Is it time for Aquino to activate his exit plan?

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President B. S. Aquino 3rd had a long meeting with top generals of the Armed Forces of the Philippines last Sunday, but they came out “frustrated” with what they heard and did not hear about the government’s failure to respond to the distressed calls for reinforcement of the 44 Special Action Force police commandos who were slaughtered by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters on Jan 25.

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A highly informed source close to Malacañang gave this assessment after talking to a general who attended the two-hour Palace meeting.

Aquino simply danced around the issue, the source said, quoting the general at the meeting. As in his previous two televised statements after the massacre, Aquino failed to tell the generals what really happened at Mamasapano. He also failed to provide any “strategic directions” on how the military and the police should now proceed in the face of mounting calls for his government to step down and for the National Transformation Council to provide a caretaker government.

The generals’ lukewarm response to the President’s presentation may have led Aquino to do some serious soul-searching on what to do in the next few days. The massacre has produced a deeply enraged citizenry, a mortally wounded Philippine National Police and an intensely troubled AFP. This is a dangerous and explosive brew for the politically embattled Aquino, who has owned responsibility for the tragedy, but refused to accept its consequences, which demand his immediate removal.

Thus talks of a brewing military coup have been heard from various groups who openly say that since Aquino will not step down a coup is the only way to remove him. These are further fanned by people like Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th, a former coup plotter, who are trying very hard to divert public attention away from Aquino’s culpability in the Mamasapano tragedy by accusing others of plotting against him.

Trillanes has singled out former National Security Adviser and Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales as the one trying to instigate or organize a coup. Gonzales is a founding member of the National Transformation Council, which is calling for Aquino’s stepping down. Unfortunately for Trillanes, Gonzales has consistently rejected the coup as the proper way of removing Aquino. This is the position of the whole NTC.

But thanks to Trillanes, Gonzales has now lost all anonymity. He has become the hottest “guest” on the local TV and radio interview circuit, and now gets regularly stopped by people who did not want to be seen talking to him after the Arroyo administration lost power four years ago. And by insisting on the existence of a coup conspiracy, Trillanes may have succeeded in creating the very danger that he and his group are trying to avoid. He may have succeeded in encouraging some members of the PNP and the AFP to think that a coup against Aquino could easily succeed, and should in fact be tried.

This could be one reason why Aquino met with the generals on Sunday, and with some families of the Fallen 44 at Camp Crame on Wednesday.

Now, if his meeting with the generals was a “dud,” it would not be inaccurate to say that the entire armed services are probably doing some hard thinking right now on what to do in the light of Aquino’s unexplained accountability. Both the military and the police remain deeply committed to support the superiority of civilian authority under the Constitution. But what happens when the civilian leadership has lost its moral authority and constitutional legitimacy?

This is what the NTC has repeatedly pointed out in all its general assemblies from Lipa last August 27, to Cebu on October 1, to Butuan on November 11, to Angeles City on December 3, to Davao on Dec 5 and General Santos on Dec 16. This was most recently repeated in a statement by some NTC bishops on February 13. The NTC has stated that given his growing list of impeachable but unpunished offenses, Aquino has lost any moral authority to remain in office, and after Mamasapano has become a grave danger to the people and the state.

Some of these assemblies have actually urged the NTC to organize “an alternative government,” except that the NTC has been much more deliberate in its response.

The Mamasapano massacre, however, has brought the issue to a head.

In a conversation with this writer yesterday, one retired police “general”/diplomat pointed out that the question Aquino must answer to the nation, now and for posterity, is whether the SAF 44 were betrayed by their own President and Commander-in-Chief. This is a question that answers itself, as far as the families of the victims, the members of the PNP and a big part of the nation are concerned.

Aquino cannot escape responsibility, and must be made to pay. This need not involve any violent upheaval, nor even massive mobilization of the population. Aquino could step down peacefully and graciously, perhaps following some conciliatory negotiations. He could then activate the exit plan previously packaged by his uncle Len Oreta with the Sultan of Johore or an alternative plan that involves Japan. This would be the wisest way out.

