NOYNOY'S CORNER THIS PAST WEEK...

SENTIMENT TURN-AROUND: PNoy CONFIDED TO LAWMAKERS, HE FELT 'LIED TO' BY PURISIMA ON MAMASAPANO TRAGEDY


Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, wearing a black arm band, mourns by the coffin of one of the police commandos killed last Sunday, during the Philippine’s biggest single-day combat loss in recent years, at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig city, south of Manila, Philippines on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. AP FILE PHOTO MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III confided to lawmakers that he felt “lied to” by resigned police chief Alan Purisima when the latter told him reinforcement was underway but did not materialize at the height of the Mamasapano clash with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). This was a complete turn-around of the President’s sentiment about Purisima, who he even commended in his earlier speech when he announced Purisima’s resignation as police chief amid allegations that he called the shots in the botched anti-terror raid. READ MORE....

ALSO: Resignation calls on Noy marks 29th anniversary of Edsa Uno


Scene from a Feb 24 picket in front of Petron in Philcoa, Q.C. PHOTO COURTESY OF BULATLAT.COM --- The marking today of the first People Power uprising called Edsa Uno that swept former President Cory Aquino to power will ironically have as the loudest call the resignation of her son in the aftermath of the Mamasapano tragedy that claimed the lives of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos which is widely believed to have been President Aquino’s handiwork. Militant groups are holding protest actions in different parts of the country with the focal point at the Edsa Shrine all calling for the resignation of Aquino. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: This year's EDSA rites to be simple and subdued says organizers; Aquino facing most difficult challenge of his presidency


CELEBRATING FREEDOM – A worker spruces up the towering sculpture of the People Power Revolution of 1986 with mini-Philippine flags along EDSA in Quezon City ahead of the 29th anniversary celebration of the peaceful transfer of power from former dictator Ferdinand Marcos to President Corazon C. Aquino. (Mark Balmores) CELEBRATING FREEDOM – A worker spruces up the towering sculpture of the People Power Revolution of 1986 with mini-Philippine flags along EDSA in Quezon City ahead of the 29th anniversary celebration of the peaceful transfer of power from former dictator Ferdinand Marcos to President Corazon C. Aquino. (Mark Balmores) CORY’S SON --Today, on the 29th anniversary of “People Power.” the country is led by the son of the democracy icon who was installed as the 11th President of the republic by that peaceful revolution. President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, facing the most difficult challenge in his four-and-a-half year presidency arising from the Maguindanao debacle, will attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the People Power Monument, followed by a mass at the EDSA shrine. Organizers earlier announced this year’s EDSA rites will be simple and subdued since activities celebrating the 30th anniversary would be intensified next year. READ FULL STORY BY MANILA BULLETIN....

ALSO STANDARD EDITORIAL: A window into his mind


.......There is a Tagalog word for this manner of speaking—“pabalang”—usually reserved for children who talk back to their elders without respect and thinking themselves smart for doing so. Another local word, “pilosopo,” comes to mind—and it has nothing to do with being profound or deep or rational. They say one’s words betray one’s state of mind. We realize, and with horror, what this says about the mind of the person who is supposed to lead this nation. Let us brace ourselves for worse. Expect nothing less from a man of phenomenal callousness. So out of it that he might genuinely be wondering why all of us are after him.READ EDITORIAL FROM THE BEGINNING...

ALSO MANILA TIMES EDITORIAL: COVER-UP---Cowards, self-seeking men surrounded Aquino on Jan 25


"Help, help! We need backup, we need backup!" --......This new narrative tells the tale that Purisima’s lie made de facto President Aquino believe reinforcements were actually aiding the doomed PNP-SAF company. Therefore, Aquino did not have to do anything about the matter. Therefore, he should not be berated and made to account for not taking a single step to save the lives of our Fallen 44 Heroes. Also, therefore, the cowards and self-seeking men who were with him all day that tragic Sunday should not be criticized for not making the smallest sound about that horrible tragedy up to very late in the day. That is sheer BULL!  read full editorial from beginning...

