NOY'S CORNER THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

AQUINO GOVT RECEIVES $750M FROM KUALA LUMPUR FOR BBL PASSAGE --- LAWYER


Lawyer Homobono Adaza
---The Aquino administration had allegedly received $750 million, or around P33.5 billion, from Malaysia in exchange for the passage of the controversial Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).  Kuala Lumpur had brokered the peace accord that marked the end of armed hostilities between the government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The BBL, seen to establish lasting peace in the country’s southern region, will create the Bangsamoro substate to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. READ MORE...

ALSO: It’s all Napeñas’ fault, Aquino stated anew at Prayer Gathering in Palace


Evangelical groups pray for Aquino and the country amid public outrage over the Mamasapano carnage.  AS leaders of various religious groups prayed for unity, stability, and forgiveness yesterday in Malacañang, President Aquino blamed a sacked police official for the January “Mamasapano incident” that left 44 police commandos dead. Aquino said Director Getulio Napeñas, who was sacked as head of the PNP Special Action Force after the incident, displayed lack of professionalism for failing to follow his instructions about coordinating the SAF operation with other units, and for feeding him wrong information, among others. He said Napeñas “fooled him.” CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: Palace shrugs off CBCP's absence in prayer meet for PNoy


In this Malacañang file photo, President Benigno Aquino III and religious leaders pray for the nation following the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda. This afternoon, evangelical groups will again pray for Aquino and the country amid public outrage over the Mamasapano carnage. Malacañang Photo Bureau  ...Coloma said the prayer gathering at the Palace grounds at 3 p.m. is aimed at achieving reconciliation and understanding among various sectors following the deadly January 25 operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda also said that the "event recognizes the power of prayer to strengthen and sustain us in the face of challenges, and provides the President with a moment of reflection to ask for the Lord’s guidance in future endeavors."  READ REPORT FROM THE BEGINNING...

ALSO: Aquino calls critics, those calling for his resignation 'KSP' (Kulang Sa Pansin)


President Benigno Aquino III on Monday hit back at those calling for his resignation and ouster over the deadly Mamasapano incident.  
In his message during a prayer gathering at Malacañang, Aquino said these critics who are casting doubts and negativity on his leadership are in need of public attention. "Sila ang tawagin na lang po nating 'KSP': mga 'Kulang sa Pansin,' mga 'Kulang sa Pag-iisip nang maayos,' na naghahanap lamang ng mali, ngunit wala namang nailalatag na risonable at alternatibong solusyon," Aquino said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Kin of fallen SAF commandos want Aquino to apologize


President Benigno S. Aquino III offers a moment of silent prayer before the remains of the fallen Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) Troopers during the Necrological Service at the NCRPO Multi-Purpose Center of Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City on Friday (January 30, 2015). (Photo by Marcelino Pascua / Malacañang Photo Bureau / PCOO) BAGUIO CITY, Philippines—The widows and parents of the Cordillera warriors who died in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province, want President Aquino to apologize and take responsibility for the Jan. 25 slaughter of 44 police commandos. Janet Carap, Christine Kiangan, Aurelyn Kayob, Celestino and his wife Jocelyn Bilog held hands and gave each other the sign of peace during a Mass that was organized by the Philippine National Police Academy Alumni Association Inc. at Burnham Park on Sunday. Peace remains elusive unless President Aquino apologizes for the government’s mistakes and ends the finger-pointing that has characterized the inquiry into the bloody Mamasapano mission, they said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Purisima snubs PNP probe board


Board of Inquiry chairman and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief Director Benjamin Magalong shows to media the documents gathered during the probe on the Mamasapano clash that left 44 SAF commandos dead. BOY SANTOS
MANILA, Philippines - The Board of Inquiry (BOI) investigating the Jan. 25 Mamasapano incident wants three more days to release its findings as it charts its next move after failing to interview resigned police chief Alan Purisima. It was the third time the police BOI had asked for an extension of the deadline for submitting its report on the Jan. 25 carnage.  The BOI had originally intended to release its findings on Feb. 26 but later moved the date to March 6.  “We are just hoping to interview some key players. We are hoping that they be subjected to follow up interview but for some reason, they begged off,” said BOI head Director Benjamin Magalong. READ MORE...

