EVERYBODY–except a very few patriotic souls in the Senate and in the House, and in the media–appears to be bent on steering any heat away from BS Aquino in the tragic and cruel killing by Moro Islamic Liberation Front soldiers and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters of our 44 PNP-SAF Heroes on Jan. 25.
That was obvious in the Senate hearings on Monday and Tuesday and in yesterday’s first of House of Representatives hearings on the tragedy.
Only Rep. Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna, Rep. Terry Ridon of Kabataan and Rep. Antonio L. Tinio of the teachers’ ACT — out of the very few who tried — succeeded in reminding their fellow congressmen and the public of some very essential facts that must be made very clear if the truth is to emerge so that justice can be served specially to the grieving widows, orphans and parents of the Fallen 44 PNP-SAF Heroes.
In the Senate and yesterday in the House, no one seemed interested in finding out where really BS Aquino was on Sunday January 25, what were his reactions to the massacre that he most surely was monitoring with AFP people and his closest confederates.
Yesterday, to Congressman Tinio’s questions, AFP Chief of Staff Gregorio Pio Punzalan Catapang admitted that he was indeed with his Commander in Chief BS Aquino. Did he tell Aquino about the developing tragedy in Mamasapano or talk about it? No, he replied–most surely lying. Why didn’t he? Because we were focused on the car bombing blast. On Sunday January 25–while the MILF and BIFF armies were massacring our PNP-SAF commandos–the AFP Chief of Staff and the Commander-in-Chief of the Philippine Republic’s entire military were focused on the terrorist bomb blast that happened on Friday January 23!
Congressman Tinio was reading from the AFP report’s timeline on the tragedy. The report apparently contains the text and other messages to and from the various dramatis personae. A couple of texts were from Lt. Gen. R Western Mindanao Command Lieutenant General Rustico Guerrero relaying the information that the Commander-in-Chief’s instructions to the Army ground commander (who was waiting for orders on whether to help the pinned PNP-SAF men or not) were the equivalent of: “Okay just try your best. But don’t endanger yourselves.”
The exact words of Guerrero’s first text message to 6th Infantry Division Commander Gen. Eduardo Pangilinan Pangilinan are: “[Rescue them in] best effort without endangering our reinforcing troops per guidance from President. Ensure no friendly fires since it is night time. If we can resupply them with ammo and food, how?”
The flabbergasted Rep. Tinio told General Guerrero that the order was tantamount to saying, “Go and fight the enemy but have one of your hands tied behind your back.”
We suspect even the AFP report of that text was mendacious–because the brass want it to cover up what the Commander-in-chief really ordered. It was not a half-hearted order to try and rescue using best efforts only so that no Filipino soldier’s life was put in harm’s way. The order was for Pangilinan’s men to stand down. Why? Because rescuing the beleaguered PNP-SAF commandos would involve fighting the enemy–the combined armies of the MILF and the BIFF. And this, in PNoy’s brain, would endanger the peace process!
Our banner story on Friday February 6 said exactly that–”PNoy ordered AFP, SAF to stand down.” To the radioed message that was both informing and seeking approval: “Sir, papasok na kami,” the Commander-in-Chief replied: “Negative. Negative. Stand down.”