ALSO: Don’t cross the line, Palace warns Noy's uncle


NOY's UNCLE --- Malacañang yesterday took a strong stance against former Tarlac Rep. Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr., warning the presidential uncle to stay behind the line, especially on openly expressing his sentiments for President Aquino to step down. Anchoring on claims made by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on the limits to freedom of expression, presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr, in a radio interview, said while the free flow of sentiments on various issues is a sign of a “healthy democracy,” it should not include expressing change in government which is not in line of the Constitution. CONTINUE READING...

Aquino's EDSA speech: Cited his dead father anew, Binay restricted below the stage at Edsa rites


President Benigno Simeon Aquino III leads commemorative activities of the 29th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution in White Plains Avenue corner EDSA on Wednesday (February 25, 2015). Also in photo are EPPC commissioner Herminio “Ogie” Alcasid, Jr., Executive Secretary and EDSA People Power Commission chairperson Paquito Ochoa, Jr. and EPPC commissioner Cesar Sarino. (Photo by Gil Nartea / Lauro Montellano, Jr. / Malacañang Photo Bureau----When VP Binay was asked why he opted to stay at the People Power Monument and not join the other government officials at the EDSA Shrine, Binay said one of the event organizers advised him to do so and not because of any other political reason. “Unang-una, napag-utusan akong dito bumaba. Ang aking pakiramdam naman, kasi siguro ang nasa isip 'nung nagsabi, dito ako dahil sa kasama ako talaga dito. Kasama ako sa nag-martsa dito,” Binay said, referring to his participation in the 1986 "unity march" that marked the convergence of the civilians and the military to hold a three-day protest at the EDSA Shrine. READ FULL REPORT FROM BEGINNING...
 


READ FULL MEDIA NEWS REPORT:

Aquino felt ‘lied to’ by Purisima on Mamasapano tragedy, solons bare

MANILA, MARCH 2, 2015 (INQUIRER) Marc Jayson Cayabyab @MJcayabyabINQ - Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, wearing a black arm band, mourns by the coffin of one of the police commandos killed last Sunday, during the Philippine’s biggest single-day combat loss in recent years, at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig city, south of Manila, Philippines on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III confided to lawmakers that he felt “lied to” by resigned police chief Alan Purisima when the latter told him reinforcement was underway but did not materialize at the height of the Mamasapano clash with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

This was a complete turn-around of the President’s sentiment about Purisima, who he even commended in his earlier speech when he announced Purisima’s resignation as police chief amid allegations that he called the shots in the botched anti-terror raid.

In a press conference, Cagayan De Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez revealed the details of their Monday meeting with the President, who urged the lawmakers to regain their support for the Bangsamoro basic bill (BBL) despite the MILF’s involvement in the slaughter of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) cops.

Rodriguez said the President was showing them text messages by Purisima that the containment forces battling out with the MILF and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters were “supported by mechanized and artillery support.”

But this reinforcement was only deployed around 8:20 a.m., as opposed to Purisima’s text message around 8:17 a.m. that the support had already been given.

Purisima said he only based his text message on Western Command chief Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero, but the latter said he only meant the tank and artillery were in place but not yet deployed.

Because of Purisima’s text messages, Aquino was led to believe that the operation was going as planned. It was at this point that Aquino felt he was lied to, Rodriguez said.

“Based on the texts shown to us… Purisima told the President that the mechanized brigade and artillery of the armed forces are already supporting the SAF, which is wrong,” Rodriguez said.

“The president felt he was lied to. That was his quote,” added the lawmaker who chairs the ad hoc committee tackling the BBL.

Aquino also felt “betrayed” by sacked Special Action Force (SAF) commander Getulio Napenas who failed to comply with his order to coordinate with the police and the military about the operation.


PHOTO COURTESY OF GMA NEWS: Napeñas: It is not my words against the words of Gen. Catapang.

Napenas said he did not coordinate with the military because of past operations that were botched by insiders in the military. He has also said that he did not coordinate with police officer in charge Leonardo Espina upon the “advice” of Purisima, who was authorized to oversee the mission despite his suspension for graft charges.

“He felt betrayed by Napenas because they disobeyed the order. The days before the incident were for Napenas to coordinate with the armed forces and the police units,” Rodriguez said.

