eventually stand up & say enough is enough. & make it get changed.

  17. Lying by a filipino in power, shock horror, who on earth could ever have imagined anything like this happening. Everyone in this country can be bought. Its been built on lies & stealing & cheating since who knows when. So please dont believe things that are told you. There seems no bounds dishonesty can go down to in this country. I wonder who now is proud to be a filipino.

    • Philippines is run by everything but CORRUPT and if you want to be successful in Pinas just be a DPWH,LTO or any government job.

  18. Jose A. Oliveros on

    It seems we have reached the point that truth is the opposite of what Malacanan propagandists and their yellow allies in the media are saying. True, there is nothing in the Constitution that requires PeNoy to resign before the end of his term in June 2016, but under Art. VII, Sec. 8 of the 1987 Constitution, presidential succession takes place in case of – among others – “permanent disability.” Since the only modifier of “disability” is permanent, mental disability calls for presidential succession.

  19. You should apologize when you write something untrue. At least you admitted it and corrected it. The press has become too much of a repeater of half-lies told by the spinners.

  20. “WHAT TANGLED WEB HE WAVED WHEN HE BEGAN TO DECEIVE.”

    I think his psychological status can be a mitigating circumstance if ever criminal cases will be filed against him. i am not sure if it is a mitigating or exempting circumstance.

    • Penoy can ask the court for a hospital arrest. That will be in the Mental Hospital.

  21. A liar, a plain dumb, a person of having psychiatric disorder, a spoiled brat, a hypocrite person, a talkative person of talking nonsense, a person simply carrying the name of his public figure parents, insincere and insensitive, a person who does not know how to apologize truly is making this nation all the more divided and in turmoil. Two idiot persons now are cooperating and colluding not for the purpose making this country better but only for their personal ambitions. Aquino is obsessed of his dream of a legacy using all people’s money in the form of DAP and the lump sums in budget and his cohorts in Congress to obtain such goal while his MILF counterpart are busy building their army shouldered by Aquino’s budget extended to them including the help from Malaysia with a goal to make their Bangsamoro Entity a sub-state and later an independent state. All the Filipinos could become idiots also if we allow this devilish scheme by these three: Congress, Malacanang and MILF happen. No to BBL! And Aquino should resign now!

  22. He, or through his lawyers, can claim insanity to escape punishment? Well, he has been insane from the very beginning. Nevertheless, he still has to go through the relevant evaluation procedure before a judge can render a decision that he is unfit for trial, and at best should be confined in a mental asylum for life.

    Truly, mental asylum for life is the better alternative for Aquino. And he can bring with him his play station, tons of soda and boxes of face towels (pamunas niya ng kanyang walang patid na laway).

  23. Sir, Naniniwala po ako sa lathalang ito. Maraming salamat po sa pagbibigay impormasyon.- I believe this one is the truth. That PO2 Lalan confronted the most accountable of them all. I could not rationalize when the commando survivors would demand benefits with 44 of them massacred and the 16 of them hardly managed to get out alive. Habang pinagtatakipan nila ang mga kamalian, kakulangan at kalabisan ng pangulo, habang hinahayaan nilang madusta ng husto ang pangulo, at binabalewala ang panawagan ng nagkakaintinding mga FILIPINO sa sitwasyon at nakaambang Panganib sa kanyang pagsusulong ng BBL, ako po ay hindi natutuwa sa halip ay lubhang nababahala. Madali nang lumipas ang mga araw, matatapos na ang kanyang term, mapapalitan na sya, pero masyadong matagal pa ang kanyang term para ipatapos kapalit ng paggiit nya sa BBL.

  24. sonny dela cruz on

    The NTC should know that the new Philippine government needs the confidence of the entire Filipino people. You cannot just say a caretaker will run the government without a doubt in a saintly manner. What will you do to the Plunderers in court right now, what will you do to Abad, to the people around President Aquino, what will you do to the cabinet members of the president who took advantage of the people’s coffer, what will you do the congressmen and senators who took the bribe to absolve Pres. Aquino of all his violation of trust and the constitution. What will you do to give justice to the slain farmers of the Hacienda Luisita. What will you do about the Moro’s demands for the break-up of the Republic of the Philippines. When you answer these questions, then the Filipino people will believe you but don’t forget to include the Binays must return all what they stole and put them too in jail.