Neither Aquino nor the NTC would like to see a coup, but it may have become a real possibility following his meeting with the generals. For although none of the generals expessed themselves at the meeting, they must have gotten a clearer picture of the psychological makeup of their Commander-in-Chief at close range. It appears clear from our report that they were made to see very clearly that the President was the one who failed to give the necessary order that could have saved the fallen 44. He did not simply decide poorly; he simply failed to give the proper order because of a psychological breakdown. His mind could not fully process the situation to come up with the proper response on time.

This was not because of a character defect but rather because of a psychological disorder, which has manifested itself in every natural or man-made calamity or traumatic situation Aquino has had to face. Until Yolanda, the nation could afford to let it pass. But after Mamasapano, the nation could not take its chances anymore. It cannot afford to put a person with such disorder in charge of its security and safety even for a minute longer.

Now, if evidence of this was on full display to the generals last Sunday, how long will it take before they decide to act as the constitutional protector of the people and the State to save us from a psychologically afflicted President? We must try to make that move unnecessary by convincing Aquino instead to activate his exit plan now.

fstatad@gmail.com

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44 Comments

  1. Aquino to step down now and put Binay as President? Binay with tons of accusations in corruption becoming President is unthinkable. This guy Tatad is just imagining scenarios and speculating on the impossible. Let the regular elections take place. Duterte will run and we will have a new President. Tatad is just struggling to remake his old tainted career.

    • Vox Populi Vox Dei as a rule, but not if the “vox populi” is manipulated and orchestrated by power groups.

  2. It so easy to point your finger on somebody else but when you are being blame for your own mistake you tend to be defensive. This SAF 44 massacre if we may describe it as such. Must be solely be blame on the MILF even if we say the President authorized it. Because how in the world will you describe a scenario wherein you will inform the person who is giving refuge to the terrorist that you will raid his hide out? sira ulo lang ang gagawa nuon. right.. The MILF has been playing innocence with the government that even the military is taken for a ride. now the best option is really ask the MILF to pay the price of their action. killing at close range is deliberate act of treachery. They intentionally do it to cover up their traces of cuddling a criminal and a terrorist. now the SAF44 didnt died in vain .they killed a terrorist that have killed hundred in the past. and come to think if he is not netralized what kind of havoc will this person do . if he is untouchable bec. MILF allowed it . Ganuon na lang ba yan.? lagi Presidente lang ang mali maski ang intention ay para sa kabutihan ng lahat.. at tsaka yun mga gusto paalisin ang Presidente , Tama ba kayo lagi , hindi ba kayo ng kakamali. at di ba kayo nagurakot sa kabang bayan natin?????

  3. This is a crazy idea. The President has a clear election mandate for 6 years. The national transformation council does not. This is just one crazy and alarmist idea. From a has been trying to be recognized, all for naught.

  4. Do not lose sight of the fact that the police action was successful in getting Marwan. They achieve their objective. The loss of 44 SAF members is the price paid for it. That is the reason why they are considered heroes. They did not die in vain. if you are blaming Pnoy for their death, you should also give him credit for the death of Marwan.

  5. hindi pwedi si Binay di na aalis yan sa pagkapangulo at kita mo neutral walang paninindigan,tiyak gagayahin nya si gloria.kaya wag na oy…mas ok sa akin na NTC muna ang CARETAKER for 1 year at isaayos ang electoral system.Kung Presidential system o Parliamentary system o federal state.

    • Sorry but If I were to choose the lesser evil I would certaiy not side with Pnoy! Pnoy is also corrupt in a very discreet manner! Don’t forget his DAP issues as well as the 70 Billion fund he’s willing to hand over the bandits! Why are they pushing this BBL so hard? You think he and his cohorts won’t have their shares?

