Aquino should offer an apology and a confession

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To make full reparations for his grievous error in spreading the falsehood about an alternative version or truth of the  Mamasapano incident/massacre , and to atone  for casting doubt  on the sacrifice and heroism of the SAF commandos,  I submit that President Aquino should perform two things publicly  before the nation.

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First, BS Aquino  should apologize to the families of the fallen SAF44,  and to the officers and men of  the Special  Action Force (SAF)  of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Second, he should make a full confession and  accounting of  (1) his real role in planning and authorizing Oplan Exodus,  and (2) his failure to order rescue operations by the military to save the lives of the beleaguered commandos, at a time when he was physically in Zamboanga City and just minutes away by helicopter from the scene of the massacre.

An apology and a confession are imperative if President Aquino is to recover the respect and goodwill of the SAF44’s families, and the loyalty and respect of the  members of the SAF-PNP.

They are essential  for  the nation to surmount  this awful tragedy.

Apology for presidential wrongs

First  and foremost, President Aquino should immediately offer, without reservation or hesitation,  his sincere apologies for traducing the honor of the SAF44 and questioning their role and heroism in the Mamasapano incident last January 25.

Only an apology can wipe away  (1) the  insult and injury he inflicted on the fallen 44 and their elite unit, (2) the shame  he inflicted on himself and his office by his  gratuitous spinning of  a  tall tale about an alternative version  of the Mamasapano incident, and (3) the confusion and mayhem from the MILF  that he inspired with his ill-considered remarks.

His current and pathetic effort to walk back his alternative truth fiasco is plainly insufficient reparation for the harm and distress he caused. Saying now that the alternative version is baseless  is inadequate. Attesting that the terrorist Marwan was in fact killed by the SAF commandos does not restore things to normality. It does not undo the ignoble slur against the memory of  the  Fallen 44.

A confession and accounting

As a second act of reparation,  President Aquino should make a public confession and accounting  of  his role  and  shortcomings in this tragic  affair.  The act of telling all that he knows will help the process of closure and underscore his acceptance of his responsibility for the tragedy.

The first matter for confession is his role in planning, organizing and authorizing  the SAF  operation. He should tell all that he knows   about how Exodus came about, how he attended and hosted meetings  on Exodus, and why he installed on top of the operation a PNP commander (former PNP chief Alan Purisima) who was under suspension from his job.  And he must explain why he excluded from the operation the Secretary of Interior and Local Government and the incumbent chief of the PNP, thus taking out the two highest officials of the PNP.

The second matter for clearing of accounts is why he did not order the military to conduct a rescue operation to save the lives of the beleaguered SAF commandos. Why, |considering that  the defense and interior secretaries, and  responsible military generals were already with him in Zamboanga City that fateful day, did he  not order these personages to act  and issue orders for a rescue operation.

Aquino  should confirm or belie the story disclosed by an insider that  when military officials were ready and eager  to  order a rescue operation, the commander-in-chief   instead issued the order to “Stand down.”  These two words have stuck in the minds of our people, signifying the president’s insensitivity to the life-and-death emergency, and the final blow to the hopes for survival of the SAF commandos.

To say  that Aquino must apologize  is to say that the President should perform, as in our Christian faith, an act of contrition and remorse.  He has to realize that what he did and what he said  was wrong and injurious, and that he is prepared to make amends. He must acknowledge that his mistake  emboldened others, especially the MILF  and Mohagher Iqbal,  to spread and publicize the  outrageous lie that the SAF commandos  did  not kill Marwan.

Historically, making reparations has been a traditional act of monarchs and heads of state toward those that they  or their country have wronged. The prime ministers and the Japanese emperor have apologized and offered reparations to the victims of  World War II, including the Philippines.  Successive chancellors of Germany have given apologies and reparations for the cruelties inflicted by Hitler and the Nazis.  Even the Supreme Pontiff  of the Roman Catholic Church, notably Saint Pope John Paul II, made  a determined  effort  to apologize to victims of injustices and sins of omission by members of the Church.

Lifting the weight of the past

Offering apologies has been anathema to President Aquino in all his years in  the presidency, as he stubbornly refused to apologize  to the  victims of clear errors of his administration like the victims of the Luneta hostagetaking, the victims of neglect and governmental incompetence in  typhoon Yolanda, and the victims of the Mamasapano massacre. Making an apology is against the grain of his character and self-regard.