The same statement from Aquino was confirmed by Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora, also present in the meeting.

Zamora said Aquino was asked if he was misled to thinking that the operation meant to take down Malaysian international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir and his local deputy Abdul Basit Usman was winding down.

“Ang sagot ng Pangulo, tingin ko hindi lang (ako) na-misled. I had been told lies,” Zamora said in a radio interview.

“I still remember the word (the President used): ‘I had been lied to,’” he added.


TRIBUNE

Resignation calls on Noy marks 29th anniversary of Edsa Uno Written by Mario J. Mallari
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 00:00


Scene from a Feb 24 picket in front of Petron in Philcoa, Q.C. PHOTO COURTESY OF BULATLAT.COM --- The marking today of the first People Power uprising called Edsa Uno that swept former President Cory Aquino to power will ironically have as the loudest call the resignation of her son in the aftermath of the Mamasapano tragedy that claimed the lives of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos which is widely believed to have been President Aquino’s handiwork.

Militant groups are holding protest actions in different parts of the country with the focal point at the Edsa Shrine all calling for the resignation of Aquino.

The multisectoral group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said it will hold an interfaith prayer and a human chain along Edsa which are also intended to mark the first month of the Mamasapano incident.

On Feb. 27, Bayan said it will hold a separate march to Mendiola to call on Aquino to step down. Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said the peaceful protests are intended to provide a venue for the people’s outrage over Aquino’s role in the Mamasapano incident.


T-shirt na banat kay PNoy, suot ng ilan sa kalahok sa mga aktibidad sa EDSA shrine @dzbb "Anak bakit ka nagka-ganyan"

The interfaith and human chain for truth in Mamasapano is to be held in front of Camp Crame at around 3 p.m. The group will then proceed to the People Power Monument built after Edsa 1 in Ortigas, corner Edsa.

“Aquino seems to forget the lessons of Edsa land even the regime of GMA. Government-sponsored repression will only heighten public outrage,” Reyes of Bayan warned.
Farmers, farmworkers, fisherfolk and women from Pamalakaya Pilipinas, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Amihan and Anakpawis also held a “public hearing” at Plaza Miranda yesterday before holding a protest march to Mendiola.

Various alliances coming from Southern Tagalog led by “REMOVE Aquino” presented “People’s Declaration” in Baclaran Church calling for Aquino’s resignation last night prior to joining today’s rallies.

REsign MOVEment vs Aquino (REMOVE Aquino) held various forms of mass-ups, community assemblies, protest actions, educational discussions, formation of protest centers and regional mobile teams in different provinces to inform and encourage the people of Southern Tagalog to join the call of “Aquino Resign,” Bayan said in a statement.

Bayan – Southern Tagalog delegates are expected to converge at Edsa today to join the nationwide protests calling for truth and accountability over the Mamasapano incident, and to unite with the growing calls for Aquino to resign.

Southern Tagalog workers led by the Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan – Kilusang Mayo Uno (PAMANTIK-KMU), have formed teams a week earlier to help mobilize more people to participate in the Oust Aquino rally in February 25.

The workers said they are trying to explain to the public the need and importance of their participation in the call to oust Noynoy Aquino.

“This is the utmost time to oust an inutile, corrupt, fascist, US puppet, and incompetent president,” PAMANTIK secretary general Allan Bagas said.

“We need to oust Noynoy Aquino to finally establish a transition council that will usher genuine pro-people change in our country’s system of governance, it said.

Similar to leaders the Filipino public have ousted or threatened before with people power, President Aquino is being accused of resorting to deployment of state forces to shock and awe critics.

Bayan’s Reyes said that “Instead of heeding the people’s call for truth and accountability, the Aquino regime is using tactics similar to Arroyo’s calibrated preemptive response policy.” He noted that Aquino is using “overkill police deployment.”

On top of that, Reyes said, legal cases are threatened to be slapped against critics of the Aquino regime.

“The intended effect of all these is to discourage people from coming out and joining mass protests,” Reyes said.


