It was unexpected but for netizens, President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s move to give priority to the peace process and the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law than preventing the deaths of police commandos on a mission in Maguindanao is simply unacceptable.
The Manila Times story on February 6,written by Chairman Emeritus Dante A. Ang and titled “PNoy ordered AFP, SAF to stand down,” drew shocks from online readers, who were aghast with the President’s recent actions.
The story said it was Aquino who gave the “stand-down” order that prevented the military from reinforcing the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF).
Citing a highly-reliable source, who requested anonymity, Dr. Ang said Aquino, together with suspended Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima were in the US Drone base facility in Zamboanga on that fateful day to monitor the top-secret operation.
Some netizens said Aquino’s decision really shows that he is a Commander-in-Chief who is “insensitive” and “incompetent.”
“If this is true I hope he will stand to his decision and his reason and live through all these with his conscience as a president and as a person. For me its the worst mistake ever made by a commander in chief,” a comment posted on The Manila Times website read.
Another reader noted that the President’s inaction while the SAF commandos were facing certain death shows “the callousness, insensitivity and mental instability of one individual, who is the commander in chief and responsible person for this infamous wrong decision.”
“Mr. Pnoy did not decide for his team but for his own glory, to satisfy his insatiable thirst for power. The right thing is for Pnoy to order himself to ‘stand down’ like he ordered the AFP when the SAF were dying and asking for reinforcement,” the reader’s post said.
Another reader said, “’We deserve the leaders we get.’ Ergo, unless the comrade-in arms of those sacrificial lambs decide they deserve a better Commander-in chief, then, they might as well bite the bullet and be at peace with their decision to be led by an incompetent President, obsessed to project himself what he is not–decisive and competent, worthy to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.”
“The AFP must also realize by now that their Commander in-Chief is comfortable with the idea, and very capable to point a finger at them, depicting them as the oneS who could have saved those SAF men, but did not. What we have is a President who cannot and does NOT accept any responsibility. A fitting testament that we have voters who cannot and do not accept that they are responsible that we now have a President like Pnoy,” the reader’s post said.
Another reader said, “This is not only an egregious blunder on the part of Aquino, Purisma, Gazmin, Catapang and Napenas it is disgusting and shameful–literally these individuals did not only fail to exercise their power and perform their mandated duties to enforce the law, ensure the safety of the civilians and the slain police officers who were desperately calling for help. They abandoned them in the face of death while they were doing their duty to enforce the law in arresting an international terrorist coddled by the lawless MILF and BIFF.”
Netizens were also torn whether the government should push through with the ongoing peace process with Muslim rebels amid the bloody clash, citing in particular the supposed “insincerity” of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), with which the government inked a peace accord.
“Mr. President . . . please give honor and dignity to those who gave their lives for the country. For I was born and raised in Mindanao. I have seen chaos and war but the decades of peace talks never gave us lasting peace. How can peace be achieved if those people that we are reaching out do not have the sincerity to make peace? All they have is greed to dominate the weak and innocent,” a reader said.
One reader asked why, if there is an existing peace agreement, the MILF attacked the SAF commandos who, being on legitimate mission, they were supposed to support.