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Monday, March 2, 2015

RIGHT TIME


By REY O. ARCILLA  
MALAYA
(I am afraid the “right time” for Nonoy to explain his side of the Mamasapano Massacre has long ago passed.)
SAF-body-bagMalacanang said President Noynoy Aquino will explain his side of the Mamasapano Massacre at the “right time”.
I’m afraid the “right time” has long ago passed. No amount of re-telling his side of the story will change the impression already formed in the collective minds of his bosses about his utter and dismal failure to handle the tragedy, the way a true leader should have.
On the contrary, it will only exacerbate the situation and make him look even worse in the eyes of the people. He has already addressed the nation twice on the carnage and simply left more questions unanswered. The same thing will happen if there’s a third time.
Will he level with the people on the third try? Is he ready to tell the truth and nothing but the truth? I doubt it.
Here is the reason why I believe Noynoy is not likely to tell the truth during a third try. I am quoting below, in extenso, a February 21 report of Mr. Francisco Tuyay of Manila Standard regarding the conversation that supposedly took place between Noynoy and some of the Mamasapano victims’ families last Wednesday at Camp Crame. It will be noted that some of his responses were non sequiturs, some scornful and others downright irritating.
Quote:
“One of the families asked why no airstrike was sent. PNoy said ‘Do you play computers?’ Naturally, we were offended because we were hoping he would answer with his opinion or the plain truth,” the widow said.
One family asked: “We would just like to ask why the fighting lasted for more than 10 hours? Why was there no reinforcement?”
Aquino answered: “10 a.m. I was in Zamboanga. [Special Action Force director Getulio] Napenas started texting me around 7:15 the troops were
fighting. I said, send reinforcement so I thought it was already ok.”
“I did not know that that was not true. And I did not know that the 84th was also dragged into the fight in the early afternoon. If we suppose you text your friend so that you’d meet at the [Mall of Asia], is it that easy for you to go there immediately?” Aquino said.
Another family said: “We hope sir we can get justice. We hope we can show them that the government is more powerful than them.”
Aquino answered: “Why, what is justice for you? Aren’t we doing it already? What do you want me to do, get the fingerprints of the enemy? They are so many. Just so we can find out who killed your relatives?”
“My father was also killed so I know how you feel kaya patas na rin tayo ngayon [so we are all square now],” Aquino said.
The widow said Aquino would even laugh at the questions of the families, repeatedly blaming relieved Special Action Force director Getulio Napenas for the incident.
“We had a lot of questions, but at one point he said: ‘Look, is my face red?’ What does that mean? He was even grinning. It was really insulting because he could not give answers to our questions. He was laughing while answering our questions,” the widow said.
The widow said she had the impression that Aquino was washing his hands of any responsibility.
Endquote.
As expected, the content of the report was denied by Malacanang and the Philippine National Police.
******
I can understand Noynoy’s and his minions’ desperate attempt to change the perception of the people about him as a poor leader with evident inability to show genuine empathy for the kith and kin of the brutally murdered SAF commandos by the BIFF and the MILF. However, nothing can change that now. It is already permanently etched in the heart and mind of every Filipino.
Neither can any amount of re-telling change the perception of the people that what is more important to him is to save the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) no matter what.
As everyone knows, the BBL as drafted is full of unconstitutional provisions that no right thinking Filipino would want it approved, except of course some in the congress of baboons residing in the Senate and the House of Representatives who could easily be swayed by an offer of more largesse from Malacanang, especially with elections only months away.
The end result of the present draft will be the dismemberment of the Republic. Peace in Mindanao will almost certainly not ensue with its adoption. Past experience has shown us that.
What is needed is an agreement that will serve the interests of the entire Filipino nation, not just those of the Muslim faith. Short of that, nothing will work, except perhaps the total annihilation of those who are not willing to compromise for the sake of a just and lasting peace.
I believe, therefore, that one of the best ways Noynoy can redeem himself in the eyes of the people is to go for a renegotiation of a new agreement with the MILF and all the other stakeholders in the region without, repeat, without the participation of any foreign power in whatever form.
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 (Nobel Peace Prize? Love for the Malaysians and the Americans?) that does not jibe with the national interest.
If the MILF does not agree, sorry. But that’s the way it has to be. If they still consider themselves as Filipinos in a real autonomous region, they should have no problem with that unless, of course, they have a different kind of agenda up their sleeves.
Oh, Teresita Deles and Miriam Ferrer should be replaced as negotiators and hanged by their b….s for coming up with an atrocious agreement and defending it like they belong to the other side.
******
The hoped-for positive reaction of the MILF to a call for confidence-building measures like returning the pillaged weapons and personal effects of the “Fallen 44” was less than sincere. The few weapons returned were “cannibalized”.
Also, I think the rebels directly involved in the murder of the SAF commandos are not likely to be turned over by the MILF.
