Category: noynoy

mamasapano mystery

so the police report is out, and a senate draft report, too, and the consensus is in.  the buck stops with the president, not with napenas.  and we people who thought the president was, is, ultimately responsible for the tragic outcome, we are feeling vindicated.

the consequent drop in approval and trust ratings should move the president, if he is smart, to change tactics.  this is the time to think out of the box, no, out of the corner he has painted himself into, if he wants to come out of this with any semblance of gravity or grace.

for one, the president should stop defending the indefensible.  the story that he gave napenas, or is it purisima, orders to coordinate with the AFP but he was disobeyed, lied to, fooled, does not fly.

it needs elaboration because it raises more questions, like why was he not fully on top of it, a mission so important and so delicate,  given the MILF arena and the peace talks.  and knowing of the rift between SAF and the AFP, why did he not sit them all down, together, purisima and napenas with espina and catapang, and order them to coordinate and to prevent any leaks that would alert marwan and usman (not to speak of the MILF), or else!  and why was the MILF not informed, kahit time-on-target lang, so they could start to get the word out to their people and their troops: keep your heads down, hindi tayo ang sadya nila, hindi tayo ang kalaban.  unless, of course,  totoo ang tsismis na kanlong-kanlong nila sina marwan at usman?

for another, the president should stop hitting at napenas, who is a victim, too, of mamasapano.  wala na siyang ginawang tama?  LOL.  then the same should be said of the ones who ordered him around.  and what about the latest from the prez, that napenas could have aborted the operation nuong behind schedule na, buking liwayway na.

The President said that during the actual execution of the operation, Napenas had two instances when he could have aborted the mission.

These include the late arrival of the first SAF seaborne unit resulting in only 13 commandos crossing the river to the target area, and the late arrival of the reinforcing units for the extraction.

like i replied to a comment here, six americans were looking over napenas’s shoulder at the time.  surely there was a consensus to continue.  and surely the president knew of the american presence, because if he didn’t, what would that say of the president?  and of the american presence?

people power redux

yes, we are thoroughly appalled by the president’s (mis)handling of mamasapano and distressed by his continuing silence.  it’s as if he’s incognizant of the public outrage, or is he just disdainful of, and so refuses to dignify, the widespread sentiment that he owes the nation an explanation for his actions, and non-actions, and their consequences.

or maybe it’s all deliberate, keeping us in the dark, on fractious mode — the lack of credible information preventing intelligent and constructive discussion that might lead to consensus?

whatever, the fact remains that neither the Left (teddy casino atbp.) nor the Right (norberto gonzales, peping cojuangco, the mitsubishops, atbp.) nor any coalition of anti-aquino forces is capable of summoning the kind of people power it would take to compel the president to step down.  in 1986 anti-marcos forces were solidly behind cory as replacement, and that makes all the difference.

if the Left and the Right truly care about moving the nation forward from mamasapano with some really hard lessons learned, they would be echoing, adding their voices to, the people’s demand that the president come out, come clean, give us a candid account of his role, and america’s, in oplan exodus.

we don’t want the president to step down, we want the president to tell us what really happened and why he couldn’t stop it from turning out so badly.  we don’t want the president to step down, we want the president to empower us with the information we need to ask informed questions and make informed decisions come 2016.  we don’t want the president to step down, we want the president to tell all, now na, or, okay, on feb 25 at the latest.

in EDSA 1986 cory was compelled to reconcile differences with enrile, and vice versa, in order to achieve marcos’s ouster.  this EDSA anniversary seems like a good time for noynoy to reconcile differences with a nation that would forgive him naman.  then, just maybe, history will remember him kindly, warts and all.

the finger of marwan

at monday’s senate hearing napeñas said that he didn’t get to see marwan’s finger.  when he asked for it, he was told that it was already on the way to general santos city where FBI agents were waiting.

tuesday, when senator loren asked why the finger was turned over to the FBI and not to our NBI, napeñas declined to answer because of “security implications.”  he requested an executive session instead, and the senators had no objection — i guess they like knowing important stuff that the rest of us ordinary mortals are not allowed to know.

i would think the answer to why the finger was turned over to the FBI is simple.  our NBI does not have the technology for DNA analysis, or the DNA files of marwan’s family to seek a match with.

