• If Aquino is not answerable, why are all these generals crying?

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    President B. S. Aquino 3rd has cleared himself of any culpability in the Jan. 25 slaughter by Bangsamoro rebels of the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) police commandos tasked to bring in Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan,” and his Filipino associate Abdul Basit Usman from their sanctuary in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, a fifth class municipality where Moro Islamic Liberation Front operates three command bases, and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters at least one.

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    This was not a simple protestation of innocence by someone accused falsely of a crime. This was a solemn declaration from the highest authority disowning any responsibility for the fiasco that resulted in the massacre of his own men and forbidding anyone from ever accusing him of having committed any error in judgment. Aquino’s proclamation of his own non-culpability is echoed faithfully by the military command.

    The Philippine National Police has created a board of inquiry to look into what happened. But it appears the decision to absolve the President of any responsibility has preceded the actual inquiry. It is hoped that the board’s formal report, if there be one, does not precede such inquiry. In Catholic practice, absolution is preceded by confession, and by restitution, if and when necessary.

    We have not seen anything of either. But Aquino has the habit of absolving his sycophants and cronies even without a hearing, with the same zeal with which he condemns his perceived enemies, also without a hearing. He cannot treat himself differently.

    Now, so much anger is building up and calls for Aquino to step down are mounting. “Resignation” is the term used by former supporters who believe Aquino was elected in 2010; “stepping down” is used by those who believe he was not at all legitimately elected in 2010, when Smartmatic, a Venezuelan private company, conducted the elections on behalf of the Commission on Elections, using the precinct count optical scan machines which had been illegally divested of all their safety features and accuracy mechanisms.

    The latter’s number is growing.

    The pro-Aquino media have reported that the AFP has rejected calls for Aquino to step down, and that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has not endorsed the call of some of its members. This report is technically correct but essentially misleading. Correct, because neither the AFP nor the CBCP as an institution has said anything about PNoy. Misleading, because no proposal has been heard from within the AFP to which the institution as such must respond. As for the CBCP, it has not met in plenary session, or even at the level of its Permanent Council, to discuss the call. So these statements about two institutions are premature.

    What seems material is that the situation is so fluid that Malacanang has been compelled to initiate a “loyalty check” among members of the PNP and the AFP. The outcome of such a check could be predicted in PNoy’s favor, but would it reflect the real feelings of the rank and file? The current thrust of Malacanang’s effort is to pursue the theory of “misencounter,” arising from the alleged failure of the SAF commandos to coordinate with the AFP. But neither the “misencounter” theory nor the alleged “lack of coordination” might be able to stand a much deeper analysis.

    I am probably not the only one who believes a “misencounter” happens when two armed groups belonging to the same side engage each other. This cannot possibly describe what happened in Maguindanao. Nor can they insist on a total lack of coordination with the military forces on the ground. The military maintains forward bases—the 45th infantry battalion, the 601 infantry brigade, and the 2nd mechanized brigade in Maguindanao: two SAF companies could not have passed through the area without being monitored, or without having sent prior notice about their movement. They might even have asked for help with some of their logistical requirements.

    So there seems no point anymore in trying to “inquire” what happened in Mamasapano, if the only purpose is to show that the President had nothing to answer for in the whole disaster. What happened in Mamasapano is only worth inquiring further into, if the real intention is to find out why the reinforcement never came, which was why the 44 became cannon fodder. This takes us back to the question we have been asking from the very beginning, and which has been completely ignored in all the ongoing hearings.

    A proper inquiry, which may be an oxymoron at this point, should try to find out not only what happened in Mamasapano, where members of the 55th and 84th Special Action Companies were reduced to texting their next of kin to ask them to relay their distressed call for help before they died, but also what was happening at the time in Zamboanga City where Aquino was monitoring everything. And the question must be asked again, and again, and again, until it is finally answered with some candor and courage: Why did Aquino order the reinforcement to stand down? If he says he did not, then somebody else did it, but since he must have heard it then he should have cancelled or reversed the order. But he did not. Why didn’t he?

    Could this be the reason why when some of our top generals talk about Mamapasano, they break out crying? What heavy and unspeakable burdens do they bear which they could express only in tears? Have they perhaps come to the same conclusion as we have, in the National Transformation Council, that our real tragedy today is Aquino’s “botched presidency,” not just a “botched police operation?”

    fstatad@gmail.com

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    28 Comments

    1. The generals were crying dahil hindi nila matanggap na maloloko sila ni PNOY na kung ikumpara mo siya sa mga general hindi makapasa sa screening man lang para maging isang sundalo. Ngayon siya pa ang naging commander-in-chief.