    • muriel magtanggol on

      Tigilan mo yang implication na porque inaalis si Aquino ay yan ang mga gustong ipalit. Ang mga nakakakita nang kamalian ni Aquino ay naghahangad mapabuti ang bayan! Hindi makitid ang utak tulad mo, na wala bang ibang pupuntahan kundi si Binay. Think! Huwag kang doomsayer! At alam ko namang Malacanang ang nananakot niyan. Malaking kabobohan!

    • at ano naman tawag mo ke PENOY? santo? dun sa bilyones na DAP na pansuhol nya sa mga nakapaligid sa kanya pa lang, pati si gma at erap kahit pagsamahin mo, mahihiya sa galing nyang kumag na yan e.

  6. How stupid can Pnoy and Coloma get! Pnoy will reveal whatever info he’s got “at the right time”. Whatever the information Pnoy will reveal must be those details of the Oplan Exodus he knew, his participation or order on eve of the launch and during the launch (Jan 25th) morning, and time he knew the massacre and his order to military and SAF forces to stand down on reinforcing the extraction of the besieged troops. Pnoy was in Zamboanga City with the Amercan Drone Center monitoring the operation but flew back to Manila without clear order of reaction to the massacre. Pnoy was so overwhelmed and confused of his role in the operation that hid himself and came out 2 days after or on Jan 27th, and came out blaming the SAF Head Napenas for having nothing to say to justify his silence on the plan. Worst stupidity was when failed to attend the arrivals of the fallen troops at the Villamor Airbase and instead went to the opening of a car plant of Mitsubishi in Sta Rosa, Calamba. Pnoy showed his usual uncaring attitude towards the victims families like his behavior towards the Yolanda victims and as usual blaming the local responders of the local government. Pnoy just confirmed his mental incapacity to make normal acceptable judgment on matters of national concern. Pnoy is so incompetent amounting to mentally imbalance condition that it is so dangerous to put the Philippine fate and destiny into his hands. Pnoy’s behavior is one of being slick deemed as lying and finger-pointing amounting to evasion of big responsibilities belonging to a leader of the country, of which he is not and should have been not elected as President. Pnoy pathogenic psychological disorder is now manifesting as a real threat to his physical and mental well-being that needs psychiatric treatment as the Masasapano massacre deeply throws and affects his mental balance to a Great Depression that makes himself isolated from the public for days. Pnoy must appoint an Executive Caretaker as the Manager of his administration to prevent more occurrences of adverse judgment that greatly impact on the public welfare!

    • muriel magtanggol on

      He’s just a clueless, spineless, spoiled brat. Mismong tatay na nga sinabing walang ka drive drive. Proven naman na kung hindi pa sa nanay o sa tatay, hindi magkakatrabaho. May ginawa ba nung Congressman o Senador? Binoto pa! Yung pamilya niya, alam naman ang capacidad, pinatakbo pa. Sabi nila, mabait daw? Ngayon, sa pinaggagagawa, mabait ba yan? Ni hindi marunong mag apologize o dumamay…sa Hongkong victims, sa Yolanda victims o kahit kaninong ordinaryong tao. Kamalian nang mga kaibigan, kabarilan, kabarkada, pinagtatakpan…que smuggler, plunderer, coup plotter, wanted na criminal, ano mabait, clean and honest diyan?

