Widows and orphans and an apology?

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PNOY, in Mapapasano, could say, “As the buck stops here, with me, in Mapapasano, I take full responsibility; I regret my failed effort to check terrorism, and I will answer to history.” He has a little over 500 days to be kicked around.

No one is infallible. Errors occur in combat, like in the Charge of the Light Brigade in Balaclava (1854), Bay of Pigs (1961), Beirut (1982), Black Hawk Down (1993) and Iraq in this millennium (2003), which led to ISIS. Recklessness? Or audacity?

One Light Brigade survivor died at 70, run over by a train, a less glorious way to go than the fate of the 118 fatalities in Balaclava.

In Mamapasano, there might have been rashness, and certainly there was brutality by a ferocious enemy. We cannot praise the Gallant 44 enough. But, again, I find myself in disagreement with the Inutil, OK, Integrated Bar of the Philippines which described the Muslims as murderers. The raiders went to enemy lair, to kill, and some of them got killed. Had they expected a brass band and letsong baka?


There are orphans and widows on both sides. The IBP is a body of lawyers, trained to verify first . . . instead of taking out ads which would further needlessly alienate Muslims.

Funds are raised for the 44’s families. Why not also for the civilians killed on the other side? Muslims are people too, like you and me, they laugh, they cry, they weep, they dream, etc.. Subject to verification, it is reported that “residents of Barangay Tukanalipao were preparing for their daily activities when SAF commandos entered the community and opened fire at the house of the Panangulon family,” killing Sarah, 5, while her parents, Tots and Samrah were wounded. A farmer was killed and the body was found with his eyes gouged out. Five others were killed while leaving a mosque. PDI, Feb. 4, 2015, p. A7, col. 1. True? We need verification.

But, the IBP and the generous fund-raisers should realize it was not only the Gallant 44 who left widows and orphans.

I am against Veep Jojobama Binay’s suggestion that the IBP probe the tragedy; it has shockingly prejudged “the brutal murder of the 44 police officers of the PNPSAF.” PDI, Feb. 3, 2015, p. A7, col. 3. Any IBP probe would be tailored to suit this appalling and shameful premature ejaculation.

Many other soldiers get killed daily. 600 Muslims were killed in April 1906 in the Crater Massacre in Jolo traceable to the long-standing conflict between Christians and Muslims.

The widow of the Japanese just executed by the ISIS spoke not only in grief, but with pride.

Rochefoucauld says no quarrel would last long if the fault were only on one side. Continuing to minimize Muslim hurts and losses, as if Moros were children of a lesser god, would not help.

As I said above, yup, PNoy should acknowledge that the buck stops with him.

I took the position that the Moros were in Mindanao before they were displaced by those from Luzon and the Visayas. MABINI member Donna Z. Gasgonia emailed me, to share her feelings and info gathered through the years, echoed by Bono Adaza the other night on Bro. Eddie’s Diyos at Bayan.

“The Moros have never occupied all of Mindanao. They are confined to the islands in the west and some patches of western Mindanao. Most of Mindanao has been occupied by the LUMADS, non-Moro, non-Christian, but indigenous peoples. The LUMADS have fought the Moros and Christians since time immemorial that is why they continue to claim their ancestral domains.

“Indigenous peoples communities have been raided by the MILF – stealing farm produce, robbing, killing and taking them as hostages. These indigenous peoples look to the AFP and the PNP for protection. In many instances, they came to their rescue. In several instances, help came too late. BUT, the indigenous peoples kept their trust and confidence in the Philippine government, never the Moros or the MILF. Just like the Luzon and Visayas settlers, the Moros came from the Visayas and other islands, parts of western Mindanao. The MILF claim to Cotabato, Palawan, Zamboanga and many other areas is a sham. That is why I joined Gov. Pax Mangudadatu when he went to the Supreme Court to question the constitutionality of the MOAD.

“The indigenous peoples of Mindanao, after a long legal struggle were finally recognized through the IPRA Law – main author Sen. Flavier, with prior legislative proposals by Senator Santanina Rasul, and Senator Joseph Estrada; the proposed legislation of Sen. Rasul and Sen. Estrada was objected to by Sen. Drilon, but Sen. Flavier kept the struggle alive and got the vote during his time.

“I hope people will NOT DISREGARD the indigenous peoples who actually occupied a vast majority of the lands in Mindanao, and fought against the Moros and Christians. The indigenous communities in Western Mindanao islands have embraced Islam but do not call themselves Moros nor do they identify themselves with the MILF or the MNLF. They have their own distinct indigenous culture – not Tausug, not Maranaw, not Maguindanaoan. Many more, especially those in central, northern, southern and eastern Mindanao have embraced Christianity. These people live in peace under the protection of the AFP and the PNP. Yes, there were and continue to have clashes with rogue AFP and PNP. But, like many Filipinos, we must recognize the efforts of our men in uniform when they lose their lives to enforce the law.

“The question that must be answered is: What is Marwan, an international terrorist, doing inside MILF territory? And why are police officers, going after an international terrorist, attacked and killed by the MILF? These are the most important questions that must be answered.