ALSO by Greg Macabenta: Attempting to fathom the mind of PNoy
[From what I have learned about Aquino, he has neither the capacity to empathize nor to adjust to new conditions that require him to deviate from what he has already resolved to do].  


MACABENTA ---MANY people I have spoken to about the missteps that have bedeviled Noynoy Aquino and his government have offered various ways by which he could have avoided or prevented them or gotten the situation under control.
But the scenarios all proceed on the premise that certain conditions are controllable or the damage they cause can be minimized. However, in the case of Aquino there appears to be one factor that not even his most astute advisers can control. Aquino himself. As a person. As someone raised the way he was. And as one who had to undergo the traumatic experiences that he did while developing into manhood. My sympathies, therefore, go to those in his staff, like communication secretary Sonny Coloma, who have to face the media daily and try to put a positive – or at least, a mitigating – spin on the latest misguided missile coming out of their boss’s mouth. READ FULL COMMENTARY....

ALSO WATCH: 'Bakit ko aakuin lahat?' Aquino asks

WATCH VIDEO..Aqiuno answering question on what happened at Mamasapano at end of his page...
 


READ FULL MEDIA NEWS REPORT:

Gov’t receives $750M from KL for BBL passage — lawyer


Lawyer Homobono Adaza

MANILA, MARCH 16, 2015 (TRIBUNE) Written by Tribune Wires Tuesday, 10 March 2015 00:00 By Pat C. Santos and Joshua L. Labonera - The Aquino administration had allegedly received $750 million, or around P33.5 billion, from Malaysia in exchange for the passage of the controversial Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

Kuala Lumpur had brokered the peace accord that marked the end of armed hostilities between the government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
The BBL, seen to establish lasting peace in the country’s southern region, will create the Bangsamoro substate to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Lawyer Homobono Adaza at a news forum yesterday noted that Malacañang’s refusal to comment on the issue only fueled speculations that indeed it had received the funds. “No one in the Aquino government denied the information that has been going around. And there is this admission of silence on the part of the government,” he said.

Adaza, along with columnist Herman Tiu Laurel, had earlier filed treason charges against President Aquino and some of his Cabinet members and MILF leaders for entering into a peace agreement with the Moro rebel group and for supporting an “unconstitutional” bill that seeks to create an autonomous Bangsamoro political entity that would benefit the MILF.

The BBL, which is pending in Congress, violates several provisions of the Constitution, Adaza and Laurel said.

The complainants stressed that “treason under our laws is committed by a Filipino citizen who gives aid or comfort to the enemies of the government.”

They added the MILF is an insurgent group that has been waging war against the republic.

Treason is among the four impeachable offenses under the Constitution.

“BBL establishes a parliamentary as against a presidential system, and by its territory and power of sovereignty, it is a state within a state,” part of the six-page complaint stated.

Aquino, meanwhile, also yesterday challenged critics of the BBL to read the full text of the draft measure first, then come up with a better alternative to the bill.

“A lot has been complaining about the BBL but have yet to read it... Those who have nothing to offer have no clear goal,” he said during a prayer meeting in Malacañang.

Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., for his part, said there is no pressure from the Palace for lawmakers to work on the BBL amid allegations that Aquino is rushing to enact the measure as soon as possible.

“There is no pressure and no forcing. Let us understand that there is a schedule of sessions in Congress. The current session is up to March 18, they have a Holy Week break. After, they will resume on May 4. It is set to be up until June 11,” he said.

“We are not the ones who set this up. So in a practical view, the talks can only continue on their own schedules. They cannot pass a law while in recess. That’s what is being talked about. No one is pressuring them,” Coloma said.

The Palace official, however, said it is premature to immediately ask for a special session in case of lack of time.

He said Malacañang cannot give answers to speculations.

“We are giving lawmakers freedom to do their work. There might be talk again that we are pressuring them when it’s brought up. It is best that we should not discuss it, since it has not yet been tackled,” Coloma said.


