Who will tell us all the lies and how long shall we suffer them?

36

I do not know how much cruelty we could take, but it looks like the Congress hearings on the Mamasapano massacre are determined to stretch it. In death, the 44 victims and their families have borne more than enough cruelty. This time, most of those in the hearings seem bent to make sure the public share every bit of it. It is cruel and unusual punishment.

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The public is being grabbed by the neck, as it were, and compelled to watch the televised hearings where every stupid question is being asked, but not the real questions needed to find out why the 44 commandos of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (SAF) were butchered like domesticated pigeons in a shooting gallery.

Every grandstanding member of Congress is trying to win the huzzahs of the TV crowd and the unqualified endorsement of the gallery by heaping the meanest insult on Alan Purisima, the now fired PNP director-general, without breathing a word about the man on top of Purisima—President B. S. Aquino 3rd.

None of them could seem to ask a simple straight question, framed in appropriate parliamentary language, without throwing in a lot of verbiage about themselves and working facial expressions to show contempt for the tragic character who but for the unfortunate choice of a different career may have been their brethren in Congress.

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago tried to illumine the hearings with her self-inflicted iridescence by talking of her “doctorate” and her having come from “UP” before pouncing on the poor Purisima. But instead of asking Purisima whether Aquino had asked him to run Oplan Exodus for him, despite his having been suspended by the Ombudsman, she berated him for not knowing that he wasn’t even supposed to show himself in his old premises while under suspension.

Clearly Purisima has to be guilty of something. But of what? Usurpation? What, and whose powers did he usurp? And how did he do it? The moment he was suspended, he was no longer supposed to perform any function as PNP Director-General, whether in connection with Oplan Wolverine/Exodus or anything else. All of his tasks should have passed on to Director General Leonardo Espina, PNP Acting Chief, his temporary successor. But Purisima kept the project, while Espina was totally kept out of it.

Had Purisima shown a little more honor, or a backbone more solid than that of a jellyfish, he could have told Aquino that he could no longer run the project because of his status, and the grave security implications of not doing anything of such importance right. There is no sign he ever tried doing that. He may, in fact, have asked Aquino to let him continue running the project, without the knowledge of Espina or even the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Manuel Roxas, so that if he succeeded in bringing in the two international terrorists (Marwan and Usman), he could use it to regain his position as PNP chief.

This would have presented no problem to Aquino, who had already taken control of the three branches of government. Moreover, giving official work to people who did not have any actual official position in government has never been incompatible with Aquino’s style of leadership. In 2010, Aquino and Roxas ran together on the understanding that if they won, Roxas, who had given up his presidential bid in favor of Aquino, would end up running the day-to-day affairs of government. Roxas failed to make it; but even during Aquino’s first year when Roxas was disqualified by law from being appointed to any office, it was an open secret that he was the one calling the shots for PNoy on many issues.

In like manner, it was reported that former DILG Undersecretary Rico Puno continued to function in some quasi-official capacity, even after he had been sacked from his post upon Roxas’s takeover as DILG chief. Puno, who had been Aquino’s longtime shooting buddy, among other things, exercised authority over the police while the late DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo was limited to handling local government. Robredo’s death in a mysterious plane crashprompted Aquino to give him more posthumous honors than he needed. But that did not diminish the cashiered Puno’s importance.

It is unthinkable that Purisima could have functioned the way he did as far as Oplan Exodus was concerned without Aquino’s express order or consent. That is something that does not need a PhD degree from Harvard. But this has nothing to do with the main question which should be answered. Who authorized the project is not the question. The only real question is why were the 44 killed? Who ordered the reinforcement forces to stand down?

The only story I would like to read from the hearings is one which says, “Aquino did not order the stand down.” Having been the first to report that he did, and having repeated it a few times since, I have been waiting to be told I was wrong; that he never did. I have had no such luck. I have been hoping that with the Times itself weighing in, with its frontpage banner headline saying, “PNoy ordered AFP, SAF to stand down,” a strong Malacañang denial would be forthcoming. Until now, no such luck. Is this what Sir Thomas More meant when, in Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons, he refers to the maxim of the law, “Qui tacet consentit?”,Which means, “Silence gives consent”?

