“Avoid friendly fire.”
This was reportedly the instruction given by President BS Aquino The Last to the military before the supposed rescue of the encircled men of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force in Mamasapano.
No wonder, the Armed Forces top brass didn’t engage the blood-thirsty men of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. They would be embroiled in a friendly fire if they did.
What’s really evident is that BS Aquino and his loyalists consider the MILF as friends, and we all know that he doesn’t want his allies to come in harm’s way. The President’s wrath is directed only at his critics and political enemies. He’s fully protective of those within his group, whether they are sinners or saints.
“Mohagher Iqbal,” or whatever his name may be, is undoubtedly a close friend of the Malacañang tenant. As far as BS Aquino is concerned, “Iqbal” could do no wrong, could say no falsehood. He accepts as gospel-truth everything that Iqbal says. It’s no wonder that he and his minions are always ready to defend him. Why, the government’s peace negotiators are even serving as mouthpieces of the MILF and Iqbal!
May we also consider Malaysia within his inner circle? He has all but forgotten the Philippines’ right to Sabah and has kowtowed to that neighboring country on matters pertaining to the MILF. When the men of the late Sultan Kiram of Sulu “invaded” Sabah to enforce the claim and got encircled by superior Malaysian forces, BS Aquino didn’t try to intercede for their safety. Instead, he berated them for their supposed adventurism. There was neither word about the Philippine claim, nor soothing words for the families of Kiram’s men who died in that incident.
BS Aquino The Last has found nothing wrong that Malaysia got first the MILF report on the Mamasapano massacre. This was primarily a Philippine affair, such that even the reported involvement of the US military has drawn barbed comments. The Aquino administration has already forgotten the deplorable role of Malaysia in the secessionist movement and has even given it a key role (and a handsome profit) in the forging of a peace agreement with the MILF.
The President said that the country should prepare for a lot of body bags if the Bangsamoro Basic Law isn’t passed. A lot of body bags have already been used even before the “peace talks” with the MILF began so his warning may not carry a lot of weight. But if the BBL is passed, expect the MILF to reign supreme in the Bangsamoro, along with Malaysia. I wouldn’t be surprised if BS Aquino The Last would be declared a hero by Malaysia once the BBL becomes a law.
Bataan manual recount
The very first manual count of the ballots in the May 13, 2013 election has already started in Dinalupihan, Bataan. The results will show whether the count by the PCOS could be altered – unless of course if new ballots were stuffed inside the ballot boxes before the count.
Former Dinalupihan Mayor Jojo Payumo has hurdled all blocks thrown his way in seeking a manual count of the ballots where he was declared loser to Gila Garcia by 18,000 votes in a turnout of 40,000, per PCOS.
The Payumos, led by Tong, a former congressman and former chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, had had a run of the town since the ‘80s. Family members and their supporters were therefore incredulous that all candidates of the Payumos lost in the town – and lost big. If Gila believed that she had really won by the huge margin of 18,000, she should have immediately agreed to the manual count when Jojo Payumo filed his protest almost two years ago.
Tong Payumo stressed that they don’t begrudge her the right to oppose the protest of his nephew Jojo, while stressing that Jojo and the people of Dinalupihan also have the right to know who really got the people’s mandate.
Oh yes, while the recount will involve only the ballots for Dinalupihan mayor, any concerned group can also make an unofficial count of those for other posts, including congressman and senators. Tong has expressed the hope that the effects of the manual count on the reuse of PCOS machines will be felt beyond Dinalupihan’s borders. He noted that the Supreme Court is now deliberating on the use of the machines for 2016.
“Maybe, the results here of the manual count can influence the decision,” Tong intoned.