“However, I join others who ask another question: Why did President Aquino not go to Villamor for the arrival of the bodies? The Internet is awash with photographs and newsbits about Obama cancelling appointments to go to the airport for the arrival of fewer than 10 American soldiers who died in the war; for going back to salute a Marine he passed.

“The last question may be answered by a sincere apology, an admission of a serious mistake in judgment.”

Defeat is an orphan. And we Christians should stop looking down on Moros and Lumads. And orphans of any kind.

But, the other night, on TV, I associated myself with the dream of Miriam Ferrer and Amina Rasul. “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.” Ted Kennedy.

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12 Comments

  1. When you referred to Bay of Pigs, Iraq in 2003, and ISIS, were you referring to the “official” version which is not necessarily the true version, that is if you only read the popular newspapers and Media? If you are, then I am not with you. This man who sits in Malacanang, whom you have been defending almost blindly, has been responsible for too many errors, and this last one, seems also for you, also forgivable. I doubt that we will get to the bottom of this, when we also have a Congress, the majority of whom have been bought before and can be bought again. You started the article in the right way, and ended it with a blah. I suppose, this is the last time I read anything from you.

  2. I just wonder who are the Presidential Advisers of the PNoy who gave him ill counsel all the time?
    There are saboteurs inside Malacanang Palace. They are the insidious terrorists. They are the traitors of the land. They place the Commander-In-Chief in trouble.

  3. Let keep our eye on the big picture. If we take Aquino out of the picture, none of this would have ever have happened. This whole fiasco requires Aquino to make decisions and perform acts central to this episode. Putting anyone else in his place, this fiasco does not happen. He is the one responsible for everything that happened.

  4. Isn’t this the logical result of many years of wrongheaded Mindanao policy that started with Cory in 1986 when she resurrected the for-all-intents-and-purposes dead MNLF? If the yellow regime of which you are a pillar is not responsible for this, what is it responsible for? And in case you care to answer to that question, don’t include your usual drivel about democracy and human rights, please?

  5. This is serious. Rene Saguisag, in the past has been reluctant to to fault Pnoy for many things, but to hear him, say, “As I said above, yup, PNoy should acknowledge that the buck stops with him.”

  6. Yes, sir Rene V. Saguisag, let us not look down on our fellow-Filipino Lumads and Moros.
    But let us prosecute this Liar and Monster President for treason.

    • yes the so called peace agreement signed by the reps of boy sisi with the milf will not hold since as saguisag said, the other stakeholders like the lumads, christians and other muslims who does not agree with the mnlf and milf and the biff. these group would not want to be under the rule of the milf nor agreed to be under the rule of the mnlf. many were telling boy sisi and his peace panel that they should include these other stakeholders but they are hell bent on doing it only with the milf. immediate result was the tantrum of misuari in zambo. we can expect other firefights with the milf once the bbl is rammed thru congress and made finally into law

  7. Thanks Senator for this article. I totally agree with you, point by point. I hope the President’s mistakes are just like the ones you mentioned but if its more than that, Pnoy is in deep trouble. (I can only use the word IF in all these scenarios because I don’t know what happened behind the scene.)

    IF President Aquino ordered the 300+ SAF troops and the AFP to stand down when the 70+ SAF troopers were in the thick of the firefight, then, he abandoned his troops to die in that cornfield.

    IF he didn’t get involve in the operation, still, he failed to order reinforcement upon knowing what’s going on. Same thing, he abandoned his men to die.

    IF he was not actively involve in monitoring the operation but knows what’s going on in that operation and denied the he knew about it or pretended he knew nothing about it, then, he lied to the Filipino people.

    • Involved or not, as the President, he should have ordered the reinforcement without hesitation, no ifs, no buts, cause his policemen are under fire. napakawala niyang kunsensiya kung ganun. or baka iniisip niya na naglalaro lang siya sa PSP ng “Command and Conquer” game at kalaro niya si Iqbal, Jaafar, etc.

  8. ILVING TABIOS ZAMORA on

    That’s exactly where we all must lead to: Peace for Filipinos, Peace for ALL OF US, Filipinos!

    • As I was explaining to a handful of younger generation, had it been I am a 2nd or 3rd generation “Muslim” born and raised in Mindanao, I mostly like will support an Autonomous Region, considering the historical neglect, manipulation and abuse that Imperial Manila has subjected the Muslims since the American Occupation.

      But had it been I was a 2nd or 3rd generation Lumad, I will be very agitated if the MILF will have a legalized mandate over my people.

      Which leads to one conclusion – the Imperial Manila has failed to serve *all* Filipinos. And now, we have a President who still refuse to accept full responsibility for the those dead people, SAF and MILF alike. Same, same. As it was, as it is today.

  9. victor m. hernandez on

    Yes to dream, as Papa Francisco dega: we should dream, when we lose the capacity to dream, we lose the capacity to love.
    Give peace a chance.Build confidence, build one another, and build the nation, the one nation we have.