MALAYA

It’s all Napeñas’ fault, Aquino stated anew at Prayer Gathering in Palace By JOCELYN MONTEMAYOR on March 10, 2015


Evangelical groups pray for Aquino and the country amid public outrage over the Mamasapano carnage. MALAYA PHOTO

AS leaders of various religious groups prayed for unity, stability, and forgiveness yesterday in Malacañang, President Aquino blamed a sacked police official for the January “Mamasapano incident” that left 44 police commandos dead.

Aquino said Director Getulio Napeñas, who was sacked as head of the PNP Special Action Force after the incident, displayed lack of professionalism for failing to follow his instructions about coordinating the SAF operation with other units, and for feeding him wrong information, among others. He said Napeñas “fooled him.”

Aquino spoke during the “Prayer Gathering” in Malacañang attended by different Christian groups led by the Jesus Is Lord Movement and the Jesus Is Lord Church of Eddie Villanueva. He was asked to explain what happened in the SAF operation.

Aquino said he was not trying to absolve himself of any wrongdoing but added that had he known of the various lapses committed by Napeñas, he could have ordered the mission aborted.

The SAF troops were sent to arrest Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan,” and Filipino bomber Basit Usman in Barangay Tukanalipao in Mamasapano town, Maguindanao on January 25. As the commandos retreated after killing Marwan, they were engaged in a firefight by members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, with which government signed a peace agreement last year, and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, a supposed breakaway group of the MILF.

The operation had been kept from top security officials, including Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Catapang, and even Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, PNP officer in charge.

Espina was named OIC when Alan Purisima started serving a suspension order of the Ombudsman last December 4. Purisima, who was allegedly supervising the Mamasapano operation, resigned as PNP chief last month but stayed in the service.

Aquino told the Malacañang gathering that several operations in the past against Marwan and Usman had been aborted because of several factors. The January mission would have also been aborted had he known that his instructions were not followed, which placed the SAF troops in imminent danger, he said.

“Ang bottom line ho, kung alam ko na ganito ang gagawin niya (Napeñas) from the start, ay hinindian ko ho itong misyon na ito. Parang iyung pwedeng-pwedeng maging successful na misyon, sa ginawa niyang plano, parang naging mission impossible,” he said.

Aquino said when the mission plan was presented to him, he thought it had a big chance of succeeding, provided that proper coordination with police and military units were undertaken to ensure support for the SAF operatives in terms of troops and artillery.

The President said the Mamasapano mission would have ended differently if it were not for the various lapses committed by Napeñas who, he said, solely decided on how the mission would be conducted—from when to inform police and military units, his superiors, other unit commanders of the operation and its status, and what information about the operation will be shared with the other teams and his superiors including Aquino.

Aquino reiterated that he had repeatedly instructed Napeñas, and even Purisima, to coordinate the SAF operation with the military.

He said he also checked on the status of the coordination and was informed that the support was already in place but Napeñas “fooled him.”

‘FOOL ME ONCE…’

Aquino said there are people criticizing him for the incident and even accusing him of evading responsibility by blaming others. But, he said, if he were the one who committed the mistake, he would readily accept and take responsibility for it.

“Ngayon, siguro iyung pinaka-generous way of looking at it, maraming wishful thinking si Napeñas as opposed to reality. Pero maliwanag sa akin, binola niya ako. Ngayon, ano ho ang responsibilidad ko at this point in time? May kasabihan ho e: ‘Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.’ At wala akong balak na ma-‘fool me twice.’ Kaya ho humanda ho lahat,” he said adding that he had already warned the PNP that those who disobey his orders would be charged with insubordination unless they can justify their action.

‘KSP’

Aquino branded those who continue to criticize his administration as “KSP” (“kulang sa pansin”). He said among them are people trying to ride on issues to sow division and enable them to promote their personal interests; people who just criticize everything the government does without offering solutions; and those who try to stop reforms his administration has put in place so they could return to power.

He said these “KSP” even accused his administration of bribing the Christian groups to entice them to attend the prayer gathering.