And yet yesterday Malacañang tried to give the impression that Aquino did try to order a belated operation. It appeared to be a rather “half-hearted,” which instructed some units to try, provided they did not endanger themselves. It was like asking a life guard to rescue a child who’s drowning in the sea, provided he does not get wet. It’s for the birds.

Indeed, what we have in Congress is not an inquiry but a cover-up. The sole objective is to save the President, even at the cost of sinking the Republic. We cannot stop the lies from being told, but we should know what to do in the end.

fstatad@gmail.com

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36 Comments

  1. Good piece as is expected from the Press Secretary. He knows, but did not say, Lies must be told.” By the way, nothing wrong with saving the president, and Mr. Tatad practiced it.

  2. You mean – shock “Sis” not success.

    Who Kris? I agree, if this is what you mean.

    Tama na sbrana ang “pag-aarte – paiyak iyak”

  3. at any rate, everyone seems to know the truth already… except congress and the senate of course!!!

  4. Oplan save the president is in motion …. No matter how this turns out …. The public has seen and heard enough from these so called leaders to decipher the truth and it stinks to high heavens …. This is not a country that the 44 died for… They and we deserve better

  5. Another implication that can be deduced from this mamasapano incident is the Moros deadly determination to fight at all cost against our government forces. The videos by themselves taken were turned publicly by them to show that deadly and fearful demonstration.
    The tragedy of this encounter underscores their ability to fight and annihilate the best and well trained SAF. Our leaders both in civilian and military must take a very serious thought about this. The training of our SAF should be reviewed where mistake in military strategy be corrected. I feel our civilian leaders are not treated justly.This is a military problem.

  6. if Mar Roxas is no balls/not capable of telling the truth while still courting to become the president, how much more if he becomes the president?

  7. vagoneto rieles on

    Going by the proceedings in the Senate, there seems to be neither hostile parties nor any conflict of ideas at all. There’s just the casualties on both sides of the Mamasapano firefight, ignited by the incursion of the PNP into what the MILF claim to be their territory, to arrest, capture or neutralize a Malaysian bomb maker named Marwan. Wasn’t this the root cause of the encounter? This, however, is the part of the inquiry that does not get due scrutiny, despite its being the trigger of the fusillade that followed. Instead, we hear protests by the PNP and the Senators of the high casualties on government’s side..and, remonstration from the MILF spokespersons, present, about their own losses. The Senate inquiry looks and sounds more like a critique of the conduct of the encounter, instead of a comprehensive investigation of its causes. Although the MILF participants got berated soundly, (for the atrocities and the lopsided body count), they were not indicted for sheltering fugitives, or for harboring and maintaining an armed militia, ‘mujahedin’, or whatever you might call a heavily armed band of men. It seems to me that the Senators and the PNP on one side, and the MILF on the other, are hostile protagonists. Enemies. The very reason for a ‘peace agreement’ between two parties is because they are enemies. If these two parties are ‘friendlies’ and not protagonists, what was the firefight about? Why did the casualties have to die?

  8. In my opinion, that operation was a success because they got rid of the one of the world’s most dangerous terrorist, Marwan. You have to think that if he’s still alive, more than 44 SAF fallen officers will be victimized, hundreds or thousands in the future, because of his expertise in terrorism. We should stop blaming those who plan and executed it. It’s time to move on and just bear in our minds and hearts that fallen SAF forces will never be forgotten & it’s so worth it sacrificing their lives. How the about the MILF or BIFF, are they clean of the crime? By the way, Mr Tatad, I still remember your term during Marcos regime. Were you truthful that time?

    • So next time, even if there is just one man again to be arrested, never mind if 300 soldiers will be killed because the suspect has surrounded his house with land mines?

    • Absolutely correct. The best way to stop this bullshit blame game is to stop mudslinging, honor the 44 commandos, help their families and learn from this terrible mistake. Mr. Tatad please stop blowing smoke in our ar..

    • What about justice to the fallen 44,they could have been alive,had the order to reinforce was given.nilaglag, so ganoon na lang? just moved on, tutal patay na yung 44.What about accountability?

  9. Vicente Penetrante on

    Yes, the Senate and House inquiries of the ‘Mamasapano massacre’ should be renamed ‘Save the President.”

