IN the Senate hearings on Monday, Tuesday and yesterday, and in the House hearing on Wednesday, clear proof was seen that BS Aquino wants to cover up what happened in Mamasapano on January 25. The efforts of the PCOS-made President’s friends and followers were all clumsy and ineffectual.
After a video of a SAF troop being killed at close range went viral on the Internet and enraged the public, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda blasted the person or persons who posted the video online. He forgot to blast the act depicted and the killer or killers.
Lacierda/Aquino said: “Whoever uploaded the video is a heartless fellow. If you still have some humanity left in your soul, we ask you to take it down.”
Taking the video down is like trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube. The video has gone viral (1.8 million viewers saw it when it was posted Tuesday night, the numbers could easily be over ten million by now). PNP officers, troops and their families–as well as ordinary citizens– have already cried rivers over it. The public has been enraged no end.
The six-minute video shows a PNP-SAF member being shot at close range. The rest of the footage shows armed men taking the personal effects, weapons and equipment of the slain commandos. At least two of the perpetrators shouted, “Allah hu akbar!”
Lacierda conceded that the public has a “right to be angry.” He said he was also able to watch the video last Tuesday when it first went viral on Facebook.
He is an improvement on Communications secretary Sonny Coloma, who is stone-faced and hides behind polysyllabic Filipino words in masking the facts.
Lacierda explained: “You have a right to be outraged by such brutal display of violence. But at the end of the day you need to seek the truth. You need to find justice for all of those who died, including the SAF hero who was in that video.”
The video is so repulsive, even the scandal-hardened House of Representatives voted down a proposal to play the video. They gave the excuse that they would not be able to discuss rationally the Bangsamoro Basic Law as a consequence.
What a pity, because the House missed the chance to show the nation that its inquiry into Mamasapano is more tough-minded and serious than that of the Senate.
Cover-up of Aquino’s role will break down.
Soon all the facts of President Aquino’s role in the Mamasapano incident, of his accountability as Commander in Chief and as President, and of the breaking of the chain of command in the PNP that led to disastrous consequences will be known.
The Palace cover-up of the President’s role and accountability in the Mamasapano mess has become a mission impossible. Facts are coming out and they cannot be contained. Public servants, more loyal to the country than to PNoy, will no longer keep silent.
We have revealed that BS Aquino gave the stand-down order when asked by the Army commander in Maguindanao to give the go-signal to give aid and reinforcements to the doomed PNP-SAP commandos. “Papasok na kami, Sir.” Our source said PNoy replied: “Negative. Negative.”
The Star yesterday ran a page 4 story “Noy in Zambo, ordered ‘best effort’ rescue of SAF.” That was our P1 banner yesterday: “Aquino hampered rescue operation.” But we said even that is a lie—for Aquino gave an order for the rescuers to stand down. The Star story contains an unwitting admission by Lacierda that BS Aquino was indeed in Zamboanga on Saturday Jan. 24. We earlier said that in our report. But Palace cover-up spin echoed by AFP generals has been making it appear that Aquino only went to Zamboanga and arrived at 10 or so on Sunday morning.
Some congressmen have filed motions for the House to summon BS Aquino to testify. The committee predictably voted it down.
At the Palace, Lacierda declared that Congress cannot call the President to testify. This is an amateurish reading of the law. In America, both presidents George W. bush and Bill Clinton appeared before Congress to answer questions about their conduct and their decisions as President.
Stonewalling the truth will not work for BS Aquino. The clamor for him to testify will grow louder. It will reach the streets and the doors of Malacañang.