Tweeted:
manny vargas ‏@VargasMannysen ---Bawat lagusan paakyat sa EDSA Shrine, hinarangan; bantay-sarado ng PNP at PAF CDM units @dzbb

Meanwhile, thousands from Cavite started a march yesterday under “Aquino Resign Movement – Cavite (ARM Cavite).”

In another statement, Marlene Gonzalez, spokesman of ARM Cavite, said they will light up the streets of Cavite with blazing torches as they march all the way from Bacoor City to Edsa Shrine via the coastal road. They expect hostile reaction from state forces.

Police said they had laid out security preparations for today’s events which will be highlighted by a “unity walk” between top officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) along Edsa.

AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. said that the “unity walk” , a reenactment of the historic march by police and military personnel against the Marcos dictatorship in 1986, is a symbolic one amid the “blame game” between the PNP and AFP leadership regarding the Mamasapano, Maguindanao clash.


MANILA BULLETIN

This year"s EDSA rites simple, subdued, says organizers; Aquino faces most difficult time of presidency by Genalyn Kabiling February 25, 2015


CELEBRATING FREEDOM – A worker spruces up the towering sculpture of the People Power Revolution of 1986 with mini-Philippine flags along EDSA in Quezon City ahead of the 29th anniversary celebration of the peaceful transfer of power from former dictator Ferdinand Marcos to President Corazon C. Aquino. (Mark Balmores)

I was in the third grade when EDSA People Power revolution happened in February 1986 and unfortunately, I remember little of the miracle that day.

Living in the province far from the center of the action, all I could recall was that the yellow revolution trumped the bad guy in red and installed Corazon C. Aquino, the woman in yellow, as the 11th president of the Republic of the Philippines on Feb. 25, 1986.

Only later did I learn of the stories of heroism and strong faith of Filipinos that ended a dictatorship and reclaimed the country’s democracy. The bloodless revolution, driven by the Filipinos’ love of God and country, became a constant reminder of the remarkable might of the people when united in purpose.

It started with a call made by the Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin to Filipinos aired on Radyo Veritas. The call asked the people to go to Camp Crame and Camp Aguinaldo, both with main gates along EDSA, to protect democracy. Thousands came to march along EDSA, most of them staying for three days and nights in front of the gates of Camps Crame and Aguinaldo, where two of the Marcos’ closest allies – Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Armed Forces Vice-Chief of Staff Fidel V. Ramos –had barricaded themselves after withdrawing their support from the government. They called on President Marcos to resign.

The crowds relied on prayers and rosaries, facing heavily armed troops. Many stories about how People’s Power toppled years of the Marcos dictatorship have been told and retold, a few of them becoming the stuff of legends that will probably live on long after this generation.

While the dictator was forced out of power and democracy restored in the country, the EDSA story still seems to have no “happily ever after” ending with corruption and poverty still plaguing the country 29 years after the revolution.

CORY’S SON

Today, on the 29th anniversary of “People Power.” the country is led by the son of the democracy icon who was installed as the 11th President of the republic by that peaceful revolution.

President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, facing the most difficult challenge in his four-and-a-half year presidency arising from the Maguindanao debacle, will attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the People Power Monument, followed by a mass at the EDSA shrine. Organizers earlier announced this year’s EDSA rites will be simple and subdued since activities celebrating the 30th anniversary would be intensified next year.

ECONOMIC GROWTH

But for Malacañang, the Philippines has gone a long way since the 1986 revolution that toppled the Marcos regime. In particular, Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. took pride in the country’s robust economic growth and poverty alleviation efforts under the administration of President Aquino, the son of democracy icons – the late President Corazon Aquino and Senator Benigno Aquino Jr.

“To claim that ‘nothing much (has) happened since EDSA due to persistent problems of corruption and poverty’ is to grossly misrepresent reality,” Coloma told the Manila Bulletin.


THE PRESIDENT'S MOTHER: ICON OF DEMOCRACY 1986 EDSA 1

“When the EDSA People Power Revolution occurred in 1986, the country’s economy was in shambles in the aftermath of Senator Ninoy Aquino’s assassination in 1983. Today, the Philippines is Asia’s second fastest growing economy, earning investment grade ratings based on sound macroeconomic fundamentals. Good governance has brought forth good economic results,” he added.