    2. francisco santos jr on

      If pinoy is not answerable for the Mamasapano Incident, then the excuse is very simple, like in any public servant who are retiring has to clear himself of “accountability”, the dead 44SAFs are like “MR – memorandum receipts” and being the Commander-in-Chief, he is accountable for the Mamasapano Incident. Since pinoy is retiring in 2016, how do a “public servant” clear himself from his accountability, there are two ways, 1) the property is disposable or 2) the property is transferred to another person. In the Mamasapano Incident, pinoy’s accountability can cleared by “being disposable and/or transferable!!! The Filipino Method – ‘”doing things right” in short – by trial and error, and that is not for public interest, its for personal survival interest!! and its a REHASH. Compare to love – “I fall (in love) all over again”

    3. I strongly suggests him to step down and face the truth. He is useless since day one. I thank God that I never voted him because from he has never accomplished anything even in doing a proposed bill. Inutil nga masyado.

    4. Jaime Hernandez on

      Supply the lumber & the nails. Let his bosses crucify him. He’s going deeper in is own poopoo.

    5. soliman antonio on

      biglang…..pwede na sa akin si vp Binay….pagtitiisan ko na kahit perceive na kurap sya….may magagawa ako dun……itong pagka incompetent ni Aquino wala tayong lahat magagawa dun……this guy should be made to quit….to put it mildly…

    6. muriel magtanggol on

      Why stand down? Maybe Noynoy thought he was just playing his play station where he could just press “pause” while he was socializing in Zamboanga. He should be thankful he only got a cold shoulder from the PNP. I applaud them for their retraint. Also, we know that he is always on denial. He was probably thinking of ways he could pin the blame on Gloria.

    7. armando flores on

      Nangbobola si aquino at mga commander niya sa kapulisan. Walang warrant of arrest originating from philippine courts para kay Marwan. Justification lang nila yon at pinalalabas na may warrant of arrest. Ang warrant of arrest ni marwan ay sa California U.S.A. na hindi dapat isiniserve ng ating law enforcers dito dahil hindi issued ng Philippine courts. Dapat nagrequest muna ang amerikano sa DFA/DOJ natin ng extradition ni marwan under the US-RP Extradition Treaty on which basis the DOJ will file the corresponding petition sa Philippine court to issue a arrest warrant for marwan on the basis of the extradition request ng U.S. Itong philippine court issued warrant of arrest ang nagiging basehan ng operation ng mga law enforcers to arrest the subject of the extradition treaty. Mukhang nag short cut ang kano at si aquino. Pina operate si Marwan dahil sa US$5 million bountry for his capture which seems to have been pre-arranged with the MILF leadership, kaya lang nagkabokolan dahil down payment na Php 60 million lang ang binigay sa MILF ng mga ahente ng amerikano. But the worse part of this tragedy is when aquino did not send reinforcements to the SAF operatives who were cornered by the MILF boys. There was enough time to extricate them. Pero pina asa lang ni aquino hanggang maubusan ng bala at mapatay ng walang laban. Kung sinabihan agad ni aquino na walang reinforcement na darating at di na umasa yong mga SAF operatives maaaring di sila nagtagal sa puwesto nila at nakatakas pa ilang sa kanila. The only conclusion in this case is that those brave SAF warriors were ABANDONED by aquino to die in the hands of his MILF friends. May katwirang magalit ang taong bayan.

      • correct giving abnoy a new monicker: BOY ABANDON. Sana sa susunod (kung meron pa eh) dapat sina Ochoa, Gazmin, Abad, Mar, Dinky, Ferrer, Deles, Capatang, atbp. ang mga utusan niya na humuli sa mga susulpot pang terrorista na kupkupin ng MILF AT BIFF.

    8. #1 Rule of Leadership! Everything is your fault. You are responsible of everything because you are the leader. Don’t wash your hands all the time, it’s always been dirty. Can’t get any dirtier than that?

    9. This lesson must not be swept aside just because emotions are running high: what pinned those brave men down needlessly was the POORLY DRAWN OUT BATTLE PLAN, although, yes, this BS of a president was the one who DELIVERED THE COUP GRACE. He thought he could fix the problem by calling his friends in the MILF but in keeping with his perfect track record as president he failed. This BS, Purisima, Napenas and Deles should be hanged, summarily. By the way, do you think they are going to share the $5MILLION with the families of those fallen men, including those of the non-SAF troopers? Last but not least, this is the perfect chance to launch an OCCUPY COMELEC movement, involving the military and the police ! Are you guys at the National Transformation Council up to it?