“Medyo nagulat po tayo na sinuhulan ko raw po kayo na mag-usap tayo. Kami po, at nandiyan po ang public record, handang makipag-usap sa lahat. Pakiusap lang ho natin, sana naman po ‘yong pag-uusap ay may patutunguhan,” he added.

The President acknowledged those who continue to support his administration like Villanueva. He said Villanueva, despite losing his presidential bid to him, opted to support the government in promoting welfare of the majority.

Villanueva said the supposed bribe is a media spin.

COALITION’S INITIATIVE

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the event was an initiative of the Coalition of Christian Leaders which is composed of pastors and members of evangelical and Christian churches in the country.

He also said the event was proposed three weeks ago following Aquino’s meeting with several church leaders, when he initially discussed the background of the law enforcement operations launched by the government against Marwan and Usman.

Coloma and presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the event provided Aquino a chance to address other concerns raised by the Christian leaders, like the Bangsamoro Basic Law and his “below zero” love life.

Daniel Razon, president of the Church of God International, led the closing prayer. He prayed for stability, strength and unity for the nation to be able to face all challenges.

Apart from Razon and Villanueva, other leaders of the coalition who attended that event were Bishop Leo Alconga, national vice chairman of the Philippines for Jesus Movement; Bishop Dan Balais, chairman of Intercessors for the Philippines; and Andrew Luison, president of Cityland Corporation.

Government leaders led by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. also attended the event. – With Gerard Naval


PHILSTAR

Palace shrugs off CBCP's absence in prayer meet for PNoy By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated March 9, 2015 - 2:21pm


In this Malacañang file photo, President Benigno Aquino III and religious leaders pray for the nation following the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda. This afternoon, evangelical groups will again pray for Aquino and the country amid public outrage over the Mamasapano carnage. Malacañang Photo Bureau

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang on Monday downplayed the non-participation of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in the scheduled prayer gathering for President Benigno Aquino III and the nation.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said those who will not be present in the event to be joined by evangelical pastors will still be included in the prayers.

"Ang mahalaga naman dito ay iyong diwa ng pagdadasal at iyong diwa ng pagkakaisa para sa kapayapaan at iyong pagkakaunawaan ng mga Pilipino, na kahit naman iyong mga hindi mismong pisikal na naroon, kasama naman sila doon sa pagpapanalangin," Coloma said over radio DZXL-RMN.

"Kasama rin sila doon sa panawagan na magkaroon tayo ng pagkakaunawaan. Hindi naman po dahil wala doon ay hindi po kasali," he added,

RELATED: Aquino to hold prayer meeting without bishops

Coloma said the prayer gathering at the Palace grounds at 3 p.m. is aimed at achieving reconciliation and understanding among various sectors following the deadly January 25 operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda also said that the "event recognizes the power of prayer to strengthen and sustain us in the face of challenges, and provides the President with a moment of reflection to ask for the Lord’s guidance in future endeavors."

The event will be led by by Bro. Eddie Villanueva of the Jesus is Lord Movement and the Coalition of Christian Movements. Among those invited are Daniel Razon, president of the Church of God International; Bishop Leo Alconga, national vice chairman of the Philippines for Jesus Movement and East Asia director of Biblica Ministry; and Bishop Dan Balais, chairman of the Intercessors for the Philippines.

The advisory sent to media did not mention any member of the CBCP and El Shaddai's Mike Velarde as among those invited to the prayer gathering.

Some bishops had called for Aquino's resignation over his perceived ineptitude in handling the Mamasapano incident. The El Shaddai, on the other hand, had one member who turned out to be among the Special Action Force commandos killed in the covert police operation.

President Aquino will deliver a message and answer questions from various members of the evangelical groups, who will pray together for him and the nation. ..


PHILSTAR

Aquino calls critics 'KSP' By Louis Bacani

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III on Monday hit back at those calling for his resignation and ouster over the deadly Mamasapano incident.

In his message during a prayer gathering at Malacañang, Aquino said these critics who are casting doubts and negativity on his leadership are in need of public attention.