But BS Aquino is not just the master of his fate, and captain of his soul. He is also the president of 100 million Filipinos.

He needs to learn the value of apology in the affairs of state and in the leadership of nations.

What is the point of making reparations and offering an apology  and confession?

The essayist Lance Morrrow summed it up this way in writing on Pope John Paul II’s  apology for the historical sins of the Catholic Church. He wrote, “[the point]is to set in motion the dynamic of apology and forgiveness and transcendence, a powerful and liberating force. Only apology and forgiveness – acts of moral clarification and, incidentally, of leadership—can lift the weight of the past.”

Lift then, Mr. President, the weight of Mamasapano on your shoulders and the office of the presidency. Let your country and your people move on.

yenmakabenta@yahoo.com

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17 Comments

  1. SALVACION CAHAYAG on

    These who voted for this incompetent, corrupt, and vindictive president should
    learn their lesson. The entire country was wronged by this person that no other
    president has ever done before. The DAP, the Mamasapano handling, the impeachment of Corona that involved the use of the pork barrel are all examples
    of corruption that even the Supreme Court declared the DAP as unconstitutional.
    The is the price of voting a person not on the basis of qualification and integrity
    but on sympathy and emotions. THAT’S WHAT WE GET. BY NOW, ALL OF US FILIPINOS MUST LEARN OUR LESSON IF IT IS TRUE THAT WE LOVE OUR COUNTRY.

  2. In most other sane and progressive countries, these things do not even warrant an apology. The concerned official usually resigns, if not commit Hara-kiri.

  3. And who says that he consider himself the President of the Filipino people? Heck he doesn’t even wear the Philippine flag pin on his chest! He only wears the yellow pin , signifying him being only the President of the yellows.

  4. Guillermo Hernandez on

    APOLOGIZE ?

    Hell, no ! This idiot masquerading as the President of our country should face
    a firing squad in the bowels of Fort Santiago. Apologies from him is just too good
    and simply not enough for his transgressions to the Filipino nation as a whole.

    Yes, a firing squad is the justice for our people that require not apologies.

  5. Apology? lumulusot na nga at gumagawa ng sariling istorya tungkol sa mamasapano, buti na nga lang medyo pumalag ang liderato ng kapulisan kaya umatras sa kwento niya. Huwag na tayong umasa pa sa apology. Naging katawa tawa na nga siya ng magsalita na ang SAF ang totoong nakapatay kay Marwan. Ito naman ang alam ng lahat at resulta ng maramihang imbestigasyon ngunit gusto niyang palitan ang istorya matapos ang walong buwan. Ng magsalita siya noon biyernes, nilunok niya yon laway na idinura niya dahil sa pag amin.

  6. This is like making Ninoy Aquino confess to the bombing of Plaza Miranda. You will have a better chance trying to raise the dead than trying to make this moron confess and apologize for anything at all.

  7. Of course BS Aquino should apologise the the families. And to the Nation. It’s a natural characteristic of human civilization: “I am sorry xxx happened to you.” It costs nothing and brings some small comfort to those who are suffering.

    But he sat by and let the Chinese tourists die needlessly on in the bus seige. And refused to apologize to China. This was a massive failure of statemanship and diplomacy. It is one of the reasons Chiha views us in such a bad light.

    And he sat by and let the SAF 44 die needlessly, and treats the familes with contempt.

    There must be something seriously wrong with a person who has no empathy for the people he is supposed to represent.

    And people are saying Grace Poe is unpatriotic?

    We need to wake upand get our government in order.

  8. He is the incompetent and the worst President the Philippines ever had.
    sana wala ng sumunog na katulad nya na presidente, na walang alam sa pamamalakad ng gobyerno ng Pinas…Ginawang trial and error ang responsibility nya.
    Pathetic

  9. Bonifacio Claudio on

    It seems that for PNoy he will just say he did, do, & will do his thing his way — following the Daang Matuwid — take it or leave it. After all he is an AQUINO, the family of HEROES; heroism runs in the veins of the Aquinos, and heroes could NOT be wrong.

  10. Come hell freezes over, this Moron Simeon da3rd doesn’t know the definition and value of an apology, from the post which he is wielding with such powers and arrogance – He is the Boss while the rest of the people are mere tiny little collective voices and has no bearing of whatsoever in the affairs for the good of this nation.

    Pathetic, incompetent governance at its best.