FIFTY-FIVE days have passed since the Mamasapano Massacre in Maguindanao last January 25 that resulted in the Slaughter of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) elite commandos of the Philippine National Police (PNP). Yet until today, President Benigno S. Aquino 3rd has chosen NOT TO TELL THE TRUTH on what really happened on that fateful day.
A nationwide survey conducted during the first week March 2015 by Pulse Asia showed that about eight out of every 10 Filipinos (79%) find the explanation of President Aquino to be insufficient or not enough. Worse, only 10% of the respondents interviewed believe what PNoy has been saying about Operation Exodus that ended tragically.
The recent survey by Pulse Asia validates what I wrote in my past two columns (March 7 and 16, 2015) that President B. S. Aquino 3rd has lost the Filipino people’s credibility. Senior Senator Sergio “Serge” Osmeña 3rd had commented that the Chief Executive is suffering from a serious “Crisis of Credibility” that he does not seem to know.
Likewise, President Aquino until now has not apologized to the Filipino people nor has he condemned the savage carnage of the 44 SAF commandos by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). He appears to be more interested in his commitment for the early passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) by Congress than in seeking justice for the 44 slain SAF elite troops.
PNoy has not admitted his serious mistake of giving then suspended PNP Chief Alan Purisima control of a covert police operation. He has also not apologized for the breaking the PNP chain of Command that resulted in the deaths of the 44 SAF troops. The Board of Inquiry (BOI) Report states that “the chain of command was bypassed” after the Chief Executive “exercised his prerogative ” to deal directly with SAF Commander Napeñas.
Why PNoy will not apologize
Former President Fidel V. Ramos (FVR) has said that President Aquino should take responsibility for slaughter of the 44 SAF elite commandos and apologize to the Filipino people. For FVR, it is the proper thing to do and asked “what is so difficult about it.” Well, it takes a lot of humility to do it especially when a person is imbued with extreme hubris and hypocrisy perhaps due to a serious or severe psychological disorder.
Former President Ramos suggested that PNoy can do what then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo did in 2005 when she said “I am sorry” over national broadcast and print media on the ‘Hello Garci’ incident after she called Comelec Commissioner Garcellano during the 2004 presidential elections.
Senator Grace Poe has said the same thing that PNoy should own up the responsibility because “the buck stops with the President.” When asked if PNoy should apologize, she said that “any leader, particularly when there are mistakes should own up to it. “ Senator Poe gave the interview when she presented her Draft Report to the Senate Joint Committee that was signed by 20 senators.
Other prominent personalities who have asked President Aquino to apologize for the Mamasapano Massacre are Senator Sergio Osmeña 3rd, former Senator Panfilo Lacson and several bishops. However, Communications Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma has been reported in the press two weeks ago that President B. S. Aquino 3rd will not apologize for the massacre of the 44 slain SAF troops in Maguindanao in Mindanao.
President B. S. Aquino III will not apologize to the Filipino People because he believes he did NOTHING WRONG with Operation Exodus. Contrary to the Senate Report of Senator Poe that no one is infallible, PNoy believes otherwise!
During a Prayer Meeting with Evangelical Leaders in Malacañang last March 9, President Aguino said in his speech: “Kung ako ang may kasalanan dito, bakit di ko aakuin lahat?” (“If I am fault here, why should I NOT ADMIT it all?”)
B.S. Aquino 3rd could have easily just told the TRUTH and apologized for his faults. Then END OF STORY. But why didn’t he? Is it because the blunder that he did was so destructive that the Filipino people would rise against him and kick him out of office once we learn of the truth? Or is it just EXTREME HUBRIS & HYPOCRISY that is preventing him to tell the truth and apologize.
Malacanang issue on the BOI Mamasapano Report
Last Tuesday, President Aquino summoned PNP Director Benjamin Magalong, the head of the Board of Inquiry (BOI), to Malacañang Palace “to clarify some issues which were not included in the BOI conclusions.” Director Magalong later told the Camp Crame reporters that he was able to ask Mr. Aquino questions which the BOI had wanted to address during its investigation of the botched SAF operations
However, what was the real purpose of the meeting when no less than BOI Chief Magalong said last Thursday that “I stand by our word that we will not change the conclusions and findings in the BOI Report.”
A day earlier, Magalong had said that the President did not pressure him to amend the six-volume 128-page “Mamasapano Report” that was made public four days earlier on March 13. (Philippine Daily Inquirer, March 19, 2015).
The height of hypocrisy and/or sheer incompetence was during the meeting when Magalong said that “the President also asked him why he (Aquino) was not given a chance to speak with the members of the BOI.” This is simply preposterous or ludicrous because the Chief Executive can always summon them if he really wanted to give his side on the tragic fiasco, as he did last Tuesday, March 17.
The PNP Board of Inquiry interviewed more than 300 persons on the Maguindanao Massacre. However, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said that the Mamasapano Report “introduced innuendos and resorted to speculations to reach some of its conclusions.” Mr. Lacierda also criticized the BOI Report for its failure to make an official request for an interview with President B.S. Aquino 3rd.
However, there was NO Need for such a request. President Aquino could have simply told the TRUTH of what happened on that fateful day of Jan. 25, 2015 in his first press conference on Jan. 28. 2015. PNoy could have also asked the PNP’s BOI to interview him clarify matters if he wanted to, but he did not.
Now, Malacañang is making a Big Issue that the President was NOT interviewed! The Chief Executive could have easily clarified what really happened during the Prayer Meeting at the Palace with the Evangelical Leaders on March 9.
Truth & accountability
President B.S. Aquino 3rd could have easily told the TRUTH and “clarified matters” only had he wanted to. He had 5 opportunities to do so from January 28 in his first press conference to March 15 during the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) graduation ceremony in Baguio. Thus, there was NO Need for P-Noy to be invited by the PNP Board of Inquiry for “due process to be observed” if he truly wanted to TELL THE TRUTH.
PNoy has to be made ACCOUNTABLE for what he did and failed to do. He should not be allowed to get away with it. He can face IMPEACHMENT cases in Congress and complaints can be filed against him in the Office of the Ombudsman together with the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) scam after his term ends on 30 June 2016.