"Sila ang tawagin na lang po nating 'KSP': mga 'Kulang sa Pansin,' mga 'Kulang sa Pag-iisip nang maayos,' na naghahanap lamang ng mali, ngunit wala namang nailalatag na risonable at alternatibong solusyon," Aquino said.

"Mayroon ding mga 'Kulang sa Pagkalinga sa kapwa,' na nais lamang magkaroon ng kaguluhan kung saan sila mas makinabang," he added.

Aquino said these "KSPs" are taking advantage of the public outrage over the Mamasapano tragedy so they could bring back the old abusive system.

"Sila rin ang anumang gawin nating pasya, sa bawat kilos ng inyong pamahalaan, ay may nakahanda na agad na batikos at kritisismo, at kadalasan po, bago pa tayong may dinesisyon, kumilos o pagkilos, eh nakahanda na ang kritisismo," Aquino said. "Sila ang naghihintay lang ng oportunidad na mag-abuso ulit oras na makabalik sa poder."

The president is facing one of his most trying times due to his perceived incompetence in handling the Mamasapano operation against a top terror suspect, which left 44 police commandos and several Moro rebels dead.

The incident has hampered the Aquino administration's peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and has fueled protests calling for the President's resignation and rumors of a destabilization plot.

Aquino assured that he pursue the peace process, as it will put meaning to the deaths of the 44 police commandos.

"Naniniwala tayo: Kapayapaan ang susi sa kaunlaran at ito ang maghahatid ng katarungan para sa bawat Pilipino," he said.

RELATED: Aquino: I was fooled on Mamasapano mission


INQUIRER

Kin of fallen commandos want Aquino to apologize Philippine Daily Inquirer 3:16 AM | Monday, March 9th, 2015


President Benigno S. Aquino III offers a moment of silent prayer before the remains of the fallen Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) Troopers during the Necrological Service at the NCRPO Multi-Purpose Center of Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City on Friday (January 30, 2015). (Photo by Marcelino Pascua / Malacañang Photo Bureau / PCOO)

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines—The widows and parents of the Cordillera warriors who died in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province, want President Aquino to apologize and take responsibility for the Jan. 25 slaughter of 44 police commandos.

Janet Carap, Christine Kiangan, Aurelyn Kayob, Celestino and his wife Jocelyn Bilog held hands and gave each other the sign of peace during a Mass that was organized by the Philippine National Police Academy Alumni Association Inc. at Burnham Park on Sunday.

Peace remains elusive unless President Aquino apologizes for the government’s mistakes and ends the finger-pointing that has characterized the inquiry into the bloody Mamasapano mission, they said.

Janet is the widow of PO2 Peterson Carap, Christine is the widow of PO2 Noble Kiangan while Aurelyn, a migrant worker, is the widow of PO2 Jerry Kayob. The Bilogs are the parents of PO1 Russel Bilog, a bachelor.

“An apology is all we ask. We want President Aquino to accept responsibility for [Mamasapano], apologize publicly and sincerely and then investigate the one who gave those orders that led to the deaths of our family members,” Celestino Bilog said.

“This issue would not have gone unanswered this long had the President simply stepped up and apologized,” he said.

Celestino said this act would have tempered the public’s anger and would have compelled Aquino to quickly punish the people who made mistakes in handling the mission.

“He may have been given bad information. He may have been told that everything was going right so he was confident about the mission succeeding. But he could have stopped all [the tension],” he said.

He said he did not like the way Director Getulio Napeñas Jr., the dismissed Special Action Force (SAF) chief, was being treated. “He was following someone else’s orders so he should not shoulder all the blame,” he said.

Janet Carap said the families of the slain SAF commandos from the Cordillera “need to move on with our lives,” but the government’s inability to reveal everything about Mamasapano has kept them from grieving properly.

“Our grieving has not ended. We have not been able to join the assemblies organized by the government outside Baguio City because we cannot leave this city until we have completed our burial rituals for [Bilog],” Celestino said.