The chief presidential spokesman said there is no date set for the turnover.
“If you look at the bigger picture, it might be unrealistic to impose a deadline because of the challenging issues involved here,” he said.
Why, pray tell, do we have to be “nice and understanding” to people who have mercilessly, cruelly and brutally murdered the “Fallen 44”?
The murderers should be turned over pronto! Justice delayed is justice denied, period.
(The MILF rejected last Sunday calls to surrender its fighters involved in the Mamasapano Massacre!!!)
******
The call for the resignation or impeachment of Noynoy from several quarters is really not absurd. Nearly five years of Noynoy’s inept governance have left them bewildered and frustrated. One can readily understand their feeling.
There was great hope in the beginning, especially when Noynoy professed his “daang matuwid” slogan. Admittedly, he has made some good stride in that direction. Unfortunately, he fell short when it came to dealing with the inept and corrupt people in his cabinet, other government agencies and some of his KKKKKKKs.
If he is serious about trying to regain the trust and confidence of his bosses he should forthwith get rid of them and let their deputies take over while he is looking for the right replacements. He should waste no time doing this to show his bosses he is decisive and means business this time. He can no longer afford to procrastinate in this matter. He only has 16 months left in his term to try and redeem himself before the eyes of his bosses.
Too, he can no longer afford to have another major mishap from now.
Take the MRT mess, for instance. Heaven forbid, but should another accident take place that claims many lives, his goose is cooked. With or without an exit plan, he will surely have to exit just the same. How? Nobody knows. But exit he will.
The looming power shortage is also like a dark cloud hovering over his head. Should it come to pass, it will consign him to the dustbin of our history as the King of Darkness, just as the beloved Cory was dubbed the Queen of Darkness, ironically during the homestretch of her watch as well. Already, extended brownouts are occurring in some parts of the land and summer is not even here yet.
******
Last October 21, I wrote the following:
President Noynoy Aquino’s fellow Amboy of a foreign secretary, Albert del Rosario, announced with alacrity that the US has agreed to pay the Philippines P87 million ($2 million) for inflicting severe damage on more than 2,000 square meters of national heritage site Tubbataha Reef when a US Navy minesweeper, the USS Guardian, ran aground there early last year.
On the other hand, for damaging only 890 square meters of a coral reef in the State of Hawaii five years ago, the US Navy paid P610 million (about $15 million)!
Americans = Pikers.
Filipinos = Suckers.
*******
Reminders (for Noynoy):
1) Filing of charges against officials of the National Food Authority (NFA) during Arroyo’s illegitimate regime. Noynoy himself said on several occasions that there is documentary evidence to prove the venalities in the past in that agency. That was more than four and a half years ago.
2) Investigation of reported anomalies in the GSIS during the watch of Winston Garcia and order his successor, Robert “Pretty Boy” Vergara, to file the proper charges, if warranted, against the former.
Noynoy should also order Vergara to report to him on COA’s findings that:
(a) He received the obscenely excessive compensation of P16.36 million in 2012 making him the highest paid government servant then. He was also the highest paid in 2013 with P12.09 million. I wouldn’t be surprised if he again tops the list in 2014; and
(b) That over a year ago, at least P4.13 billion in contributions and loan payments made by 12 government offices, maybe more by now, to the GSIS had not been credited to the offices as of Dec. 31, 2011.
COA also said that the amount of unrecorded remittances could go much higher because only 36 agencies have at that time responded out of the 186 that were sent confirmation requests by government auditors. Of the 36, 27 confirmed “discrepancies” in their premium and loan payments ledgers when compared with those of the GSIS.
There are three questions being raised when remittances, or parts thereof, of government agencies are not recorded by the GSIS on time: a) Where are these huge sums “parked” in the meantime?; b) Do they earn interest?; and c) To where (whom?) does the interest, if any, go?
Pray tell, Mr. Vergara, what is the present status of these funds, including those that may have been remitted since and not yet recorded by the GSIS? How long do you think you can “dedma” these questions?
I believe it is time for COA to follow up on what Vergara has done on the above findings so that affected GSIS members would know the status of their contributions!
In this connection, I would like to address this question to Ms. Heidi Mendoza of COA: “Is Vergara one of the sacred cows in Noynoy’s coterie whom you are afraid to investigate?”
******
Today is the 298th 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. Or, for that matter, the items in the Reminders above. It is beginning to look like it will not be during Noynoy’s watch.
******
From an internet friend:
A police officer in a small town stopped a motorist who was speeding down Main Street. ”But officer,” the man said, ”I can explain.”
”Just be quiet!” snapped the officer. ”Or I’m going to let you cool off in jail until the chief gets back.”
”But officer, I just wanted to say…”
”And I said KEEP QUIET! Now you’re going to jail!”
A few hours later, the officer checked up on his prisoner and said, ”Lucky for you the chief is at his daughter’s wedding. He’ll be in a great mood when he gets here.”
”Don’t count on it,” said the prisoner. ”I’m the groom.”

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