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Friday, November 10, 2017

Former diplomat: Mamasapano "worst crime committed" by a President

Rigoberto Tiglao and former President Benigno Aquino III, photo compiled from Google
Columnist and former diplomat Rigoberto Tiglao in his article for the Manila Times on November 10 said that the Mamasapano massacre is the worst crime to have ever been committed by a Philippine President, referring to former President Benigno Aquino III.

"Past presidents have been accused of corruption, on such a massive scale even. But Aquino is the only President who abandoned his troops, so that they were brutally massacred."



Tiglao also mentioned that the crime should also be pinned on Senator Franklin Drilon and former Speaker of the House Feliciano Belmonte.

"The Congress he controlled—with the Senate headed by Liberal Party pillar Franklin Drilon and the House of Representatives by Feliciano Belmonte, Jr.—share Aquino’s shame and crime, as even in this controversy that involved the massacre of the Republic’s troops, it chose to conspire in the cover-up of the worst crime by a Philippine president ever."

This article was after the Ombudsman filed a graft case against Aquino on November 9 for, in her words, “utilizing the services"for the police operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao which led to the death of the 44 Philippine National Police Special Armed Forces commandos under then PNP Chief Alan Purisima.

Tiglao said that the motion was a clever way for Aquino to escape justice.

"The Ombudsman’s charge is like, if ever, US authorities charging the New York terrorist who mowed eight people to death with a rented truck solely with reckless driving," he said.



Apparently, relatives of the dead are planning to ask the Supreme Court to order the Ombudsman to charge Aquino with 44 counts of criminal imprudence resulting in homicide.

"There has got to be some graver offense in our laws to charge Aquino with over the Mamasapano tragedy. Aquino’s failure—or refusal—to prevent the massacre of our elite troops in Mamasapano by Muslim rebels is the worst crime ever committed by a Philippine President," Tiglao said.

Allegedly, Aquino knew that morning that the troops  were pinned down, but did nothing, and only in the evening did he call for a "command conference" for his security officials to deal with the crisis.

"Army troops with air support were ordered— nobody even knows by whom—to act only towards sundown, when the 44 SAF soldiers had already been killed by Muslim rebel snipers, with some of the wounded shot at point-blank range."

"Aquino didn’t do anything that entire day, and pretended that nothing was happening as he went around Zamboanga City with his officials, including Mar Roxas and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin."

He said such facts were a known truth, as heard from testimonies in Senate Hearings.



Tiglao said that there are two theories why this happened: the first is that Aquino buried his head in fear and was paralyzed into inaction and let Purisima take lead.

" A second explanation, which President Duterte himself has advanced, is that he was allegedly told by Teresita Quintos-Deles, his chief negotiator with rebel groups, including the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front, not to order the military’s air assets from bombing the Muslim rebel positions as the battle raged, as this would endanger the peace talks with the MILF."

He said though that it doesn't matter which theory is the truth, as his irresponsibility cannot be justified.

"Whichever explanation is accurate, Aquino’s failure or refusal to order the military he commanded to rescue the SAF troops who had been pinned down since early morning is an abomination to the military and the nation."

He also said that President Rodrigo Duterte with the help of Congress, should find ways to make Aquino pay for this crime.

Source: manilatimes.net

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