• Aquino ‘no show’ in rites for commandos

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     Vice President Jejomar Binay condoles with the bereaved family of one of the PNP Special Action Force commandos who died in a clash with separatist rebels.

    Vice President Jejomar Binay condoles with the bereaved family of one of the PNP Special Action Force commandos who died in a clash with separatist rebels.

    A PALL of gloom descended on Villamor Air Base in Pasay City (Metro Manila) on Thursday morning as the caskets of 42 members of the police Special Action Force (SAF) are brought down one after the other from C-130 transport planes that flew them in from Mindanao.

    The bodies of the 42 “heroes” who were slain during a clash with separatist rebels in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao province on January 25 were finally brought home in time for Friday’s necrological services at Camp Bagong Diwa in taguig City (Metro Manila) to be led by President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

    But Aquino was a “no-show” at the air base as he preferred to attend the inauguration of a manufacturing plant in Santa Rosa City, Laguna.

    Strong emotions welled up as the military aircraft carrying the fallen policemen touched down around 10 a.m. at Villamor Air Base, where arrival honors were prepared by the Philippine National Police (PNP) leadership.

    Distraught mothers and widows of the slain policemen cried and moaned in grief as the metal caskets each draped with the Philippine flag were unloaded by SAF troopers who also acted as pallbearers.

    A number of honor guards were seen either fighting back or wiping up tears.

    Some relatives and loved ones of the slain SAF members passed out after protocol officers accompanied them beside the caskets that have been lined up on tarmac.

    After the arrival honors, the bodies were brought to a SAF headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

    PNP top brass headed by officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina and newly installed SAF commander Chief Supt. Noli Talino led the arrival honors.

    They were joined by Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gregorio Pio Catapang, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda.

    Vice President Binay, former President Fidel Ramos, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Rep. Rodolfo Biazon of Muntinlupa City (Metro Manila) also attended the rites.
    Six of those killed were Binay’s fraternity brothers in Alpha Phi Omega.

    Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon said Aquino’s absence in the arrival honor ceremony for the fallen SAF men speaks volumes of the President’s lack of basic respect for his servicemen.

    “His choice to instead head to the opening of a car factory in Santa Rosa shows how little he cares for his uniformed personnel, who died in an encounter that he himself green-lighted. Aquino’s cold, unfeeling heart cannot even sympathize briefly with the families of the fallen SAF officers. It is truly despicable, especially for the Commander-in-Chief,” Ridon added.

    Memes of the arrival honors and Aquino attending the inauguration of Mitsubishi Motors plant went viral on Facebook and Twitter.

    Netizens also mourned the brutal slaying of the police commandos by using the SAF insignia (both the Beret Patch and Badge) as their profile pictures on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

    “Nakakaiyak. Nakakadurog ng puso [So sad. Heartbreaking],” a netizen said in her tweet.

    “Very revolting!” exclaimed a retired police general.

    People also took turns in slamming the President’s absence in the arrival honors.

    “He [Aquino] refused to categorically answer if the operation had his ‘go-signal.’ He refused to condemn the massacre of these 44 policemen. He said he grieves for them.

    But did he say if the government will run after the killers? Now, he is attending a plant’s inauguration as bodies of slain SAF men arrive (d),” posted a netizen.
    One of them commented: “How insensitive . . . if not stupid!!!”

    The Peaceful Responsible Owners of Guns (Progun) said: “While the bodies of the fallen SAF soldiers arrive at Villamor Air Base, their Commander-in-Chief is at an auto plant opening ceremony. Is this the kind of attitude and leadership that we can expect from a Commander-in-Chief who does not even seem to care about the fallen soldiers whom he ordered into battle?”

    But Malacañang also on Thursday defended the President’s absence from the arrival honors, noting that Aquino will lead the necrological rites on Friday.

    I n a text message, Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said Aquino was not originally scheduled to be at Villamor Air Base.

    “The President did not skip the arrival honors today [Thursday], it presupposes he was originally scheduled to attend it, which was not the case. The President will lead the necrological services tomorrow [Friday] at 10 a.m at Camp Bagong Diwa,” Valte added.

    She said the government officials assigned to lead the arrival honors were Roxas and Espina.

    Aquino attended the inauguration of the Mitsubishi Motors’ plant in Santa Rosa City in Laguna and delivered a speech. He was with Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo and Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras.

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    11 Comments

    1. Shut up, Abigail. What do you mean not scheduled? Incompetent defense for the incomptent leader. PNoy must have known that the SAF bodies woukd be retruned to Manila and eventually in theur homes.

      Psychopath!

    2. Shut up, Abigail. What do mean not scheduled? Incompetent defense for the incomptent leader. PNoy must have known that the SAF bodies woukd be retruned to Manila and eventually in theur homes.

      Psychopath!

    3. How sad….bad decision, palpak talaga ang pagiisip ng mga Pinoy. Look at Obama, when he found out that the Prince of Saudi died, he cut short his visit in India. To pa kaya.

    4. Guilty,P-NOY would rather save the BBL than the lives of the SAF police,thats why no rescue.P-NOY and VP Binay still support the BBL after the massacre,government now is irrelevant.Need a transition government with civilian/military to run the government until next year election.Then allout war against the MILF and their lapdogs the BIFF and ABU SAYAFF,no more peacetalk and no more ceasefire until this pests are eradicated,abolish autonomous regions.

    5. Wrong move Mr. President,wrong move! You missed the opportunity to show that you are a compassionate President.

    6. Abigail is very quick in defending PNoy. Lady Gaga is a faitfull and loyal servant of this incompetent, soul-less President.

    7. muriel magtanggol on

      Shut up, presidential spokesmen! Shut up and get lost!
      You have lost all sense of compassion by sheer proximity to that callouse, heartless, inept BS!

    8. “The President did not skip the arrival honors today [Thursday], it presupposes he was originally scheduled to attend it, which was not the case. ” IDIOTIC excuse!! HE IS THE CIC–the president—he can change his schedule in any manner he may wish!
      His lack of candor and common sense were greatly highlighted by his absence!

    9. Syempre wala siyang mukha na e-harap sa mga “Heroes”.
      Sigurado mumultohin siya.

      Biglang tumendeg ang buhok niya.
      At ang kalbo niya ay tutubuhan ng buhok.

      Magmukhang? Hindi ko alam.

      Nakatakot – parang si Dra . . . . . . . . .?

    10. that just tells you how caloused this president is. he would rather be in laguna than face the wrath and anger of the SAF members families. if he claims to be the “ama ng bayan”, then he should have had the balls to stand and wait at villamor air base and then condole with the families who lost their loved ones. pnoy knows that he is at fault for the failure and the massacre of the SAF commandos. there is no doubt about that. the blood of the 44 SAF members are in his hands. and there is no amount of finger pointing or fact finding that could wash the blood off of his hands. this president is totally incompetent. naive at best. he should have the guts and the balls to vacate the presidency if he has some delicadeza left in him.

    11. Why do you expect him to be there, “hindi naman niya kakilala ang mga namatay”! Pres. B. S. Aquio has his own personal priorities and proprieties. Ama nga bayan “kono”.