NOW that the Miss Universe fever has died down, one question I’d like to ask is: What did the event do for us Filipinos, and the nation as a whole?
Sure, with the Philippines hosting the event, millions of people worldwide now know more about our country and its attractions. They have surely heard about our hospitality.
All things considered, Santa Banana, it was a pleasant diversion from all the bad things that are being said about the country, especially with more than 6,000 already killed in President Duterte’s brutal war on illegal drugs. These killings have become the new normal for Filipinos.
With so many reports of rogue cops and scalawags in uniform—they who are supposed to protect us in the first place—I would like to know how we can still feel safe in our homes or on the streets.
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When the grieving families of the 44 members of the Special Action Force killed in Mamasapano were invited to Malacañang by President Rodrigo Duterte, they were expecting that many of their lingering questions would be answered.
Sadly enough, the President raised the same questions. He did promise them that he would create a commission to find out how and why the massacre happened, and more importantly, who should be held responsible. At least Mr. Duterte was frank enough to say that his predecessor, former President Benigno Aquino III, should be held accountable.
True to form, BS Aquino’s spokesmen said what were being presented were “alternative facts.” This was clearly an insult to the intelligence of many who knew what happened when a combined force of Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and private armed groups slaughtered the 44 SAF members on a cornfield.
The 44 men were sent on a mission called Oplan Exodus, to neutralize Marwan, a known Malaysian terrorist, and another Filipino, also involved in terrorism.
But, my gulay, what happened after the SAF killed Marwan in a shack (and got his finger as proof) clearly raises some questions that should be answer by BS Aquino.
The question was—and still is—why the Armed Forces of the Philippines did not help the SAF members, knowing full well that they were being slaughtered not too far away from them?
BS Aquino we clearly lying through his teeth when he said that what happened was the fault of SAF Chief Executive Getulio Napeñas. The latter supposedly disobeyed orders to coordinate with the military.
Santa Banana, what kind of president blames a subordinate? It was clear that from beginning to end of that operation, only three people were involved: President Aquino, his best friend former PNP Chief Alan Purisima, and Napeñas.
Why didn’t Mr. Aquino blame Purisima instead? Purisima was suspended at that time. Aquino broke the chain of command, bypassing Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and then PNP Chief Leonardo Espina. Clearly, Aquino did not trust Roxas and Espina.
As chief executive and commander-in-chief, BS Aquino had the authority to make the AFP send military assistance to the beleaguered SAF members.
BS claimed that he ran low on battery in his mobile phone. Can you believe that, a president not knowing what was happening during a sensitive operation just because he was “low bat?”
It is utter incompetence and criminal neglect on the part of Aquino. No wonder even that Senate investigation was clear that he bore ultimate responsibility for what happened.
He blames Napeñas? Why not his friend, Purisima, whom he put in control of the operation? Then again, that would be out of character, wouldn’t it?
Did Palace Peace Process Adviser Teresita Deles order the AFP to stand down, as reported, because she feared it may affect the peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front? She has already denied these accusations.
Or was it just Mr. Aquino being his usual self—lacking in empathy and compassion?
Other questions that comes to mind are: Who got the $5-million reward offered by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation for the head of Marwan? And, was it a Central Intelligence Agency operation as claimed by Duterte?
Aquino himself admitted that the Americans had furnished intelligence reports and even sent a drone to track Marwan. And the finger of Marwan was sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, not our National Bureau of Investigation.
Perhaps the said commission can clear the air.
Why, too, did the Ombudsman charge only Purisima and Napenas, but not Aquino? Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales knows that once BS Aquino was no longer President, he lost that immunity and could be charged as a private person.
Was Morales protecting the man who appointed her to the job? If so, that would be an impeachable offense—betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution.
To me, BS Aquino was and is to blame for the deaths of the 44 SAF men. The widows and orphans must be given justice.
The Mamasapano massacre could well be the legacy of BS Aquino. He always blames others and does not take any responsibility for his mistakes.
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We have seen to what extent the rogue members of the police and scalawags in uniform can go to violate the law.
They have the guns. And now they have been emboldened by President Duterte telling them that he would defend and protect them.
Senator Ping Lacson, a former PNP Chief himself, has shown us footage of the extent to which these rogue policemen would justify their acts. I have been told that many more would rather keep silent than come out in public for fear of retaliation.
The climate of fear in the context of the war on illegal drugs is bad enough. The fact that it is the police who are now the criminals makes it worse.