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Monday, February 16, 2015

US INVOLVEMENT


By REY O. ARCILLA  
MALAYA
[“We feel very close to the special operations unit (of the SAF). We have helped train them, we worked with them, we know them.” - Goldberg)
SAF-Aquino-necrological-services.2President Noynoy Aquino’s admission that he is responsible for the Mamasapano Massacre of 44 PNP Special Action Force commandos came a little too late.
He should have done it a week earlier. It’s pretty obvious he and his advisers finally felt the impact of the rising anger of his bosses at his strange and baffling reaction to the death of the “Fallen 44”.
His speech last Friday may have dissipated a little the outrage of the citizenry and the police establishment, but the damage has been done. His image as a leader is now shattered beyond repair.
From now on, he will simply be hobbling along till his last day in office unless he does something dramatic like, for starters, firing the inept, the incompetent and the corrupt among his cabinet members, including Abad of DBM, Abaya of DOTC, Alcala of DA, Del Rosario of DFA, Deles and Ferrer of the Peace Process, Executive Secretary Ochoa, Petilla of DE and Soliman of DSWD.
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Resigned Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima denied he was the one who called the shots during the so-called Operation Wolverine that led to the massacre of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) in Mamasapano last January 25.
So why did he have to resign?
He said he resigned to give Noynoy “more room to act and move, to address the situation.”
I do not see the relation between his resignation and the reason he gave for it, do you? Unless, of course, he is telling the truth and SAF Commander Getulio Nespinas is not.
Nespinas, who is reportedly regarded by his men and many of his peers as a “man of principle and a true leader”, said Purisima was in full control of and directed by “remote control” the operation from his White House abode in Camp Crame?
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So, if Purisima was not directing the operation, who was? DILG Secretary Mar Roxas and acting PNP Chief Leonardo Espina were kept in the dark until after the fact. (Many are asking why Roxas has not yet resigned. Well, he is not called a “doormat” of Noynoy for nothing.)
So, who? Noynoy? Nah, he can’t be. He does not have police or military training.
What about Noynoy’s close friend and adviser, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa? Noynoy himself said he directed Ochoa to see to the needs of the SAF operation. Evidently, he too had knowledge of the mission. He too should be summoned by the eight or nine bodies investigating the debacle.
Or was it the Americans? Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if they had a direct hand in it. As an old friend, nay, a friend of old, and former DFA colleague Ben Hur C. Ong, said:
“My dirty mind compels me to suspect that the mission was hatched by the US and adopted by PH authorities. Even the code of the mission eh mukhang imported – sus, I do not think the word ‘wolverine’ even exists in the vocabulary of our police? Kung sinabi nilang Oplan Pugad-Baboy, baka sakaling maniwala pa ako!”
If reports are true that the Americans were indeed directly involved in the operation, from training to funding and directing Oplan Wolverine, Noynoy should come clean about it now. Why hide it, only to be found out later? With several bodies investigating the tragedy, one of them could conceivably find incontrovertible evidence to prove US involvement. Might as well spill it all out now.
In fact, US Ambassador Philip Goldberg said in Bohol last Sunday:
“We feel very close to the special operations unit (of the SAF). We have helped train them, we worked with them, we know them. They are very honorable and decent people. And so we felt this very strongly as well.”
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Speaking of the numerous bodies formed to ferret out the truth about the Mamasapano Massacre, the question uppermost in the mind of many is: “What if some or all of them come out with different findings or conclusions?”
That definitely would muddle the issue even more, with the truth nowhere to be found.
Besides, what business is it of the International Monitoring Team to be conducting an investigation? With partisan Malaysia as chairman at that?
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With the Bangsamoro Basic Law now hanging fire, with its many constitutional infirmities, I think the government should look to starting a renegotiation of it without the intervention of any foreign power. If the MILF doesn’t agree, sorry. That’s the way it should be.
As I, and many others, have been saying all along, this is a purely domestic affair that we Filipinos, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, should resolve on our own, regardless of the head of government’s personal agenda that does not jibe with the national interest.
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The Department of Foreign Affairs has once again lodged a protest against the reclamation work being done by China in certain shoals and isles in the West Philippine Sea. Another protest was also lodged against the ramming of Filipino fishermen’s boats and the harvesting by Chinese fishermen of the endangered giant clams in Bajo de Masinloc. The areas concerned are within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Philippines.
We can file protest after protest against China’s intrusion into our EEZ and territorial waters until the crow turns white but nothing will come out of them.
Since we are no match militarily against China nor can we rely on the US or any other power, for that matter, to stand by us, we might as well try the more pragmatic and realistic approach. Talk with China, as she herself proposes. That is what the other claimants to the disputed areas are doing.
Four years in his job and Foreign Secretary Albert “Super Amboy aka Giant Smiley” del Rosario has not been able to resolve the issue with China. On the contrary, he has made the situation even worse than when he started. He has also alienated China, the world’s second biggest economy and neighbor.
Being the Super Amboy that he is, he has not even been able to extract from the US a commitment to change her “neutral” stance on our territorial dispute with China. Worse, he even managed to convince Noynoy to agree to the unspeakably one-sided Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the US that so obviously runs counter to our national interest.
Of course, it is still Noynoy who is ultimately responsible for the sad state of our relations with both China and the US.
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A friend wrote:
“I hope you can look into what has been happening at the LTO lately. I have just registered my car with these results:
“1) I had gone to the Makati LTO at Pililla street and had to go back for another inconvenient visit one week later supposedly so I can get the windshield sticker and plate stickers front and back. It used to take just one visit to register a vehicle in the old LTO.
“2) I returned a second time only to be told there were no stickers available and to return in 45 days for them.
“3) The LTO staff informed us that all motorists have to replace their number plates and each of us will be charged P450.00 for the new plates.. Consider this situation: There are about 10 million registered vehicles in the country. So multiply that by P450.00 and so the punishment is worth P4,500,000,000. That’s P4.5 BILLION motorists have to pay for a needless expense because the current plates will last the life of the car. There’s no need to replace them. Thus, we can expect several new multimillionaires among the government administrators in charge of this massive change.
“This is another example of blatant corruption in the Aquino government.”
Paging DOTC secretary Emilio Abaya and his subaltern in charge of the Land Transportation Office. This has gone on long enough. It is making a mockery of Noynoy’s “daang matuwid”.
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The Reminders (for Noynoy) portion of this column will be published again next week.
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Today is the 284th day of the eighth year of Jonas Burgos’ disappearance.
I dread to think of how many more years it will take before Jonas’ disappearance is finally resolved. It is beginning to look like it will not be during Noynoy’s watch.
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From an internet friend:
A boy asks his granny, “Have you seen my pills, Grandma? They were labeled LSD.”
Granny replies, “Bugger the pills, have you seen the dragons in the kitchen?!”
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Email: roacrosshairs@outlook.com
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