Tag Archives: Aquino

Mamasapano: The Messy Search for Truth


But should P-Noy resign
and give way to Binay?


What happened in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, last January 25, 2015 that led to the deaths of 44 elite police commandos?

Personally, I have lots of questions. I mentioned these in my last column in Sun.Star Cebu titled “Seek the Truth.” Among others, I asked: “…who gave the go-signal and why was suspended PNP Chief Alan Purisima on top of the failed operation.”

As more information are published each day, the questions in my mind further increases.

Too many probes

One question I like to highlight now is why the number of inquiries into the tragedy? The Philippine Daily Inquirer listed eight investigations. And the editor put the story’s heading this way: “To many probes (8) may spoil the truth.”

The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) immediately conducted separate investigations. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) also ordered its own probe.

However, Malacañang prefers investigations by regular agencies. Thus, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima ordered a separate probe. As this developed, Human Rights Commission (CHR) chairperson Etta Rosales announced a separate fact-finding initiative. Both the House and Senate public order committees likewise went into the motions of opening their own respective inquiries.

The International Monitoring Team (IMT), composed of foreign military officials that monitors the implemention of ceasefires between the government and the MILF, is also gathering information on what happened.

Revelations by the PNP Director Getulio Napeñas, the suspended commander of the Special Action Force (SAF), that President Aquino had knowledge of the operation prompted calls for an independent investigation.

Map of Maguindanao showing the location of Mam...

Map of Maguindanao showing the location of Mamasapano (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#NasaanAngPangulo

As of this writing, or some 10 days after the tragic Mamasapano encounter, we can now see that the PNP and the AFP are blaming each other. The PNP is saying that the army units nearby failed to reinforce the  SAF. However, the AFP said some 300 SAF elements were merely on standby four kilometers away from the firefight.

The law enforcement and defense arms of the government at loggerheads shows weakness at the top. What can one expect from a commander-in-chief who prefers a car company event than the arrival of the fallen 44? As the nation grieved watching the bodies of the fallen 44 arrive in Manila, the hashtag #NasaanAngPangulo became trending in Twitter.

Resign?

The popular outrage has prompted various quarters to call for the resignation of President Aquino. One group pushing for the resignation is the National Transformation Council (NTC), which has earned the support of some bishops.

The resignation call, however, is also being met by this fear of Vice President Jojo Binay — who is busy evading the Senate probe into alleged corruption — emerging as president.

What are your thoughts, guys?

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Pursuing peace


peaceThe Aquino administration crowed about its pursuit of peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). But is ending the war with our Moro brothers enough to achieve peace? How about the war being waged by the National Democratic Front (NDF) along with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA)?

With a much economically and militarily stronger China going bolder in bullying us, the time has come for President Noynoy Aquino to push harder for internal peace on all fronts so we will be stronger in facing this growing Chinese threat.

The signing of the peace agreement with the MILF leadership last March was a big step for President Aquino. However, the arrest of the Tiamzons and how top officials justified this move led us to question the administration’s sincerity in the peace advocacy.

Top government officials echoed the position that Benito and Wilma Tiamzon are not peace consultants contrary to what the defense lawyers are saying.

Here’s what Alex Padilla, head of the government peace panel, said:

padilla

Padilla went further.

padilla1

Let us add the statement of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima:

De Lima

In my search for the other side, I came across tonyocruz.com and his post titled: “Give peace a chance.” In this post, he published the following:

tiamzon-loa

crising

Yup, the other side of the story goes back to the time of President Fidel V. Ramos. Here’s a copy of …

 

Executive Order 276, by President Ramos, implementing JASIG

With these attachments, Tonyo Cruz pushes giving peace a chance, something that should resonate in President Noynoy Aquino and his advisers who are known as peace advocates for decades.

At this point, I just want to point out that the different sides have opposing views on how to achieve peace with the insurgency.

For the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), peace means military victory in crushing the insurgents.

AFP1

AFP2

However, here’s what communist leaders Jose Maria Sison and Luis Jalandoni are saying:

Sison and Jalandoni

The way I see it, the Aquino administration cannot go on pursuing peace with the Moro rebels but showing the world that it won’t honor agreements made by previous administrations. President Aquino is practically telling future presidents that they could ignore the peace documents he has signed now with the MILF.

The JASIG documents presented above show the rebels are actually telling the truth while de Lima and Padilla are, at the very least, misinformed. Statements from the AFP brass also convey the message that their version of peace is way off the kind of peace supposedly being pushed by peace advocates and negotiators.

What do you think?

 

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Election Aftermath


WHILE the Mayor Tomas Osmena and his Bando Osmena-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) won a sweep over opposition Kugi Uswag Sugbo (KUSUG) in Cebu City, this cannot be said of Sen. Noynoy Aquino and the Liberal Party at the national level.

While Noynoy clearly won the election by a comfortable lead, his vice presidential candidate Mar Roxas is fighting for survival against the election dark horse Jejomar Binay.

In the senatorial race, the Liberal Party only managed to get Franklin Drilon, Serge Osmena, and TG Guingona into the winning circle of 12. They will join Sen. Kiko Pangilinan as the new Senate opens more than a month from now. Although no political party enjoys a clear majority at the coming Senate, the Nacionalista Party (NP) of former Senate president has more in numbers compared to the LP, Lakas-Kampi, and the PMP. Drilon and Pangilinan will need to craft a coalition with the other groups to form a majority.

At the Lower House, LP contender for House Speaker Sonny Belmonte also has to forge alliances with the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) and raid the membership of the other parties in his bid to counter the threat from Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Ensuring support from both Lower House and the Senate means President-elect Noynoy Aquino should play the traditional carrot and stick strategy, that is the use of his control of the release of the pork barrel.

Amidst this situation, Noynoy has also to deal with GMA’s brazen strategy of creating crises for the incoming administration by way of her midnight appointments that included naming Renato Corona as chief justice.

Can Noynoy really stamp out corruption now with these developments? One thing going for him is his mandate and the momentum created by his victory. He should strike out against corruption although we could not say how hard because of the intricacies of the post-election situation.

There’s only one thing I can say now. We are behind you President Noy!