Citing facts and figures, Coloma highlighted that poverty has been substantially been reduced in recent years. According to the Philippine Statistical Authority, poverty incidence went down from 27.9 percent to 24.9 percent between 2012 and 2013.

“This means that from 1991 to 2012, poverty incidence was reduced by only five per cent over 22 years; in contrast, poverty incidence was reduced by three per cent in a one-year period during the Aquino administration as an offshoot of the structural reforms and the inclusive growth strategy of giving outright cash transfers instead of waiting for trickle-down effects,” Coloma said.

The country however is unlikely to attain the Millennium Development Goal of cutting poverty by half or to 16.6 percent this year, from 33 percent in 1991.


NINOY AQUINO TO SON NOYNOY—“There is no greater nation on earth than our Motherland. No greater people than our own. Serve them with all your heart, with all your might and with all your strength.” These words by Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. to his son, President Benigno Aquino III, will be shared with students in his hometown of Concepcion in Tarlac province on Feb. 25, the 29th anniversary of the People Power Revolution or Edsa I. COURTESY OF INQUIRER/FACEBOOK PHOTO

29TH ANNIVERSASRY

“We commemorate the 29th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution—an extraordinary event that not only altered the course of our nation’s history but also showcased to the world the remarkable strength and resolve of the Filipino people,” Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a statement.

“On this day, millions of our countrymen gathered along EDSA to end an oppressive dictatorship and begin a new era marked by true freedom and democracy. Over the years, we have continued to remember this momentous occasion by honoring the sacrifices of all those who fought the dictatorship and celebrating the liberation of our people,” he added.

REFORMS

Almost three decades after EDSA revolution, Lacierda recognized that change continues to sweep the country through the reforms initiated by the Aquino administration. “These reforms have led to the resurgence of our economy and the rekindling of hope among our people, including the youth,” he said.

Lacierda affirmed that the President remains guided by the same ideals that spurred the people power revolution in 1986 and “thus works toward a vision of the Philippines marked by freedom of opportunity and freedom from want.”


MANILA STANDARD

A window into his mind Manila Standard Today Feb. 24, 2015 at 12:01am
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The general impression is that we have a president who is not only incapable of empathy, but also rude and inappropriate. Worse, he is blissfully unaware that he exhibits these attributes.

The first time he displayed this, we were prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. It was, after all, only a few days after 44 members of the Special Action Force were slain in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. Perhaps he needed a few days of silence and isolation to take in what truly happened, or contain his grief.

When he emerged out of hiding, however, Mr. Aquino, in an address to the nation, showed us he did not get it at all. He attempted to justify the pursuit of terrorists even though there was no quarrel with that in the first place.

Asked whether he knew of the operation to serve the warrant on the terrorists in the “territory” of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, with whom he was talking peace, the President, like a street gangster, said he would not answer a rhetorical question. He went on and on about him not having to know every little detail of the pursuit of criminals.

Days later, he chose to attend a car manufacturer’s social event instead of personally attending a ceremony as the slain policemen’s bodies were brought to the Villamor Air Base.

The following day, his words did little to comfort the grieving families yet again. He talked about his own experiences, the loss of his own father, as if that were supposed to ease the suffering of the bereaved.

More recently, the President spoke with the members of the policemen’s families. He was supposed to assure them that help was coming and that the government would ensure there would be justice for the 44 men.

Instead, the meeting, based on accounts of those who were there, became a surreal encounter where they asked questions and the President replied in cavalier fashion. At many points during the conversation, Mr. Aquino was photographed smiling or smirking, or looking impatient and bored at all the questions from the widows.

There is a Tagalog word for this manner of speaking—“pabalang”—usually reserved for children who talk back to their elders without respect and thinking themselves smart for doing so. Another local word, “pilosopo,” comes to mind—and it has nothing to do with being profound or deep or rational.

They say one’s words betray one’s state of mind. We realize, and with horror, what this says about the mind of the person who is supposed to lead this nation.

Let us brace ourselves for worse. Expect nothing less from a man of phenomenal callousness. So out of it that he might genuinely be wondering why all of us are after him.


