AS I write, I remember Prez Cory Aquino, who would have marked another birth anniversary on January 25. There was a Mass at Rockwell the other evening, for us Yellowtards, quite proud of the brand.
It was to be the anniversary too of the 2015 Mamasapano operation, with a case pending today against certain officials. The foray bagged Marwan, on whose head was $6 million. When troopers courageously enter enemy lair, casualties would ensue; here, including Sara, 5, and other Muslim civvies, forgotten collateral damage of the heroic attack. No announced probe, no benefits, for them. No meet with Digong, who is one-fourth Muslim. There must be justice for Sara and the others collaterally damaged, with extreme prejudice.
Digong met with the Mamasapano widows last Tuesday and told them what they wanted to hear. Does he plan to meet also with the kith and kin of the Muslim victims, and also tell them what they want to hear? Trapo-ish.
Monday-morning quarterbacking with 20-20 hindsight vision?
Condemning Noynoy may be like blaming JFK for the Bay of Pigs or Clinton for Black Hawk Down. Fortunes of war. Presidents answer to history, not any court, for what troopers may have done or failed to do. Might as well sue an NBA team manager or owner cuz a coach’s last-second instruction on who to take a last shot misfires. From the outside world, nothing about Mamasapano; heavily armed trained attackers got killed? Ho-hum.
Police-military one-upmanship of competing rival Special Forces?
After prejudging Noynoy for Mamasapano, Digong will now create a body to probe his premature ejac to please his audience of last Tuesday, instead of just creating the panel and maybe winking at it. Ang daldal. Yes, what about meeting the families of Sara and the other Muslim victims such as the farmer whose eyes were gouged out (dinukit)? “Sa loob at labas ng bayang kong sawi, kaliluha’y siyang nangyayaring hari. . ..”
And why should Cory be blamed for the January 22, 1987 Mendiola Massacre, so-called? The marchers led by Ka Jimmy Tadeo forcibly and shockingly breached the lines of the police there to protect us—that was who, in Malacañang—without the usual standoff for dialogue, warnings and ultimata.
The Abad Santos commish (Justice Abad Santos, Justice Joe Feria and libertarian Tony Miranda, all with sterling credentials), did not blame Cory. Neither did a Manila RTC judge (savvy Bert Sandoval, who retired as a Sandiganbayan justice, my stude life contempo, from FEU). After she and I stepped down, she was sued. Ding Tanjuatco, Mel Sta. Maria and I were privileged to defend her. NJCR-QC-RTC-78 Judge Percival Mandap Lopez sustained our theory on January 4, 1999, that it was filed out of time, among other reasons.
The case was Balang v. Aquino, Civil Case No. Q-98-35401, where Judge Lopez granted the motions to dismiss filed by defendants Cory, FVR and Fred Lim. “The cause of action of the plaintiffs allegedly occurred on January 22, 1987. The complaint was filed on August 28, 1998, or after eleven (11) years. While it is true that two of the plaintiffs in the case at bar were also same plaintiffs in Civil Case No. 88-43351 filed before the Manila Regional Trial Court [before Judge Sandoval], the same was dismissed in an Order dated March 11, 1994, which reads: `Considering that the decision was rendered in this case as early as March 19, 1993 by the Honorable Supreme Court dismissing the petition for certiorari and which was received by this Court on March 31, 1993, and despite the lapse of almost one (1) year plaintiffs did not make any move to further prosecute this case, this case is ordered dismissed without prejudice for failure to prosecute. As aptly manifested by R.A.V. Saguisag and Emigdio S. Tanjuatco, Jr., counsels for defendant Corazon C. Aquino, the dismissal of Civil Case No. 88-43351 has legal effect on the prescriptive period’.”
Fiery Ka Jimmy Tadeo had vowed that “ang barikada sa Mendiola . . . bubutasin . . . namin iyon at dadanak ang dugo.” Some cops had gunshot wounds. “There ensued gunfire from both sides. It is not clear who started the firing. “Republic v. Sandoval, 220 SCRA 124, 135 (1993). We had accounts that gunfire started behind the marchers. Agents provocateurs? Rightist-leftist plot? Hours later, a mini-coup ensued, and failed (as did several others, which putsches prevented us from doing better; the urban legend was that when I’d give Cory serious advice, she would laugh and laugh; when I’d crack a joke, why, she’d implement it.)
I have always been confident though that our people would judge her by the manifestation of her entire life, inselfless service of the nation, not by the testimony of a single incident or two. Such showed during her final journey home on August 5, 2009, at the Manila Memorial Park, and in Noynoy’s elevation to the presidency, the year following her “home-going.” No one’s perfect or infallible (save my late wife).
For Mendiola and Mamasapano, Cory and Noynoy will answer to God and history (as FDR for Pearl Harbor, Carter for Iran, Reagan for Beirut, Dubya and Barack, for Iraq, not to any court). And say, with Fidel Castro, “la historia me absolvera” (history will absolve me). Has history absolved Marcos from blame for the burning of Jolo and the death of 20,000 Muslims (mainly) on February 7-8, 1974? Digong is one-fourth Muslim.
Who will answer for the grisly killing of South Korean Jee Ick Joo, made possible by Operation Tokhang, unconstitutional and illegal, from where I sit? PNP Top Gun Bato de la Rosa was asked to resign but Digong is keeping him. Bato apologized to the Korean government and was quoted thusly: “I am very sorry na nangyari itong krimen na ito at mga tao ko pa iyung involved. Kung sa kanila sa Korea, iyung kanilang customs and tradition nila din na magharakiri sa sobrang hiya, ako, hindi ko kayang gawin iyun dahil masakit iyun. . ..” (Bato, btw, like Clinton, Dubya, Obama and Manny Pacquiao, tried narcotics—per California’s definition—in his youth. All addled arguably?)
We have no culture of disemboweling ourselves in protest, or strapping bombs in our bodies. Why? “Masakit?” Bato is correct, araguy, but he should not confuse Korea with Japan. Harakiri is Japanese, not Korean. Josme naman. Wrong country. Muslims elsewhere may strap bombs around their bodies but the promise is of scores of virgins waiting in paradise. (Not to ask—these virgins, how old are they and how do they look?)
Anyway, a Japan Air Lines president resigned after one of its planes crashed in 1985, killing hundreds. Here, while the town burns, Bato attends concerts and goes to Vegas with his family to watch Manny Pacquiao fight, at the latter’s expense, in violation of PD 46 and RA 6713 on gifts, and sense of public service, ethics, priorities, civil service rules and policies. To them, Digong is the law. Bato begs for pity at kapit sa pusisyon, parang bayawak sa lungga, while Manny, arguably damaged goods, begs for someone, somewhere to fight him, please. The BIR is not about to go after him, being a sipsip to Digong, who should really marry partner Honeylet Avancena now and house her in Malacañang, to save on gas, and show some respect for the laws of God and man.
I saw Mr. and Mrs. Donald Trump last January 19, together, on stage, in his inaugural as next US Prez. And how he danced with the wifey, not any kulasisi. I have said for the longest time, would that Digong marry Honeylet, to avoid awkwardness, make the couple an honest one, good role models, and not confuse the young on the value of sacred holy matrimony, which so mattered in our jurassic generation.
And enjoy pa more blessings from Heaven. Marriage may yet tame and domesticate our Macho Prez, who may become more understanding of the frailties of druggies. Maybe, even become a Mega-Takusa like all of us maridos y casados.
And yes, happy pa more. Particularly prosecutors and judges who may have to damn certain accused for what Senator Leila admits as a woman’s frailty and the Prez flaunts as a macho’s strong point.