Also on Sunday in Pampanga province, around 400 policemen from Central Luzon joined a march from the provincial capitol in the City of San Fernando to the regional police headquarters in Camp Olivas. They lighted 44 candles for the slain SAF commandos–With reports from Vincent Cabreza and EV Espiritu, Inquirer Northern Luzon; and Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon


PHILSTAR

Purisima snubs PNP probe board By Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 10, 2015 - 12:00am


Board of Inquiry chairman and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief Director Benjamin Magalong shows to media the documents gathered during the probe on the Mamasapano clash that left 44 SAF commandos dead. BOY SANTOS

MANILA, Philippines - The Board of Inquiry (BOI) investigating the Jan. 25 Mamasapano incident wants three more days to release its findings as it charts its next move after failing to interview resigned police chief Alan Purisima.

It was the third time the police BOI had asked for an extension of the deadline for submitting its report on the Jan. 25 carnage.

The BOI had originally intended to release its findings on Feb. 26 but later moved the date to March 6.

“We are just hoping to interview some key players. We are hoping that they be subjected to follow up interview but for some reason, they begged off,” said BOI head Director Benjamin Magalong.

“We’re supposed to conduct forensics (on their) cellphones so that we can acquire their contents, particularly the exchange of messages,” he pointed out.

Magalong said they have also relayed to Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II their intention to interview President Aquino.

“We have not received feedback from his office. We have already expressed our intention but it’s the prerogative of the President,” he said.

“We need three more days. We believe there will be a lot speculations and insinuations with this extension but we are giving you the assurance that the extension is to ensure the quality will not be sacrificed,” Magalong said.

“We will not sacrifice our credibility and integrity,” Magalong said.

“The credibility of the Philippine National Police is at stake here, so we can’t mess this up,” he said.

“We’re nearing retirement, we can’t let this tarnish our image,” he added.

“The three-day extension will allow us to analyze more pieces of evidence that are already with us. We make sure we will have our conclusions that are based on facts and heavily supported by evidence,” he explained.

He pointed out that the BOI’s task is “purely fact-finding and not prosecutorial.”

Magalong presented to the media yesterday a big travel bag and two smaller ones as well as a huge black box containing documents relevant to the BOI investigation.

Magalong said the BOI report would also include findings on the extent of the involvement of American personnel in the operation to arrest international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, and local counterpart Basit Usman.

“We will discuss the involvement of the American in the SAF operation,” Magalong said without giving details.

Initial reports indicated that Purisima was in full control of the operation even while under suspension, with relieved SAF chief Getulio Napeñas reporting directly to him. Purisima is serving a six-month suspension for a plunder complaint.

Magalong, who also heads the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), noted that BOI members were investigating the carnage round-the-clock.

On Thursday, Magalong said copies of the BOI report would be given to the Senate, House of Representatives, Department of Justice, Office of the Ombudsman, Commission on Human Rights and to the families of the victims.

Purisima’s lawyer said the former PNP chief had been very cooperative with the BOI.

“Purisima has been cooperating with the investigations being conducted by the Senate and by the PNP Board of Inquiry,” lawyer Kristoffer James Purisima said in a text message.

The lawyer said the former police chief submitted an affidavit to the BOI last Feb. 19 containing pertinent information, including relevant text exchanges with the President and fellow police officers.

The BOI is investigating the deadly Special Action Force (SAF) operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao that saw 44 of the commandos killed at the hands of guerrillas of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Nothing wrong

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, meanwhile, said she sees nothing wrong with the delay in the completion of the BOI probe, citing the complexity of the case.

“It’s just natural for investigating bodies not to meet deadlines. That is actually better than to insist on meeting the deadline and come up with a half-baked report. That also happened to us several times where the teams asked for extensions,” she explained.

But she emphasized the DOJ team would try its best to complete its own probe and come up with recommendations on April 2.

De Lima said she is joining DOJ investigators today in Mamasapano to meet with MILF leaders and possibly inspect the clash site.

Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Paulo Navera leads the DOJ probe team.

“The MILF leadership has responded and agreed to have a dialogue with us,” she told reporters.

The DOJ chief said she would take the opportunity to personally ask for a copy of the report of the MILF body investigating the tragedy.

