A DAMAGE control that went awry was how netizens described President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s surprise meeting with the families of the 44 slain members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF).
While Malacañang is playing down reports that there was a heated exchange between Aquino and the bereaved families of the 44 slain SAF commandos when the President visited them on Wednesday at Camp Crame, social media warriors believe otherwise.
Reports said that when one of the bereaved families asked the President what justice they can expect, Aquino allegedly snapped and blurted out: “Ano pa bang justice ang gusto n’yo? Fingerprintingan ko lahat ang MILF? [What justice do you still want? Do I have to get the finger prints of all the MILF?].”
Manila Coconuts said on its website: “If this story is true, then we truly don’t know what to say.”
One netizen said he believed Aquino scolded the families of the SAF troopers when they asked him how justice would be served to them, knowing the President’s attitude and temper.
“Nagtataka pa kayo? [Do you still wonder why?]” he asked.
Party-list Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan of Gabriela, in her tweet, said: “Scolding widows—when you run out of lies and stories to tell.”
Dr. Racquel Fortun, a forensic pathologist, twitted: “That’s the entire Aquino admin practically. Not all AFP/PNP widows get that! #guilty.”
A netizen posted memes of streamers seeking justice for the slain SAF 44 in his Facebook page alongside a comment that Aquino’s meeting with the widows was a damage control.
He also posted Marcus Tullius Cicero’s quote: “Justice consists of doing no one injury, decency in giving no one offense.”
Most of the comments posted on Twitter and Facebook pages went with a Malacanang photo showing Aquino talking with families of the slain SAF men. Screen grabs of a post by Roselle Bitones Nacino, a widow of one of the police commandos, also went viral.
The posts supposedly detailed what transpired in the Camp Crame meeting.
The Manila Times searched for Roselle Bitones Nacino both in Facebook and Twitter but found no “handle” bearing such name.
One of the posts described how Aquino arrogantly answered a question from one of them.
“May nagtanong bakit hindi po kayo nagpadala ng reinforcements by air? Mas marami pa sana ang nabuhay. Ang sagot niya [Aquino] ‘aba baka akala ninyo ganoon lang kadali iyon. Kapag ba kayo ay nasa MOA (Mall of Asia) at magtetext ka sa friend mo kita tayo, makakapunta ka ba agad? Namatay rin ang tatay ko, alam ko nararamdaman ninyo kaya this time, patas tayong lahat.”
The President, besides his accountability in the Mamasapano incident, was heavily criticized for choosing to attend an inauguration of a car plant in Laguna instead of joining the arrival honors for the slain SAF troopers.
The police commandos were killed by members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters after a successful mission to neutralize Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25.