the question really is, bakit ang bilis na nakarating ng daliri sa mga kano?  bakit ni hindi man lang ipinaalam muna kay napeñas bago i-turn over sa mga kano?  because the kano was already around and didn’t want to wait?  where exactly were they?

hey, joe! epic fail, joe?

let’s hope that senator grace poe who will be conducting the senate hearings on mamasapano is taking note, and preparing to get to the bottom, of stories in different major dailies re american involvement in that january 25 carnage of SAF commandos, muslim rebels, and civilians.

manilastandardtoday‘s “Marwan’s calls tapped” tells how suspended police chief alan purisima and US troops used drones and marwan’s wife as a “tracer” to pinpoint the precise location of the world’s most wanted terrorist.

inquirer‘s “US hand fingered in anti-Marwan operation” tells that the 84th and 55th SAF troops trained with americans in a zamboanga facility, and that the mamasapano ops was planned and fully funded by the americans.  and today inquirer reports that a “US drone watched Mamapasano debacle.”

manilatimes‘ “PNoy ordered AFP, SAF to stand down” tells that the SAF commandos only served as police escorts for a team of US agents who were allowed by the MILF to enter mamasapano in exchange for an entrance fee of P60M, and that before the US agents could proceed with the capture, the MILF demanded the balance of the bounty but the US agents balked and soon after all hell broke loose; allegedly the president and bff purisima were monitoring it all from a US drone facility in zamboanga.

online, mindanaotimes‘ “US Embassy denies it helped SAF in Mamasapano operation” tells of eye-witness reports of a caucasian among the dead and a US helicopter carrying off “specific bodies.”

of course the americans are denying any involvement, it was a purely filipino police operation, except for the extrication phase when, allegedly, philippine officials asked for help.  not surprisingly the president has neither confirmed nor denied the american hand, but given the long history of american intervention in our affairs, and given the EDCA’s expanded american presence in gross violation of the constitution, the stories ring true.

via facebook, gina apostol weighs in:

His boss is America. We keep forgetting that, and I wish the news agencies would do the investigative reports on the imperial issue. It would blow away all the smoke and mirrors of this operation. “Hindi sa bawat pagkakataon ay hinihiling nila ang pahintulot ko, dahil impraktikal naman kung hintayin pa nila ang clearance mula sa akin,” Aquino said. We need to deconstruct Aquino’s statements: he clearly has a boss, and it is not the Filipino people.

Planeta Amerika. Should not people also be looking and grieving about the US connection—how implicated America’s geopolitical aims are in this operation? Should not journalists be looking at that issue a lot more carefully? The emotional focus just gets so strange. I get it. I get the sadness. But if we don’t address our complicity here in the US’s so-called war on terror that, as we can see, will run roughshod over us as collateral, we are also doing a grievous injury upon the widows and orphans. We are collateral in someone else’s war. That’s what we are. It is so obvious in this operation against American targets, Marwan and Usman. The US has a $6-million dollar bounty on their heads. Why is the Philippines doing the job of America’s army? That is also the question the widows should be asking the President.

Wonder why, if the govt was keen not to use the AFP at all (because that would so-called hurt the peace process), why would the AFP request US helicopters to pick up casualties? Why is this story so convoluted? … most Filipinos are not interested in knowing about US involvement in Mindanao (it’s easier to have personal shouting grudge matches against the president and so on). When we say the buck stops at President Aquino, we should be asking him truths about the role of the US in the deaths at Mamasapano. It is our right as citizens to know. (and if it derails the peace process, which the citizens of Mindanao want and need—that really sucks).

