IRONIES are “dissimulation, feigned ignorance”. In its broadest sense, irony is a rhetorical device, literary technique, or event in which what appears on the surface to be the case differs radically from what is actually the case. Irony may be divided into categories such as: verbal, dramatic, and situational.
Verbal, dramatic, and situational irony are “often used for emphasis in the assertion of a truth. The ironic form of simile, used in sarcasm, and some forms of litotes can emphasize one’s meaning by the deliberate use of language which states the opposite of the truth, denies the contrary of the truth, or drastically and obviously understates a factual connection.”
And so for waiting for our leader to tell the truth or conversely, just apologize for the lapse of judgment, we were given the play of words that when heard and read several times cause a jarring effect on the sensibilities of Filipinos. Some were ready to move forward after two months of inability to rise to the challenges the leadership seems incapable to grasp. For some, moving forward is just filing cases and getting over with who is liable so justice is rendered and served. To the rest, the PNPA speech was again another sweep under the rug.
Alas, two months after Mamasapano, no cases have been filed, no recommendation has been acted upon, and the one who suffered the lapse of judgment is still fudging on facts and building more rhetorics. No case has been filed against Purisima or Napeñas. Both have been removed with the former resigned and yet he still carries his 4th star. Both will probably receive their retirement benefits, thanks to a commander-in-chief who blames both but is unable to act forthright to give justice to the 44 and then some.
In the graduation rites of the PNPA, BSA3 asked for our collective understanding. Fine. He talks about the burden of leadership. Fine. But what about the truth?
The ironies were also too revolting. The 4th paragraph was an example of contradictory at its best. At one point, the President said: “ Sumasang-ayon po ang dalawang ulat sa mga nauna na nating pahayag tungkol sa mga detalye ng operasyon” and then several sentences after, “ang ikinalulungkot ko, imbis na magtanong sa akin ay naglagay ng ispekulasyon ang mga gumawa ng ulat. Maitatanong nga po natin: Paano naman makakatulong sa paglilinaw ng isyu kung hula ang gagamitin imbis na facts?”
By saying that, both the BOI and Senate reports were labeled as speculative, Madame Auring faired better? In saying so, BSA3 totally set aside the truth and rendered judgment on the work of the two bodies as all falsities.
In the next paragraph, the president said unequivocally that: “Karapatan ninyong malaman ang buong katotohanan” and we thought he would, but he went to more ironies. “Bibigyan ko po ng diin: Hindi ko hahayaang pumunta sa isang tinaguriang suicide mission ang sinuman sa ating unipormadong hanay. Kapag nakita kong lubhang peligroso ang isang operasyon, ako ang pinakaunang magsasabing huwag na itong ituloy. Pero sa ipinakita sa aking bersiyon ng plano, nakumbinsi ako na talagang pinaghandaan ito, at magiging maayos ang pagpapatupad nito. Ipinagpalagay din nating masusunod ang lahat ng inutos natin, lalo pa’t mga propesyonal ang ating nakakausap hinggil dito.”
What is truly bothersome is that there was no effort made to check on the “facts” laid out by the various spoxs and the two national addresses already made. When this PNPA speech is laid out against earlier pronouncements, the slips are all over. There are other ironies still, such as the timeline, why he was not at the arrival honors, when he received the information of the debacle, the non action of his alter egos, etc.
The truth we were awaiting re the role of the Americans and who was it who issued a stand down have again been set aside, lumped with a good takeaway: “Buong pagpapakumbaba kong hinihiling ang inyong pang-unawa” and “Opo, ako ang Pangulo, pero tao rin ako.”
The other realization we get is that the President is not being served well by his Cabinet and the bureaucracy: “Hindi ko kayang basahin ang iniisip ng bawat kausap ko, at hindi ko kayang mabantayan ang lahat sa lahat ng panahon.” That’s a window to the kind of governance and management style in place for the past five years.
Again, just like the acceptance of the resignation by Purisima and Purisima capturing media immediately to explain his resignation, dulling the presidential announcement, the PNPA speech was not allowed to gain more traction and was effectively obliterated with the anniversary speech on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro with the MILF the following day. From asking for understanding re Mamasapano to “we take pains to forge peace today, or we count body bags tomorrow” is a double barreled threat. Justice has not been served and here again is a president who acknowledged lapses in judgment and suddenly pushes the envelope using the visuals of body bags. Some days are truly tough. And again, the elected ones are not looked upon kindly. Instead of making his case to Congress, the President taps so-called independent convenors for a National Peace Summit. Certainly the summit won’t answer the legal iniquities of the measure.
Mamasapano won’t rest until justice is rendered Mr. President. We plod on but as you would know, “the dead cannot cry out for justice. It is a duty of the living to do so for them.”