  7. Luciano Adan
    February 15 at 1:26pm · Queens, NY ·
    These Three Traitors ( Pnoy, DELES and FERRER) Betrayed Brave 44 & Pilipino People!
    The intense obsession of these three TRAITORS for the immediate passage of the Bangsangmoro Law drove them to be LIARS and disregard the heroic deeds of the Brave 44. The triumvirate traitors (PNOY, DELES and FERRER) justified and defended the MILF for the massacre by accusing the SAF forces of going into “exclusive territory” of the MILF without its permission? The SAF Brave 44 died in line of duty for serving arrest warrants to 2 international terrorists (Marwan and Usman) which MILF are giving Full aid, comfort and safekeeping to these terrorists. Instead of helping the SAF to bring to justice those terrorist, MILF forces massacred the SAF forces instead of at least investigating and finding out the purpose of SAF presence in its area. DELES lost her own logical and patriotic judgment by defending the MILF instead of declaring the peace talk on indefinite hold or basically dead on the water for Its own MILF murderous killings, lack of sincerity and good faith in achieving a truly honest to goodness peace. Pnoy on his part covered up, lied and has been dishonest in not admitting his role in making the “GO”order to the SAF operations and the stand down to military for reinforcements of the sieges SAF units. Pnoy is even influencing his allies in Congress and the police and military in the Senate hearing to cover up for him by not asking and answering direct question of Pnoy’s personal order and knowledge and participation in launching the operations. Pnoy is a big liar for his gigantic stupidity and cowardice for not admitting command and personal responsibility in the boondoggled raid. Pnoy incompetence must now reckon with his designating Mar Roxas as his “Deputy President” to make sensitive and delicate decision on ticklish issues of national concern in running the government machinery. Pnoy must just be a figure-head and not to quit coz the successor , VP BINAY, is a long-time corrupt official who won’t provide clean governance but will wipe the treasury clean instead! At least Mar Roxas is straight-forward person and clean image from corruption. Though he might not be a mass appeal kind of politician, Mar is honest. Pnoy must just relax and smoke on the side and look for a wife instead of managing the affairs of the .government. That is if Pnoy has sex-appeal with women, who seem to be jilting him after few dates! Why “TULO LAWAY”. Yakiiiiii!
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    Zeny Salipsip and Tina Salcedo Bugawan like this

  8. You asked, ” What happens when the civilian leadership has lost its moral authority and constitutional legitimacy,” and according to NTC logic, it is automatically transferred to the Bishops of the Church. There was a saying when we were young that ” Father knows best.” In what can only be a sardonic twist of it, the NTC is now saying CLERICS KNOW BEST. This is exactly the kind of thing that will make the likes of Jose Rizal, Bonifacio, Gabriela Silang laugh in their graves, or even Galileo who was jailed for life by the Church for committing the unforgivable sin of saying that the world is not flat. For the sake of legitimacy, why don’t the NTC make its multitude ( Do they have one? GMA’s Norberto Gonzalez is a founding member? The same Malacang Palace official who has not liquidated all the millions that he was made to handle as GMA’s Security Adviser and went on to build a mansion in Wack-Wack? Maybe thats why they don’t have one) descend on Comelec instead and yank those Smartmatic cheats out of there and install an honest, open counting system? Then we can have a snap election like 1986, or is that formula not applicable to a yellow like themselves? When Erap was president, the bishops led by Cardinal Sin raised hell based on moral grounds similar to the stiff resistance they mounted against the RH Bill when Stanley Ho tried to enter the local gambling scene. Cardinal Sin is famous for the words “I will gladly accept money from the devil as long as its for charity” to answer charges that he was accepting money from Marcos. Well, casinos that will make Stanley Ho proud have sprouted like mushrooms in the reclamation area built by Marcos and not a peep from these bishops? What happened, did the devil make the right donation? One thing you cannot accuse the Church of is that they are always consistent in their stand, heck, they don’t even try. And you want these moral chameleons are going to run these country?

    • look whose talking ..a person who defended Marcos when he was killing Muslims in Mindanao by the thousand…Kit Tatad ? is a joke ..and must be put in a mental institution…

      NTC ? run by the priest and a former aided of GMA who gave lavish gifts to the Bishops so that they will support her administration ? IF the NTC will take over , then this is not the country that Bonifacio, Rizal and other heroes die for, for the NTC is will bring this country back to the dark ages..

      I believe in the electoral process in this country, and everyone specially the Church ( who by the way is not paying taxes) should respect…

  9. sancho alconce on

    The National Transformation Council that includes bishops as members? They should be barred. That council should be secular. Theocratics must stay out.