    • Another reprobate. You’re comment is way out of line and lack logic. You should live in Maguindanao to experience the difficulty of dealing with the terrorists. When Bin Laden was killed one of the helicopter crashed. When the US forces tried to rescue the hostages in Iran there were many failures. We should not maligned the operation plan and leader of the commandos but honor them!!! Full stop!!

  10. iamwell bungari on

    Nobody informed the President about the Mamasapano carnage on January 25 when they were all together in Zambo. All the President’s Men are “truth-keepers”. They are merely keeping the TRUTH to themselves. If I were the President, I will do something ala-GMA when the latter appeared “sorrowfully” on TV after the Garci tapes “explosion”, and slowly muttered: “I am sorry, I was just protecting my votes.” But, ano kaya ang sasabihin nya? Suggestions?

    • Suggestion: Sorry po mga anak! Am making sure na hindi magagalit sina Iqbal, Jaafar at ang mga tauhan nila sa akin. (complete with wide grin on his face and make sure the Queen of All Media (daw) eh nasa tabi niya para sabay iyak)

  11. ” No Trust”..That is the answer as to why The 44 SAF dies.. Pnoy do not trust Roxas; PNP do not trust AFP; Juan Tamad should Not Trust Pnoy to do the Right Thing….SAF sent out 64 men into a MILF liar without an exit plan to get out.. and over 300 of the SAF men did nothing to help..who can one trust…what result can be expected did happened…and all Pnoy’s men and all the Congressional Investigations Can Not Put Back the lives of the pobre 44 SAF…end

  12. I think it will stay as its always been in that no one will ever tell you the whole truth. To say these people are incompetent is an understatement. But napenas who seems to be taking it all should be bought before a court & i believe should go to jail probably for life. Then he might tell all, but he might also be murdered before he informs on higher ups.
    But to have all them guys going into an area which is full of terrorists, i know they dont like that term being used but its what im calling them, without backup is beyond belief. I would love to see the plan they had & were trying to execute. The foot soldiers will just do as they are told as they trust those above them. That trust in this country on that day was totally betrayed. They were like animals being lead into a slaughter house.
    In my opinion nepenas & purisma are to blame for this monumental failure & both for their complete incompetance ( im not judical enough to know what other charges they could face ) but im sure those charges would attract many many years in jail. If not they should do as those 2 men have 44 lives on their hands, do you think they are upset, i dont i think they are only upset at them being the ones looking to be punished. That will bother them more than 44 guys dying because of their incompetance, in fact they probably really think its not my fault it has to be someone elses fault.

    • No one should be blamed, the terrorist was killed! We should honor the 44 SAF commandos and help their families. It was the ultimate sacrifice of the SAF commandos to our country. Marwan could have trained hundred more bomb makers. I am glad he is dead. Next will be Usman. Again there may be some failure bit let the SAF commandos do their job. Recently, there is news that Usman was injured. mabuhay ang SAF at mga leaders ng ating bansa.

  13. Anima A. Agrava on

    BS Aquino MUST speak out and tell the truth. He will only do this if a palpably strong force demands it.
    This force can be the whole CBCP asking him to do so. But it will not happen because he is being protected by CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas who belongs to the Yellow Army!
    We must who are serious Catholics who have been loyal to the Church and the call of Jesus for personal morality must make our voices heard by the CBCP and by Archbishop Villegas.
    We must also call on the former senior government officials’ group FSGO to make that same de,and from BS Aquino.
    Also the Makati Business Club, the various Chambers of Commerce, the PCCI, ECOP, must join the call.
    The leftwing unions and yoputh organizations have already made that call. But the non-Leftist TUCP has not. It must.

  14. Leodegardo Pruna on

    The Filipino people know what to do in the end with the incompetents. Much more with those trying to cover up and playing games with P-Noy. God bless the Philippines.

  15. I agree that you have raised the most important question which is “was there an order to stand down”? As it appears based on the testimonies that most high officials knew that there was a firefight already! The soldiers follow the basic rule that is to obey “all lawful orders of the civilian authority”! Gen. Catapang did exactly to wait for a lawful order to rescue the 44SAF police! Every military and police waited for a “lawful order” to rescue the 44 SAF from a higher civilian authority! Again, why did any unit take the initiative to be galant to save or rescue the 44SAF pinned down! Every support unit, military or police waited! ….because of the “peace agreement” is the excused!…because it is the bigger picture of the peace process!