Those linked to the yellow EDSA crowd share with the Marcos technocrats of old a similar response to US involvement in Philippine events (and I won’t even mention the idiots in Erap and GMA’s govts): they pretend it is absent. The focus instead is on intramural politics. If not PNoy then Binay: kadiri! And so on. I wish leading voices like Solita Monsod would also push the analysis on structural problems of Philippine governance—our reliance on foreign powers that undermine our sovereignty, and so enabling corruption, disabling human rights, endangering peace. I understand that this is only one of many columns Monsod has written (I do not follow her): but in the light of the terrible implications of this incident in Mindanao, this blubber is just so disappointingly hollow, shallow, empty, missing the point. Really painful to read. I feel most for the ordinary citizens of Mindanao, caught in this conflict, who for so long have been desperately hoping for peace: and this peace process was a light in that tunnel. I really was on the side of Aquino here in the govt’s peace process; and Justice Sereno’s voice on this was so encouraging for me. But for too many people with a voice in Manila, this is only another plot in their long long long soap opera of who among them should have power. A strong effort by people like Solita Monsod to go after the links to US involvement in Mamasapano would help reveal to Filipinos who we are as a people—a dependent neocolony that has become collateral in someone else’s war so that its own citizens do not have to die like the Filipinos do? Is that who we are? Somewhat more interesting than whether PNoy’s lack of a wife makes him a better, less corruptible person. A shameful focus. The fact is, our personalan, scandal-based politics—from Quezon in the early days of US occupation to now—has been hugely effective in keeping us under the thumb of US interests that, in fact, have been killing us since 1898. Our personalan politics—its shallow analysis of governance—provides cover for imperial aims. The Manila burgis political operatives have blood on their hands, too. (And they’ve had it since the Arellano/Legarda/Paterno/Pardo de Taveras of the early Federalistas hung on to WH Taft’s fat figure for dear life in 1899. Same old names—same old Manila burgis classes fucking us up, really.) But in my view, as long as we keep pushing for deeper analysis, not just personalan, maybe we can do better—maybe we can truly probe. Kung hindi tayo aasa, wala tayong magagawa.

also on facebook, herbie docena notes:

ZERO DARK THIRTY GONE HAYWIRE: So it’s becoming clearer and clearer now as we put the pieces together. The Americans wanted a completely-secret, commando-type capture of ‘Marwan’ ala the celebrated capture of Bin Laden: “Zero Dark Thirty” not in Abbottabad but in Tukanalipao. As in Pakistan, US officials pushed President Aquino to execute the mission, provided the intelligence, and likely promised to give the Philippine government other forms of covert support. As in Pakistan, where the Americans have learned not to trust the Pakistani military command, because of their corruption and their ties to the enemy, the Americans insisted on complete secrecy, on keeping everyone else but Aquino and his chosen ones involved, so as not to compromise the mission. And Aquino went along–nevermind that this set-up would have heightened the risks for the troops to be deployed, nevermind that it would have violated the Constitution because it in effect means the US military were engaging in “combat” in Philippine territory, and nevermind that the operation would risksmortally wounding the peace agreement that the government had been negotiating with the Moro rebels.

Their mistake? They seemed to have forgotten, or chose to go ahead despite the complications arising from the possibility that, unlike bin Laden who was hiding in a fortified compound isolated from the population, Marwan could be hiding in the middle of a village, among people who saw themselves as resistance fighters fighting a war of liberation, who may have been ordered to observe a ceasefire, as per the agreement with the occupation forces, but who–perhaps because those occupation forces have violated past agreements many times before–stood ready to fight back when attacked. This decision in turn seems to have rested on a deeper assumption: that the ‘natives’ or the ‘googoos’ would simply roll over, play along with their plan, and refuse to fire back when fired upon. In short, the US and their Filipino accomplices may have been tripped by the same colonial attitude that has tripped many an imperial force in history: their contempt towards the natives.

Perhaps this account is still missing important elements to complete the story; maybe a few details are wrong. But that only means we should continue to demand answers and press for a genuinely independent truth commission. At the same time, however, we should not be intimidated into waiting for the results of any “official investigation” and be forced to suspend our judgment because, given the stakes and given that nothing less than the “deep state” is involved, those who have everything to lose from “we, the people” knowing the truth–those who have everything to gain from us failing to make up our minds–will do everything they can to hide the truth and prevent us from rendering our judgment.

So far, several conclusions are becoming increasingly difficult to dispute (and I appeal to those who have a different information to dispute them, for the sake of our collective search for truth): The US gave the orders. President Aquino went along. And in so doing, he violated the constitutional provision that foreign military troops should not be involved in combat operations in the country. He put the lives not just of Filipino security forces but also of Moro civilians and rebels at risk. And he sabotaged the peace process. He should be held accountable not merely for refusing to show up at the fallen policemen’s arrival honors. He should be held accountable for so much more than just insensitivity or indecency.