  10. armando flores on

    Dapat mag sick leave muna si abnoy due to mental stress and disorder. Isama na rin niya his entire cabinet sa leave para makakilos ng tama at walang pressure mga investigador ng 44SAF massacre. Pag nag take over si Binay temporarily sa malacanang for at least a year, makikita ng tao kung puede na siyang maging tunay na presidente o kung pagtatakpan niya si abnoy at mga kalahi niya sa administrasyon.

  11. “Mamasapano” PORK king Aquino, deles, ferrer, roxas,drilon, abad, delima,purisima,belmonte, trillanes,et al must all be hanged!

  12. Whatever happens, Filipinos just should not take it to the streets. That way kept us getting into poverty. Let those generals or whoever, do what they want but the Filipinos should not be used as pawns again.

  13. concerned citizen on

    I am a very patriotic Filipino citizen who loves this country very much, and as many others, I have been wanting for some time now to see Aquino booted out of Malacanang. I also believe that Binay was guilty of corruption as Makati mayor, and enriched himself while in position. But I am really in such a quandary now. I am storming the heavens that Aquino be divinely inspired to just resign so as not to throw our country in a state of disarray, but if he doesn’t, I don’t know what we should do. While I want a council consisting of men and women of proven probity lead the government rather than Binay, I don’t know how that could happen because it is not provided for in the constitution. If we go outside the frame of our constitution, what will stop other forces in our country (the NPA, MILF-BIFF, etc.) from wreaking havoc as well? And who will choose the members of the NTC? On what authority will the NTC rule? Will it represent the general will of the Filipinos? How will we determine that? I do not trust the general will of the FIlipinos as it has been proven time and again to be extremely faulty (it put in power Aquino in the first place, didn’t it?), but we’re a representative democracy, and that’s how things work in our country. This may sound naive, but can’t we demand that Aquino resign and let his constitutional successor, VP Binay, take over, and just strike a deal with him that he put in place the NTC, to guide the transition of the Philippines to meaningful changes, starting with fixing the 2016 elections to put Smartmatic and the PCOS machines out of the way? Maybe Binay will go along with this as there’ll be so much pressure on him to do so not only from the civilians but even from the armed forces of the country? My only concern is that we should do everything within the ambit of the law to keep our country from descending into a state of chaos.

  14. let the GAME OF THE GENERALS begin…..
    but this time the chips are turned, yellow? or color of the FLAG?
    simply turning their backs will do, the widows and orphans did…peaceful and effective

    NTC must remain colorless of past governances, religious and political.
    Electoral institution re-established, NOT REPORTING TO A PRESIDENT
    Judicial reform #1…”…………………….., NOT REPORTING TO A PRESIDENT
    Comm.of Audit” reform#1…………..’ NOT REPORTING TO A PRESIDENT
    one brilliant single stroke of change in our Constitution can bring massive changes.

  15. Carl Cid Inting on

    If there’s any characteristic about Aquino that stands out, it’s his incompetence. And it has shown itself several times. During the hostage stand-off with the Chinese tourists, Typhoon Yolanda, Mamasapano, to cite a few instances.

    But there is also another characteristic about Aquino that stands out even more. It is his pride. The sin of pride is the Capital Sin. It is the sin that brought down Lucifer and made him into Satan. Aquino suffers from extreme hubris. He is afflicted with the sin of pride. Aquino’s hubris will never allow him to consider an exit plan. Judging from the way Aquino would sacrifice Filipino lives just to salvage his precious BBL, it is very clear that pride has so clouded his judgment and short-circuited his feelings, that he would even throw the country into a civil war, if needed.

    We are not dealing with a rational or a caring person. This is someone who would fire a police officer for (correctly) estimating the death toll after a destructive typhoon, only for the simple reason that it was an inconvenient statistic.

  16. I do not like to follow a path where law and order is not kept. But in Aquino’s case, he has done so much harm already, I will help to throw him out.