    Let’s review, Police were sent into a hostile territory to arrest a criminal. In the process, the Police met some resistance but were able to kill the criminal. On their way out of the hostile territory, more resistance happened. The police got trapped. There were support resources ready to help them but wait for a lawful order to rescue them!

    Then again, a question to the MNLF is who were they defending in the encounter? Didn’t they check who in the MNLF was being attacked? Was there an MNLF high official missing? The police were leaving or retreating! if the troops were in the offensive, would there be more and would be pushing forward to gain more ground if it is an offensive operation! I would add that probably MNLF considered Marwan a very high valued ally! I believe that the comrade of Marwan would have sounded out to the MNLF that he has been killed. It could be relayed to the MNLF leadership! And since there was a late coordination to the MNLF! How is it the MNLF could not stop instead continued hostilities!

    The incident is clearly mishandled or the misencounter was mismanaged….which conclude to….. whom will the incompetency be blamed!!

  16. Is there anyone at all in the Philippine Senate with enough brains to ask the right questions? I was hoping Miriam did, but I guess not. Watching her yesterday was like having a root canal done. Has anyone really bothered studying PNP protocol involving military operations? Chain of command? Who gives final orders? What paperwork was involved? It should have had signatures! What intel has been shared? Was intel good enough for an OK? Was intel at the time of OK outdated or was it fresh? How much time had elapsed before the top dog (whoever that was) threw intel into a garbage can and considered it obsolete (or just simply said:”Yes, this would be enough.” ) It seems to me,all the necessary aspects for a successful mission have gone through an expiry date. If Purisima had a hand in all of the above, why did BS Aquino allow him to be part of it? It’s like driving a car with a suspended license. How much involvement did Purisima have? 100%? 90? 80? Even if it were at 10%, shouldn’t his name have been on the paperwork? But we did not see him owning up to his responsibility as a military man who should value honor above all things — instead he decided to do a Pontio Pilato and washed his hands! But sadly, we the people still see the dirt in your hands, sir Alan!

  17. muriel magtanggol on

    Thank you for telling those shameless liars that they are not getting away with murder!

  18. The problem when someone lie to the public, you need more people to lie to cover up for that lie. The more you ask for the real truth, the more they tell the lie they have been telling is the truth.

    Ninoy and Cory, rise from the grave and give your son a little spanking (Pope Francis, that’s okey!), nagmamatigas ang anak niyo!

  19. Indeed, there were so many instances that Rico would shout or even put up the dirty finger on Jesse even in front of simyon. For simyon to tolerate those and heap praises on the guy when the man is gone is hypocrisy big time. Still, Jesse patiently and meekly continued his job and soon found out that the pistols to be bought were grossly overpriced by more than One Billlion Pesos. What happened to this overpricing? I am sure that even the attempt to overprice is already a crime and that should have put the mastermind in the lam for a long time since the amount is more than fifty million pesos. Yet, up to this day, there has been nothing heard on the investigation of the overpricing. Is this the reason why the plane has to be crashed for dead men tell no tales?

  20. It is becoming increasingly clear as day that the witless president must be insulated from the blame game at all costs. Mar Roxas, the generals and other officials must have a very low regard for all filipinos to make us believe that everyone, except the ground commander, was clueless on what was going on that fateful day and that it was just a normal event? Is it not a wonder that the witless PNoy together with key admin officials, including Mar Roxas, as well the top military brass were all coincidentally gathered in one place supposedly to inspect the bombing and attend to a function? How very convenient! But when the shit hit the fan, PNoy froze and could not comprehend what was going on, hence the hastily and poorly written script that took several days to be presented to the public. This is the narrative that they want us to believe: PNoy and his long-suffering BFF Mar Roxas as well as Espina, the crying general, were all caught unawares. This is what is so disgusting with this whole unfortunate incident. It was bad enough 44 of our brave officers were slaughtered but to insult our intelligence by forcing us to accept this lie as the truth is the real tragedy.