MANILA TIMES

COVER-UP: Cowards, self-seeking men surrounded Aquino on Jan 25 February 25, 2015 10:23 pm


This new narrative tells the tale that Purisima’s lie made de facto President Aquino believe reinforcements were actually aiding the doomed PNP-SAF company. Therefore, Aquino did not have to do anything about the matter. Therefore, he should not be berated and made to account for not taking a single step to save the lives of our Fallen 44 Heroes. Also, therefore, the cowards and self-seeking men who were with him all day that tragic Sunday should not be criticized for not making the smallest sound about that horrible tragedy up to very late in the day. That is sheer BULL!

THE public has learned that the de facto president of our country, BS Aquino, knew about the situation of our PNP-SAF commandos in Mamasapano from very early in the morning of Jan 25. We have also learned that the behavior he exhibited during those hours are symptoms of a severe psychological and psychiatric ailment.

Many have now come to realize that this mental, psychological and psychiatric disorder of BS Aquino seized him, too, when he faced other crises. The first of these was the horrible death of Chinese-Hong Kong citizens who had come as tourists in August 2010 when a crazed dismissed ex-policeman took over their tourist bus.

Now we should also realize that the high officials and military men who were with him all day on that tragic Jan 25 Sunday were cowards and self-seeking persons. They were people who did not deserve to be in the high offices they occupied.

Self-seeking men are those who are always concerned only about getting what they want or need. They don’t give a damn about what happens to others–people, families, society, institutions, our nation, our Republic.

The men who were with BS Aquino that day were cowards. They were afraid to discuss the bitter fate of our PNP-SAF companies with him. They could not raise the boldness to speak up to BS Aquino and urge him to act like a decisive commander-in-chief. They did not have the kindness in their heart to say something to the Boss that might have saved our Fallen 44 SAF commandos.

And they were also self-seeking men. They chose to avoid being shouted at by Aquino. They were protecting themselves from being in Aquino’s bad books and suffer personal consequences as a result. They cared more to keep Aquino calm and comfortable in his apparently insane state of denial than to do something for the sake of the PNP-SAF commandos. They chose not to risk looking bad in the eyes of BS Aquino (“baka mapasama pa sila”) by suggesting to the commander-in-chief something that could have helped save the lives of our 44 Fallen SAF Heroes.

Covering up for Aquino and themselves

Now. these cowards and self-seeking men, in their testimonies at the Senate and House hearings, have continued to collaborate with BS Aquino in covering up his and their own crime of not doing anything that might have changed the fate of the Fallen 44.

The latest strategy in the campaign to absolve BS Aquino of being responsible for the death of the 44 SAF Heroes is to portray suspended and resigned Chief of PNP Alan Purisima as the real top commander of Operation Exodus who lied to Aquino about the true situation in Mamasapano.

This new narrative tells the tale that Purisima’s lie made de facto President Aquino believe reinforcements were actually aiding the doomed PNP-SAF company. Therefore, Aquino did not have to do anything about the matter. Therefore, he should not be berated and made to account for not taking a single step to save the lives of our Fallen 44 Heroes.

Also, therefore, the cowards and self-seeking men who were with him all day that tragic Sunday should not be criticized for not making the smallest sound about that horrible tragedy up to very late in the day.

That is sheer BULL!

By 1:00 p.m. our Fallen 44 Heroes were all dead.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas, AFP Chief of Staff Gregorio Catapang—BS Aquino’s highest security officials—were with him from 9 a.m.

Roxas (according to his testimony in the Senate) at 8:30 a.m. sent Aquino a message about the problem the SAF commandos were facing. But after that Roxas did not talk with Aquino about this very serious matter until that evening.

Gazmin, Roxas and Catapang all said Aquino never asked them for advise on how to rescue the pinned-down PNP-SAF commandos.

And they did not offer any, cowards and self-seeking men as they are.


TRIBUNE

Don’t cross the line, Palace warns Noy's uncle Written by Joshua L. Labonera Thursday, 26 February 2015 00:00


NOY'S UNCLE

Malacañang yesterday took a strong stance against former Tarlac Rep. Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr., warning the presidential uncle to stay behind the line, especially on openly expressing his sentiments for President Aquino to step down.