  17. Claro Apolinar on

    Yes, BS Aquino must now step down and let a council of patriots and moral leaders. the NTC, rule in his name so that there will be no constitutional crisis. He will sign all orders and issuances of the executive branch of the central government. The Legislative and Judicial branches will remain as they are.
    The problem is that your P1 banner today says his exit plan is to escape to Hacienda Luisita and rule from there.
    This means a full-scale civil war!

  18. A caretaker government is a suspicious move that is prone to abuse because of a desire to align forces to manage power. A continuing Aquino administration will only make the nation unstable…….A possibility of an earlier election may diffuse this volatile situation where the Philippines presently sit…..

    REPLY: But you obviously don’t know, isr, that we cannot have fraud-free transparent elections with signed and verified precinct-level counts because our elections have been placed in the hands of a Venezuelan private company, Smartmatic, whose Automated Election system using the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines! Aquino conspired with our corrupt Commission on Elections to create this situation, sir. The results have all been predetermined by rechnicians of Smartmatic wh are the nly ones who known how to maniulae the cards in the machines that contain the PCOS software. All well-meaning talk of elections are sheer nonsense because of the PCOS machines, sir.

  19. There has got to be a complete regime change if we sincerely want our beloved country to progress as a nation. I suggest that a junta be established headed by a strong authoritative but benevolent figure during the transition period. Change the Cory constitution and move to a parliamentary form of government. We have lost that opportunity on two occasions, let’s be wise to not let it slip this time.

  20. Tumpak!!!! because really cannot afford to to take another chance .EACH PERSON HAS ONLY ONE LIFE. WE ARE VULNERABLE TO SIMILAR INCIDENTS ESP. NOW THAT WE ARE SURROUNDED BY GREEDY OPPORTUNISTIC GROUP OF PEOPLE WITH THE AIM TO OWN MINDANAO AND EVENTUALLY PATI NA WHLOE OF THE VISAYAS TO CONVERT THESE PERFECT PALCES AS HAVEN FOR ANTI FILIPINO / PHILIPPINES

  21. It is psychological disorder – VERY CLEAR
    Why do we keep a President in Malacanang with
    such disorder?

    Hindi na tama ito.

  22. Dating defense si Norberto Gonzales ang head ng NTC!!plus ang mga bishop!!
    Ito ang caretaker ng bagong gobyerno!!talaga lang ha-!! Hindi masama,maraming matutuwa nito!!
    Sila ang mga incorruptible na sinasabi!! Hindi masama!!maraming matutuwa!!
    Ito ang mga sinasabing honest people!! Hindi masama, maraming matutuwa,lalo na ang mga edukado at mga matatalinong tao!
    Walang masama!! Maraming matutuwa!!hehehe,!hahaha!

  23. The Mamasapano incident was meant to be. It is the catalyst that our country needed for this incompetent President to step down. The Filipino people has suffered countless times under his watch. We have been grossly deceived and lied time and again by this hypocritical pretender. The SAF 44 gave their lives for this country to be free from the tentacles of this derange mongrel.BS Aquino should go -resign, step down or get overthrown. ALIS DYAN!

  24. sonny dela cruz on

    President Aquino can be aquitted by reason of insanity the way I read it once he got boated-out but the members of his group should be rounded-up and face the punishment of the law. Their passports must be cancelled and protect the southern border for their exit. Include Deles, Ferrer, Gazmin and mostly Abad and Drillon and the senators and congressmen who benefited from DAP and PDAP. Most of them will ask for asylum in Malaysia and the filipino people should be aware not to let them escape. Thank you God it is happening.

  25. We, the people urge the leadership of the AFP and PNP to help rescue our nation from another catastrophe because of gross incompetence of the President and Commander in Chief. It is time for them to tell Aquino to leave for the sake of our country. To all our countrymen let us support our AFP and PNP in their quest to bring order and peace in our troubled and traumatized nation. Let us stand behind them and the National Transformation Council.