“I am going to personally relate to them our intention, what we are doing. I would appeal anew for their cooperation, especially they are claiming that there were also casualties from their end. We need more particulars,” she said.

The MILF said last week it would only provide the DOJ with an executive summary of its report.

“I want to know what their plans are and why only executive report,” she said.

She reiterated that the cooperation of the MILF leadership would be necessary, especially since the rebel group is also seeking justice for 18 fighters and five civilians killed during the encounter.

The DOJ team would also conduct an ocular inspection of the clash site tomorrow after getting clearance from the military.

De Lima and her team went to Mamasapano two weeks ago to conduct an ocular inspection, but were stopped by the military due to heavy fighting between government forces and the BIFF.

But her team was reportedly able to secure “very vital” witnesses who reportedly could identify the MILF fighters responsible for the killing of the SAF commandos. – Christina Mendez, Edith Regalado, Paolo Romero, Edu Punay, Roel Pareño, Jess Diaz ..


ASIAN JOURNAL ONLINE

Attempting to fathom the mind of PNoy ARTICLE By Greg Macabenta Published: March 4, 2015 | No Comments


SOURCE: Ninoy’s Letter to Noynoy Posted by Val Baguios on August 21, 2013 | No Comments » Posted in: Attitude, Fatherhood, Relationships, Responsibility

MANY people I have spoken to about the missteps that have bedeviled Noynoy Aquino and his government have offered various ways by which he could have avoided or prevented them or gotten the situation under control.

But the scenarios all proceed on the premise that certain conditions are controllable or the damage they cause can be minimized. However, in the case of Aquino there appears to be one factor that not even his most astute advisers can control. Aquino himself.

As a person. As someone raised the way he was. And as one who had to undergo the traumatic experiences that he did while developing into manhood.

My sympathies, therefore, go to those in his staff, like communication secretary Sonny Coloma, who have to face the media daily and try to put a positive – or at least, a mitigating – spin on the latest misguided missile coming out of their boss’s mouth.

In my book, How To Make A Benta – Anecdotes, Articles & Lectures from the Advertising Wars – I devote substantial space to the challenge of dealing with a PR crisis.

The points I make are drawn from classic crisis situations, like that involving Tylenol in 1982, to the tightrope that Bill Clinton had to walk in the wake of the discovery of his dalliance with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, to situations that I personally had to deal with on behalf of my clients.

I must confess that nothing in my book covers a situation similar to that posed by a PR problem like Benigno S. Aquino III.

Here are excerpts from the section on Crisis PR:

“A public relations crisis is something that you would rather not have. But when one does come, a PR agency and its clients must be as precise as the captain of a submarine steering his craft through mine-filled waters, and as quick as a magic act in producing public statements and communications materials.

“A cardinal rule in dealing with a PR crisis – where the reputation or even the survival of a business hangs in the balance – is to take the perspective of the PR publics involved, and then to weigh the negative and positive tradeoffs of available options, both short-term and long-term.

“Taking the public’s point of view means that, even if you are 100 percent convinced of the righteousness of your position, you must learn to understand and appreciate why the other side believe you are wrong. That could hold the key to solving the problem, either on a win-win basis or in a manner that allows you damage control or makes the opposition sue for peace.”

Note that I am presuming a capacity on the part of the PR client (or the one confronting a crisis) to empathize with others, particularly the parties that are antagonistic to him. I’m also presuming a certain flexibility on the part of the client, an ability to adjust to situations as they occur.

From what I have learned about Aquino, he has neither the capacity to empathize nor to adjust to new conditions that require him to deviate from what he has already resolved to do.

None of the parties involved, least of all Aquino, may be expected to admit the real reason they were in Zamboanga on the morning of January 25. Was it the prospect of a Nobel Prize? Who knows?

In responding to the question why not enough was done to save the commandoes, Aquino asked the widows if they had ever played computer games. It was a question coming from left field.

But if you consider that what Aquino had set out to do – the hunt for Marwan – was a virtual game for him, then you can glimpse how his mind works.

