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Both the Board of Inquiry and the Senate Committee reports on Mamasapano point out US involvement in the botched operation to get Marwan and Usman, both wanted men by the US government.
The reports are official admissions by Philippine authorities that the US did play a role in the fiasco in Mamasapano. The reports refute earlier pronouncements by the US embassy that there was no US involvement in the operation. The Senate report in particular refutes the statements of the Department of Foreign Affairs that the operation was 100% Filipino.

The two reports however stopped short of truly uncovering the US role. They have given us more questions than answers. There should be another venue to probe the actual extent of US involvement in the police operation that claimed at least 67 Filipino lives.

Here are some questions that need to be answered so that a full accounting of the responsibilities of the principal actors in the operation can be made.

  1. Was Aquino, as commander-in-chief and chief architect of foreign policy, at any time aware of the involvement of the US in the plans to get Marwan? Did he allow US participation all the way to the Tactical Command Post which was the nerve center of the entire operation?
  2. Who exactly were the six Americans at the Tactical Command Post? Were they mere private contractors and if so, which US agency hired them? Were they from the Joint Special Operations Task Force Philippines? Or the CIA or FBI? Napenas called the Americans his “counterparts”, implying that they were acting in some official capacity on behalf of the US government. Who was Allan Katz or Allan Konz? What is his designation?
  3. Did the US extend funding for this operation? This question is relevant because the BOI says the P100,000 budget claimed by SAF Director Napenas was unrealistic. If the operation did not go through regular chain of command, Napenas must have gotten funding from somewhere else. Was it the US who was funding the operation? How will this be audited, if at all?
  4. What exactly were the six Americans doing at the Tactical Command Post? Were they simply watching from monitors or giving orders to their Filipino counterparts? Why would one American have the audacity to order a Filipino general to fire artillery? Was this the type of relationship he had with the SAF? Under what existing military agreement are these Americans able to participate in a combat operation by being at the Tactical Command Post?
  5. If indeed the US was able to provide real-time information on the location of the Filipino troops and other armed groups, why was there a problem with providing grid-coordinates so that the Philippine military could rescue the surrounded SAF troopers, particularly the 55th SAF? Is it true that the sole focus of the US forces were the 84th Seaborne because they had the evidence of Marwan’s death?

The Board of Inquiry created by the DILG to look into the Mamasapano operation released its report today to the public. Here are the five biggest losers as a result of the report.

  1. President Benigno Aquino III –  It was he who approved Oplan Exodus, which the BOI would describe as a plan that was defective from the start. It was Aquino who allowed the participation of the suspended PNP Chief Alan Purisima in the operation, thereby violating the PNP chain of command and the Ombudsman suspension order. It was Aquino who did not give any guidance insofar as the peace negotiations with the MILF was concerned. The BOI report exposed as lies many of the statements initially given by the President, including the claim that Purisima was merely a consultant on operational jargon and that as president, he did not personally approve the plan to get Marwan.
  2. General Alan Purisima – If Aquino was the one who approved Oplan Exodus, the suspended Purisima was its implementor, along with SAF Director Getulio Napenas. Purisima no longer was part of the chain of command. He had no authority coordinating meetings and giving instructions to PNP personnel. He had no authority coordinating with other agencies and officials. Purisima also took it upon himself to coordinate with the AFP Chief of Staff, which he obviously failed to do. Purisima, not the PNP OIC, was the one updating the president at the early stages of the fighting in Mamasapano.
  3. Gen. Getulio Napenas – The former SAF director knowingly violated the chain of command by taking orders from the suspended Purisima and by not reporting to the PNP OIC. The BOI also thought that the plan presented by Napenas was doomed to fail. The BOI did not agree with the time-on-target concept of Napenas, which the BOI said was incompatible with the protocols of the PNP.
  4. The US government – Despite denials by the US embassy, the BOI report pointed out that the US government was involved in the Mamasapano operation, particularly in intelligence gathering, real-time intel, as well as medical evacuation. The BOI report affirmed that there were 6 Americans at the tactical command post of the SAF on the eve of the operation, during the operation and up to the time of the evacuation of the wounded. The BOI report also affirmed that the principal evidence of Marwans’ death, his finger, was brought to the FBI and not to the PNP. The BOI report exposes the US government as having lied about its real involvement in the bloody operation. It could be assumed that the PNP SAF were reporting directly to their US counterparts and that, in an anomalous turn, the US already knew of the Marwan operation ahead of local officials such as the PNP OIC and the DILG secretary.
  5. DILG secretary Mar Roxas – After releasing the BOI report to the public, Roxas blames Purisima for the Mamasapano fiasco but DEFENDS the President. His statements to the media today were untenable to say the least. The conclusions of the BOI report were pretty self-explanatory yet Roxas chose to look the other way when it came to the liability of the President. So pathetic was Mar that one reporter squirmed at his statements exonerating the President. He could have gained much respect if he had taken an independent stance and not kissed the butt of the President. But alas, Mar blew his chance. Not even his showdown with Junjun Binay can save his political stock now.

The Filipino people may end up losers too in the end if we do not act now to hold accountable those responsible for Mamasapano. The BOI report merely affirmed what we already knew and suspected. To take the position of Roxas, to act as if the President was not at all responsible, is to deny the evidence staring us in the face. It is to accept without the least resistance, the lies and excuses of those who are liable for the tragic incident.

We have had enough. Now more than ever, Aquino must go.

“Yellow” Logic

Posted: March 11, 2015 in Uncategorized

Pag critical sa BBL, tawag agad ay “enemy of peace”.