Anchoring on claims made by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on the limits to freedom of expression, presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr, in a radio interview, said while the free flow of sentiments on various issues is a sign of a “healthy democracy,” it should not include expressing change in government which is not in line of the Constitution.

“Expressing views is part of democracy. It just so happened that it came from a close relative of the President. It cannot be denied that he is a Filipino too, individuals that have rights under the Constitution to express themselves,” he stressed.

“But, according to a reminder of Justice Secretary De Lima, there is a standard, that it has limits, those who express views should not include those such as a change in government which is not in accordance with the Constitution,” the Palace official added.

Malacañang apparently also issued the statement in reaction to presidential aunt, former Tarlac Gov. Margarita “Tingting” Cojuangco who had earlier admitted that there was a proposal sent to Vice President Jejomar Binay to head the government once Aquino resigns.

Coloma cited De Lima’s observation that some elements are taking advantage of the Mamasapano clash.

“Forming a group or junta is not in accordance with the Constitution and cannot be allowed by the government,” he stressed.

Binay had earlier denied having ties with groups that sought the President’s resignation, nor, he added, was he asked to support the proposal which was sent following the encounter in Magundanao which led to the deaths of 44 members of the Special Action Force last Jan. 25.

Relatedly, the independent minority bloc of the House of Representatives said it does not support any ouster move but wants the President to address the people’s sentiments.

“We in the Independent bloc are not part of the ouster move. Rather, we want him (Aquino) to finish his term and also address some issues which were taken for granted in the past days or weeks because of the Mamasapano fiasco,” Buhay partylist Rep. Joselito Atienza told a press conference.
With PNA


TRIBUNE

Aquino's EDSA speech: Cites his dead father anew, Binay restricted below the stage during the Edsa rites Written by Joshua L. Labonera Thursday, 26 February 2015 00:00


President Benigno Simeon Aquino III leads commemorative activities of the 29th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution in White Plains Avenue corner EDSA on Wednesday (February 25, 2015). Also in photo are EPPC commissioner Herminio “Ogie” Alcasid, Jr., Executive Secretary and EDSA People Power Commission chairperson Paquito Ochoa, Jr. and EPPC commissioner Cesar Sarino. (Photo by Gil Nartea / Lauro Montellano, Jr. / Malacañang Photo Bureau----When VP Binay was
asked why he opted to stay at the People Power Monument and not join the other government officials at the EDSA Shrine, Binay said one of the event organizers advised him to do so and not because of any other political reason. “Unang-una, napag-utusan akong dito bumaba. Ang aking pakiramdam naman, kasi siguro ang nasa isip 'nung nagsabi, dito ako dahil sa kasama ako talaga dito. Kasama ako sa nag-martsa dito,” Binay said, referring to his participation in the 1986 "unity march" that marked the convergence of the civilians and the military to hold a three-day protest at the EDSA Shrine.(COURTESY OF UNITYWEB.COM)

President Aquino’s fixation with the death of his father, former Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., again became the centerpiece of his speech at the 29th Anniversary Celebration of the Edsa People Power Revolt while at the same time criticized his critics who have linked him to the Mamasapano tragedy as anti-peace since the incident placed on the line the clearly infirm Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

Aquino branded his critics as being “against peace” accusing them of criticizing without providing solutions to problems of the country.

Vice President Jejomar Binay was also at the event but he was nowhere near Aquino since Binay told reporters he was asked to get down from the Edsa Shrine stage.
“I was ordered to get down. My feeling was that the one who made the order believed that I belonged with the crowd since I was really part of the mass that made up the protest 29 years ago. I was part of the march. If I insist to be up there, it might look like I am here just because I am the Vice President,” he said.

Asked if his being asked to step down from the stage was part of the Edsa 1 program, Binay said if it is, it was the first time he learned of it when he was asked to leave the stage.

Binay reiterated that he is not part of the groups calling for Aquino’s resignation.
“I am a product of Edsa who believes that democracy should rule and the Constitution trespected. I just have to repeat, I hope and pray that the President can overcome this problem,” Binay added.