    10. Vicente Penetrante on

      There are 6 ways of knowing a Narcissist:
      1. Unilateral listening. Other people’s concern irrelevant.
      2. It’s all about me. I’m important.
      3. The rules don’t apply to me.
      4. I hate being criticized. Criticism hurts.
      5. Quick to blame. It’s your fault.
      6. You make me mad.

      Not only the generals, we are all crying.

    11. Peter Gonzales on

      I still could not see the anger and indignation of the Filipino people that would make ABnoy step down from this illegal perch. Wake up People of the Philippines, wake up Armed Forces of the Philippines!!!

      • No amount of anger nor indignation from any of us can compel PNoy to step down.

        May sariling mundo iyon.

    12. Nice article Kit, as usual! Again you hit the nail on the head. BS Aquino is lucky still, the nail is not yet situated on top of his head.

    13. Dante Ang, apparently, has tape recording or even cellphone video that points to the “STAND DOWN” being given by Presidente Noynoy. This is serious!!!

    14. 44 SAF DEATHS – PLEASE EJECT FROM MALACANANG SEAT!!

      The reason why there was no rescue effort both from the 200 remaining SAF operatives and the AFP nearby despite of profuse life threatening plea of the gallant men, was because the Command-death in Chief ordered them to “hold down until further notice” and this came from the unsought advised of Sec. Deles. At that time they don’t want to mess up the Bangsamoro Basic Law peace process and Pnoy itching to receive the Nobel Peace Prize and the premium bounty rewards. The question now is… How much culpability should PNoy pay?

    15. Leodegardo Pruna on

      Don’t expect P-Noy to answer your questions because he is incapable of doing that. Expect Coloma who is very good in writing “Columns” to think in “Filipino” what the answers could be. There is no way but “OUT” in this instance. God bless the Philippines.

    16. The answer, Sir Kit Tatad, to the question in your title is clearly detailed in the P1 top story of your newspaper: Aquino was the one who ordered the rescue and reinforcement forces of the AFP and the PNP to stand down!

      It makes me weep:

    17. concerned citizen on

      What else does Aquino have to do to rouse the Filipinos from their apathy and to finally boot him and his cohorts out of Malacanang as a people who would not allow any more evil to be perpetrated by these unconscionable, criminally incompetent men in power? How much more do our people have to suffer?

    18. Pres pnoy upgraded the AFP and PNP giving pistolto every policeman sametime increased salary and hlusing In which no president ever did. Let him finishef his term. LEAVE HIM ALONE

    19. Umiiyak ang mga general,dahil nakikita nila sa isip at naririnig ang pagmamakaawa ng kasamahan nila ,habang isa-isang pinapatay ng mga MILF, pero wala silang magawa dahil pinipigil sila na wag masira ang BBL peace ni Aquino!!
      Si Aquino ay dapat iimpeach dahil may dugo ang kamay niya ng mga SAF!!

    20. Wala na akong masabi pa Kit -you said it all.

      Thank you so much Senator Kit Tatad.

      Mabuti na lang nan diyan ka to tell the truth.

      Bravo, Mabuhay Kit.

      Let us begin to converge at EDSA.

    21. This statement says it all for us: “our real tragedy today is Aquino’s “botched presidency,” not just a “botched police operation?”

      Hence, I am one with the NTC in calling for the “STEPPING DOWN” of the Abnoy, our illegitimate president!

    22. Why did aquino, or someone whom he told to relay his command , order other forces nearby to stand down? Simple. Na-bwisit at nagkakamatayan na ang mga SAF members. Kung baga sa halip na tumulong, gusto pang tadyakan. Ganyan ang taong bi-polar at nagkaroon ng matinding depression nung bata pa. He has not out-grown it. Kaya ang tawag sa ganyan – may katok sa ulo, loose ang turnilyo sa kukote.
      Filipinos, by and large, deserve this guy, aquino. Alam na ng mundo na machine-elected ito, wala kang makitang national outrage to physically throw him and his band of thieves into the PASIG RIVER.

      • Thanks for sght on the peace prize. Now I can see why the Congress was pushed for a March passage of the BBL. That is the date the Nobel Peace Prize nominate list starts to be shortened. Aquino needed the BBL to be passed so it could be considered to keep him on the list. The BBL is dead and so is the Aquino dream of getting the peace prize.