Pag kontra sa palpak na CARP, ang tawag agad ay pro-landlord.

Pag kontra kay Aquino, kampi daw kasi kay Binay.

Pag kontra sa US, pro-China agad ang turing.

Yellow logic is quite similar to the George W. Bush mindset. “Your’re either with us or against us.”

It is simplistic and non-sequitur. It insults our collective intelligence and covers up the wrongdoings of the current dispensation. Sila lang lagi ang tama. Lahat tayo ay mali.

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Sir, the times demand that you come out and fully explain the involvement of President Benigno Aquino III and his buddy Gen. Alan Purisima in the botched Mamasapano operation. It is not enough that you quietly take all the blame. That would be dishonoring the memory of your men. That would not bring their families closure.

Sir, what really transpired during your January 9 meeting with the President? What were his orders to you and Purisima in relation to Mamasapano?

You have to explain why you followed Purisima’s order of not coordinating early enough with the other government agencies. You have to explain whose idea really was the time-on-target coordination and what the reaction of the President was to this recommendation. You have to explain why you followed the orders of a suspended general. We all know that Purisima’s words were not just mere advice. Purisima’s words seemed to be backed up by some authority emanating from the President. You said so yourself during the Senate hearing. You had no choice but to follow since Purisima was directly in touch with the President.

At this point, Sir, you have nothing to loose. But more than that, you owe it to the nation to come out with the truth. More than 40 days have passed since Mamasapano and we’re still asking questions. Can you help by providing us real and complete answers?

Naka-recess pa ang SC ngayon, pero na-raffle na sa handling Justice ang ating Petisyon noong Enero 6. Hinihintay ngayon ang rekomendasyon ng Justice na ito kung dapat ba o hindi na maglabas ng TRO si Chief Justice Sereno. Mahalaga ngayon ang malakas at malaganap na protesta para mapalakas ng opinyong publiko kontra sa fare hike. Ito ang susi para maitulak ang Korte na maglabas ng TRO para kagyat na pigilan ang fare hike. Pinapanawagan din natin na dapat kagyat na ilabas ang TRO dahil sa walang refund ang mga komyuter kung mapatunayang labis o walang batayan ang pamasaheng kanilang binayaran. Hindi na natin mababawi pa yung ibinayad nating sobrang pasahe.

Kung hindi natin makuha nag TRO ngayong linggo, babantayan naman natin ang unang en banc session sa Enero 13, ang muling pagbubukas ng sesyon ng SC. Dito ay ipapanawagan natin sa SC na ilabas ang TRO kontra sa fare hike.

Ang ligal na laban ay tumutulong at naglilingkod sa pagpapalakas ng kilusang protesta, habang ang papaigting na protesta ang nagpapalakas sa tsansa ng ating ligal na laban.

Tuloy-tuloy lang sa panawagang ibasura ang fare hike. Tuloy-tuloy lang ang protesta! Magkikita tayo sa SC sa Enero 13!

Download the petition Bayan v. Abaya – MRT LRT fare hike petition

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Fast Food Presidency

Posted: November 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

Aquino in New York stops for a hot dog

Noynoy Aquino has been known to drop by fast food chains during his foreign trips. He went to a McDonalds in San Francisco before proceeding to a gun shop. Recently, Aquino ate at Jollibee in Singapore. Like many of Aquino’s engagements, it is a calculated media event that aims to show the President’s connection with the ordinary folk.

Yes, like you, your president also eats burgers and fries. Pinoy comfort food, says one broadsheet. He feels what you feel.

The idea is not original though. US President Barack Obama and Vice-president Joe Biden have been known to stop over burger joints to grab a bite. The same would be covered as a media event.

Aquino’s hot dog lunch in New York was supposed to be in contrast to Gloria Arroyo’s scandalous, nearly $20,000 dinner in Le Cirque which was still fresh in the minds of many Filipinos.

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Obama and Biden grab a burger in Ray’s Hell Burger in Arlington, Va.

But the attempt to appear ordinary is exposed as a sham when one looks back a few days before Jollibee in Singapore.

On November 8, first anniversary of the strongest recorded typhoon to make landfall, Aquino snubbed Yolanda survivors from Tacloban, the city that bore the brunt of Yolanda/Haiyan’s destructive force. His spokesman said that he had little time and needed to prepare for the APEC and ASEAN meettings. 

A week later, Novmeber 16, Aquino also did not bother to say anything about the victims of the Hacienda Luisita massacre, whose cause he vowed to champion in a privilege speech in November 16, 2004.

Earlier, Aquino said he would not attend the wake of murdered transgender Jennifer Laude because he doesn’t attend wakes of people he doesn’t know. One wonders what he might say on the 5th anniversary of the Maguindanao Massacre on November 23. 

For all his claims of having a common touch, Aquino appears to have nothing but apathy, nay contempt, for the common folk. Look at his record on issues such as land reform, wage and salary increases for working people, the horrible mass transportation system in Metro Manila, the privatization of hospitals, high power rates and his defense of the corrupt pork barrel system.

Aquino’s Fast Food Presidency tries desperately to project something he’s not. The photo ops try hard to conceal what he really is: a hacendero president who cares little for the plight of the poor. And there is nothing comforting about that.

Tragically enough, his presidency has as much substance and nutritional value as the items on a fast-food menu. ###

Aquino Jollibee Singapore

Aquino’s most recent fast food expedition took place in Jollibee Singapore. Photo from ANN/Singapore Straits Times/KUA CHEE SIONG