Aquino has been under fire in the aftermath of the massacre of 44 Special Action Forces (SAF) commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao at the hands of rebels from both the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) after carrying out Oplan Exodus targeting Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and Filipino bomb-maker Abdul Basit Usman.

Marwan was killed as a result of the SAF mission while Usman was able to flee.
“I wish I can guarantee to all of you that there will be no one who will take advantage of this incident. We are seeking to maintain order. But, we know that as we near the achievement of our goal, those against it are getting desperate,” Aquino said, in reference to the Mamasapano incident and the peace process with the MILF associated with it.

Congress deliberations on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) which would be the basis of the proposed creation of the Bangsamoro substate for the MILF has been indefinitely suspended as an offshoot of the incident.

Aquino met last Monday with his allies in the House of Representatives in an effort to railroad the BBL passage.

Critics, however, had assailed Aquino’s involvement in the operations as he openly admitted communicating with relieved Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Alan Purisima, who had been updating him of the operations.

Malacañang, however, blamed Purisima for the botched operations claiming Aquino was “fed with lies” during the critical hours after the mission was launched that resulted in the tragic loss of lives of the SAF troopers.

“It would be good if besides criticizing, they provide an alternative solution. We can’t help but think that they don’t want peace, because they themselves benefit from the disorder and violence. They want Filipinos to be divided again, and our trust for each other to be lost in pursuance of their own agendas,” Aquino claimed.

“If we will allow those against peace to defeat us, it’s as if we allowed the unrest in Mindanao to worsen. If we will surrender the effort to support the forming of Bangsamoro, it’s as if we allowed the firearms to be handed over to the next generation of our fellow Filipinos,” the President said.

Aquino, again, related how he lost his father during the martial law years. He admitted that shortly after his father’s death, taking revenge crossed his mind, saying he was then ready to die just to get even with those whom he believes killed his father.

The President also made reference to his father during his speech before relatives of the slain SAF commandos during the funeral honors at Camp Bagong Diwa. Citing the death of his father during the occassion earned for Aquino the tag of being “insensitive” particularly since he was not around during the arrival honors of the fallen SAF 44.

It surfaced again after Aquino held an “unscheduled” meeting with the kin of the slain SAF troopers, where some families had claimed that the President reportedly laughed the whole time and told families they were now even as his father also died.

Malacañang, for its part, defended Aquino, saying Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, who also attended the event, denied that Aquino said the statements of “tabla-tabla” (we’re even) in the meeting.

“We cannot allow this (derailing of BBL) to happen. To reach lasting peace is the only way to affirm the sacrifice of those who have fought in Edsa, including those who had sacrificed their lives to end the spread of fear and violence in society,” Aquino said in his speech.

Earlier in the day, Aquino also attended the wreath laying ceremony at the Edsa People Power Monument, along with the staging of a “Unity Walk” between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), after talks of a coup d’état cropped up.

According to Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. what the AFP and PNP demonstrated was to show that there was no rift between the uniformed services as opposed to the reports of a dispute between officials of the AFP and the PNP.

At least three members of House minority bloc urged the House leadership to resume hearings on the BBL parallel to a congressional probe on the bloody Jan. 25 Mamasapano incident.

Reps. Silvestre Bello III of 1-BAP party-list, Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna and Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers party-list said the resumption of the hearings on the controversial Bangsamoro Basic Law should should be conducted parallel to the House probe into the bloody incident.

“We should resume the House probe into the Mamasapano incident. There is chaos because everybody wants to ask questions in search for truth, nothing is being hidden unlike other investigations where some information should have been disclosed in an executive session,” Bello told reporters at a news conference.

“You cannot put a roadblock to this... The Mamasapano debacle should serve as an additional reason to pursue peace talks because the reality is we have exisiting armed conflicts with the rebel groups,” Bello pointed out.

When asked about the seeming insincerity of the MILF by not surrendering its members who were involved in the Mamasapano incident and by returning “unusable” firearms of the SAF men they had killed, Bello said that it would be better to give then the benefit of the doubt.

“Let’s wait for their own investigation,” Bello said.

Zarate said the alleged effort of the House leadership to cover up the truth would not succeed.
Gerry Baldo


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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