Hey, if Barack Obama and Team Six of the Navy Seals pulled it off in the hunt for Osama bin Ladin, why not Aquino with Purisima and the PNP Special Action Force?

Unfortunately, the situation went out of whack and neither Aquino nor Purisima was prepared for it. Being incapable of flexibility, Aquino could have just frozen.

According to the timeline provided by various witnesses and resources persons, on the morning of January 25, Aquino had ample time to take control of the unfolding disaster in Mamasapano and to order his senior people to undertake several tasks, all at the same time, from scrambling the nearby army contingent, to getting key players in the MILF and the peace panel involved.

Why didn’t Aquino do it? Was it simply due to lack of experience in coping with crisis?

Or was it something else?

Recall how Aquino reacted to the Tacloban businessman who complained about being threatened with a gun at the height of the Yolanda onslaught. That should give us a clue. Aquino shot back to the complainant, “Well, you’re still alive, aren’t you?”

That seemed to everyone like a heartless, cold-blooded response to a serious, near-fatal incident. But when you consider how Aquino may have seen himself in the shoes of the businessman and how he himself survived, you will begin to see why he reacted the way he did.

On August 27, 1987 at the gates of Malacañang, rebel forces ambushed Aquino and his security escort, hitting him on his nape and arm, and killing three of his bodyguards. To this day, Aquino carries a bullet in his body, his badge of survival. You can almost hear him declare dismissively, “You’re complaining about being threatened with a gun? I took two bullets and survived,”

Were the SAF commandoes under heavy fire? Well, wasn’t Aquino showered with bullets himself? He escaped alive. Why couldn’t they?

The lame explanations of Roxas, Gazmin and Catapang confirm the attitude that they took towards the firefight. Just another one of those. Did the fatalities already climb to 11 by noon? Well, wasn’t that the price of battle?

The families of the fallen 44 will probably scream upon reading this. But the transcript of the Senate hearing confirms that there was no urgency to extricate the commandoes as quickly as possible and at all costs.

And so 44 brave young men died. They did not just die. They were slaughtered. Butchered. Plundered.

Are the families of the SAF commandoes grief-stricken? Unfortunately, Aquino is incapable of appreciating their grief except in the context of his own. When he spoke at the necrological services at Bagong Diwa on January 30, he couldn’t help seeing the suffering of the families from the prism of his father’s assassination.

‘I remember watching alone the television in our residence in Boston, waiting for news about what had happened to my father. I heard the announcer on the television say: “Opposition leader, Benigno Aquino, was seen lying in a pool of blood; shots were fired.”

Then, it was as if time had come to a halt; my surroundings froze and I lost my awareness of things, and my world was turned upside down. I could not explain the shock I felt.”

And when Aquino had a round-table discussion with the widows at Camp Crame on February 18, he said, “Namatay rin ang tatay ko, alam ko pakiramdam niyo kaya patas na rin tayo ngayon.” (My father also died, so I know how you feel. We are even now.)

A friend of mine quipped on FaceBook about Aquino, “Mabuti pa ang saging, my puso.” (A banana is better, it has a heart).

I think my friend is wrong, Benigno S. Aquino III has a heart. But it is meant only for himself.

WATCH: 'Bakit ko aakuin lahat?' Aquino asks (philstar.com) | Updated March 10, 2015 - 1:17pm .


President Aquino answers questions from the guests for the Presidential Hour during the Malacañang Prayer Gathering at the Malacañan Palace Grounds on Monday, Mar. 9, 2015. Malacañang Photo Bureau/Benhur Arcayan

MANILA, Philippines — President Benigno Aquino III on Monday blamed the Special Action Force commander Getulio Nepeñas for the botched mission last January 29 in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

Answering questions from Christian leaders at the Malacañan Palace, Aquino said he was given the wrong information on the anti-terror police operation, "Oplan Exodus," that led to the killing of 44 of the elite troopers.

"Talaga pong may lack of professionalism po e. Kung ako ang may kasalanan dito, bakit ko aakuin lahat?" Aquino said.

Watch the video below of the open forum for the Presidential Hour following a prayer gathering

 
Video courtesy of RTVMalacañang


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