Sunday, April 5, 2015

Lies upon lies

By Jojo Robles

The lies just keep on coming. And because the policy of lying about what happened last Jan. 25 in Maguindanao has already been set by the Liar-in-Chief, new lies will only be heaped upon the old ones, until – the government hopes – nobody can really tell what’s true anymore.
To the demand of a group of left-leaning congressmen who prepared a set of 20 questions for President Noynoy Aquino, whom they asked to attend the resumption of the House hearings on the Mamasapano Massacre after Holy Week, Malacanang replied: Talk to your leaders.
But Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda was, as usual, being facetious. What he really meant was, the palace-oriented leadership of Congress had already ruled out any appearance by the President at the hearings when they resume.
And then Lacierda ventured into out-and-out lying, when he said that Aquino had already answered the questions raised by the Makabayan Bloc of Congress, so there was no need for the President to testify anymore. And then Lacierda let loose with the whopper, the big lie of the day:
“Again, we’d like to emphasize the commitment of the President to uncovering the truth [about Mamasapano],” Lacierda. And he told this brazen lie with the straightest of faces, one worthy of that long-forgotten straight path that his boss once promised to take us on.
But let’s break down Lacierda’s two latest hits: First, on the matter of Aquino already answering the questions posed by the congressmen – this is obviously a canard.
Aquino has not, by any stretch of the imagination, answered the first batch of questions posed by the Makabayan congressmen, which have to do with the involvement of suspended (and now resigned) PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima. What Aquino did was to blame the commander of the Special Action Force, Director Getulio Napenas, for taking orders (or “advice”) from the suspended official.
Elsewhere, Aquino included Purisima among those who fooled him about his order for coordination with the military. Then, in subsequent pronouncements, Aquino – probably because he remembered that Purisima is his bosom buddy – never mentioned the suspended police chief again.
Aquino never mentioned the involvement of the American military (or the reported involvement of other countries, like Malaysia) in the operation to extract wanted terrorist Marwan. The allegations about the possible involvement of foreign soldiers or officials were never discussed by Aquino in all the four instances that he talked about the massacre.
These are just two burning questions that the congressmen are itching to ask the President. He certainly cannot claim to have answered them to any significant extent anywhere.
And then, there’s the supposed commitment of Aquino to get to the bottom of what happened last Jan. 25. If Aquino were really determined to get at the truth, I’m certain he wouldn’t mind being asked questions about the incident, right?
After all, if Aquino sincerely believes that the House is still made up of his yes-men (like Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, the leader of the chamber whom Lacierda correctly implied had already ruled out any direct testimony to be given by the President in the hearings), then he has nothing to fear. And if he is really telling the truth and has nothing to hide, he should already be booking an appearance at the House hearings.
There are questions, after all, that only Aquino can answer in detail and with certainty. Given the secrecy of the get-Marwan operation, none of his subordinates can answer them for him.
As for me, I’d like Aquino to answer an additional question, if he ever shows up at the House hearings: Since he has already ripped apart the Board of Inquiry and Senate reports on the incident, what does he think of the report prepared by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front?
Understand, Aquino has not commented on the MILF report on the massacre, which gained its share of notoriety by claiming, among other things, that the SAF commandos used their dead colleagues as human shields to explain why their bodies had become so riddled with bullets. Does Aquino, by staying silent on the MILF report, believe that this is the most accurate account of what happened that day in Mamasapano?
* * *
Aquino has already announced that he has said all that he will about the massacre. But even he, in his lucid moments, must realize that it’s not what he’s said so far but what he has hidden from our knowledge that really needs clarification from him.
Of course, I think it’s a safe bet that Aquino would never show up in the Batasan when the Mamasapano hearings resume. If he does that, he will just be tripped up by his own lies and his refusal to tell everything he knows “to uncover the truth.”
Truth is, Aquino has lied to us from Day One. And he’s not ever going to give anyone the chance to get at the truth, having so carefully covered it under a mountain of lies.

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