  21. Si Binay ang mayaman na ma pakana sa coup. Cmmon Pinoy gumising ka na sa mgakasinungalingan ni Binay. Patalsikin mo na siya iyong kabinete. Papayag kaming mga mamamayan na palitan ka huwag lang si Binay ang ipapalit kay Pinoy. God, please save the Philippines from the Binays.

  22. Jaime San Juan on

    Can’t the Legislature realize, all Filipinos here and overseas, are very sad, extremely dissapointed and cannot believe all these elected persons are still busy GRANDSTANDING?

    Is the ultimate outcome of 44 dead SAF not enough to convince the Senate & House of Representatives that MILF is an enemy of the Philippines?

    It’s a grim tragedy indeed, no one among these elected leaders, loves The Philippines!

    They all hate the land of their birth!

    They all want to partition the national territory and patrimony of the Philippines and secede among the enemies of the republic!

    O my poor unloved Philippines!

    What, then, is The Philippines that no one of your leaders, senators, and congressmen loves you?

    Who, then, is the Filipino, that the life of a dog/chicken is more valuable than that of your own life?

    • Who indeed is the Filipino? His voice seems mute and unheard? Who among the government officials is a true Filipino, a man of the people, a man for good government. Can you point one to me?
      This president, for his failure to admit his role in the botched operation, and his stand down order when reinforcements were needed, has become an enemy of the country. Did not Thomas Paine say, The duty of the true patriot is to protect his country from the government? So why are those conducting the inquiry and investigation protecting the enemy and not the country? Doesn’t that make them enemies of the country too?

  23. Mr Tatad, yo’ve seen and met people of Purisma’s kind when you served the pleasure if the President, nothing to be surprised of, this is the nature of every Filipino who experienced to be on the top, superman kind of feeling.

  24. The only real question is why were the 44 killed? Who ordered the reinforcement forces to stand down?

    Mr. Tatad, the answer to your question has already been given by Sec. Deles. She declared that when they were in Zamboanga, upon receipt of the information of the encounter, the Abnoy issued the order to stand down. She said, she was the one who took the line to relay the order of the Abnoy to stand down so as not to imperil the peace talks.If I’m not mistaken, Deles declared this in the first day of the Senate hearing.

  25. noelravalsalaysay on

    Since Congress is under the influence of Pres.Ninoy’s friends,whose loyalty should live in hands of electorate, why not bring an Impeachment with the Supreme Court,even though the Chief Justice is an Ninoy appointee.

  26. It really difficult to put words into other peoples mouth. For me l don’t think the president will order the stand down nor will the PNP or the Military. Situation inside and outside of the encounter differ same also with the decision or action to reinforce either it come a bit late or it may result to lack of proper coordination, but again either due to fatigue , lack of actual experience or wrong timing etc. you guess . It hard to blame anyone nobody like the outcome of this encounter . But lm agree with the observation of PNP chief Espino. Why murdered those who has already surrender . With the recent video revelation . How can we ever trust the MILF who happen to have a terrorist living in their backyard. Maybe they were instruct to silence all the SAP commando involved so as to erase any traces between them and Marwan. This more sound logical. BBL ???? For what ? Government must not negotiate with terrorist.

  27. ” if he succeeded in bringing in the two international terrorists (Marwan and Usman), he could use it to regain his position as PNP chief “.
    You nailed it ,Sir and probably stopped people from his ill gotten wealth too.

  28. Dapat ng alisin si Aquino at itapon sa kulungan!
    Umaakto siya na walang batas liban sa kanya!ang pag-isnab niya kina Roxas at espina ay nagpapakita lang na walang magaling liban sa kanya!
    At yan ay pinatutunayan niya sa ginagawa ng senator at congressman ang pagkatakot na wag siyang matawag sa pulong,maging ang PNP at ARMY ay walang mga balls na magsalita laban sa kanya!
    Si Aquino ang pina ka powerful sa lahat ng buhaya at panginoon ng mga ganid sa gobyerno!
    Wala kayong maaasahan na katotohanan sa ginagawa nila, karamihan diyan ay nagpapapogi lang para sa election darating!
    Alam ng lahat na si Aquino ang dapat tanungin!dahil lahat ng mga officials ay sunudsunuran lang sa kanya!!wag na sisihin kung-sino-sino! Ito ay gawa ni Aquino!