Poe to Aquino: Be a leader, tell the truth

By Ellen T. Tordesillas

Posted at Mar 18 2015 12:52 AM | Updated as of Mar 18 2015 08:52 AM

Reading President Aquino’s speech before the 2015 graduates of the Philippine Military Academy last Sunday, I got the impression that he is isolated from the real world outside Malacañang.

For how does one who has to suffer daily the monstrous Metro Manila traffic and the inefficiency of the MRT accept his painting of the country as a paradise and taking credit for this “accomplishment”: “At hindi naman sa pagbubuhat ng bangko, pero ngayon pa lang, masasabi nating higit na maganda ang kalagayan ng bansa kumpara sa ating dinatnan. Nilinis natin ang burukrasya, tinugis ang mga tiwali, pinasigla ang ekonomiya, at nagbukas tayo ng mga bagong pinto ng oportunidad para sa ating mga kababayan. (Not to be self-indulgent, but at this stage, we can truly say that our country’s situation is much better than we found it. We cleaned up the bureaucracy, pursued the corrupt, revitalized the economy, and opened new doors of opportunity for our countrymen.)”

Lawyer Vic Fornier was so pissed off, he commented in Facebook: “Mabagsakan siya sana ng bangko sa ulo niyang panot.(I wish the bench would fall on his bald head.) ”

Aquino slammed those who don’t believe that the Philippines is a paradise as playing deaf and blind. “Mga nagbubulag-bulagan at nagbibingi-bingihan lang ang hindi nakakaramdam sa malaking pagbabagong tinatamasa ng ating bayan. (Only those playing deaf and blind are those who have not felt the massive transformation our country is experiencing),” he said.

More than a third of the people in this country then is playing deaf and blind because the latest nationwide survey of Pulse Asia, conducted last week (March 1 to 7), showed that only 38 percent of Filipinos approved of what Aquino is doing, a huge 21-percentage-point drop from the 59 percent approval rating he enjoyed November last year.

The number of those who trust him also decreased from 56 percent last year to 36 percent this year.

The survey was done more than a month after the Jan. 25 Mamasapano tragedy happened where 67 people were killed including 44 members of the Philippine National Police’s Special Action Force, 18 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and five civilians including an eight-year old girl.

Malacañang earlier scored the report of the Board of Inquiry which the Philippine National Police created to investigate the Mamasapano tragedy for concluding that the President violated the chain-of-command while supervising Oplan Exodus.

“The Chain of Command in the PNP was violated. The President, the suspended CPNP Purisima and the former Director SAF Napeñas kept the information to themselves and deliberately failed to inform the OIC PNP and the SILG. The Chain of Command should be observed in running mission operations, “ the BOI, headed by Police Director Benjamin Magalong, stated.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda disagreed saying that there was no violation of the chain of command because the PNP is a civilian organization and as Chief Executive, Aquino exercises full and absolute control over every official in the organization.

Unfortunately for Aquino, the Senate Committee on Public Order headed by Sen. Grace Poe, which conducted hearings on the tragedy, believes Aquino should be held accountable for the “massacre.”

Here’s the Grace Poe committee’s damning report:

“The President must bear responsibility for giving assent to and failing to prevent the unlawful exercise of official functions by PDGPurisima in connection with Oplan Exodus.
It is beyond doubt that the President was fully aware that PDG Purisima was preventively suspended by the Ombudsman on 4 December 2014, and that PDDG Espina was designated Officer-in-Charge of the PNP on 12 December 2014. Yet, the President: 1.Allowed PDG Purisima to join the 9 January 2015 meeting at the Bahay Pangarap, where a sensitive and classified PNP operation was being discussed; 2.Instructed PDG Purisima to coordinate Oplan Exodus with the AFP; 3. Communicated exclusively with PDG Purisima in regard the progress of Oplan Exodus on25 January 2015; and 4. Gave instructions to PDG Purisima as to the conduct of Oplan Exodus on 25 January 2015, as when the President sent PDG Purisima a text message reading, “Basit should not get away.”

Poe challenged Aquino to show leadership.

The committee report said: “At this crucial time, it is imperative that the President display unquestionable leadership, be forthright and candid with our people, accept responsibility for all decisions he makes as President, and admit the mistakes he made along the way.”

Blog: www.ellentordesillas.com
E-mail: [email protected]

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.