Tuesday, February 17, 2015

PNoy and His GPS = Stay the Course

Tuwid Na Daan (Straight Path) is PNoy’s chosen roadway as President of his country and his people. Governing with Honesty and Humility, he earned Honors for the Philippines, and is now currently raising Hopes for the Filipinos. 

True to his presidential campaign slogan, “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” (No corruption, no poverty), he pursued a very aggressive Anti-Corruption Campaign that netted within a short period unbelievable and historical results. Nobody ever imagined that under his tenure top officials from the Legislative, Judicial and Executive departments would be accused of criminal acts due to dishonesty, “Wang-Wang mentality, and acts of arrogance and impunity. Many are now under detention.

I described and called these moves of PNoy and those in the government as his GPS (Grand Prosecution of the Sleazy), which is consistent with his fearless anti-corruption drive.

Forbes Magazine attributed the drive that actually reduced corruption in the Philippines as one of the five (5) fail-proof factors that will make the Philippine economy grow. The other four (4) are: Expenditures in Infrastructure; Relocation of expanding manufacturing facilities from China to the Philippines; and of course, Remittances by overseas Filipino workers.
Forbes Magazine however, also mentioned one (1) roadblock – Violence in Mindanao.

This brings us to PNoy’s other GPS – Genuine Peace Settlement. Pope Francis in his recent visit prayed for abundant blessings of Peace and Prosperity for the people of the Philippines.

The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro was indeed a major step in attaining a Genuine Peace Settlement (GPS). The next step is the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) which would be the basis for more democratic, judicial and most importantly, peaceful processes in law enforcement and in conflict resolution. It would allow Muslims in the region to govern themselves autonomously according to their customs and traditions and to police their own ranks independently subject to local and national laws.

Both sides agree that this would eventually remove the remaining roadblock to economic growth and prosperity not just for Mindanao but also for the entire nation.

The recent events in Mamasapano, Maguindanao seem to derail the on-going efforts to attain PNoy’s other GPS – a Genuine Peace Settlement. What happened?

From what I heard and read (Philippine Inquirer), a plan was hatched to capture “dead or alive” two top terrorists namely, Marwan and Usman. Known as the Osama Bin Laden of Asia, the former carried a reward of $6 million while that of the latter $2 million. Warrants had been issued for their arrest for committing the crimes of murder, frustrated and attempted murders, and also for the bombing of innocent civilians not only in the Philippines but also in other countries. Marwan was a known expert in bombing. He also trained other terrorists in bomb making.

The elite Special Action Forces (SAF) was chosen to serve the warrants of arrest. Involved were 392 police commandos divided into groups who were positioned as early as 3 a.m. on Sunday, January 25, 2015. SAF Commander Napeñas said, “The plan was for a surgical operation of only 30 minutes. Targeted for the assault were four nipa huts in the village. Part of the assault force entered Marwan’s nipa hut at 4:20 a.m. Marwan woke up and started shooting thus - injuring some, but was killed by the police force instantly.”

Napeñas further said, “the exchange of gunfire brought Marwan’s security to action. As the policemen were about to pull out, they came under fire from all directions.”

The fight caused the untimely deaths of 44 SAF policemen and 18 Muslim rebels plus top terrorist Marwan. Usman was injured but escaped. When help eventually came, 11 wounded and 17 unharmed policemen were rescued. I understand that 7 civilians also died in the crossfire. Over all, 68 Filipinos and 1 Malaysian (Marwan) met their Creator during the skirmishes.

There are still several questions that need to be answered. It is also alleged that the killers of the SAF Fallen 44 could have violated International Humanitarian Law and/or Crimes Against Humanity. The latter is incorporated under Republic Act 9851.
The PNP’s Board of Inquiry is currently investigating all the facts surrounding the killings. CBCP President Archbishop Villegas suggested that a Truth Commission be set-up to gather all the facts. MILF Peace Panel Chairman Iqbal is amenable to a UN- appointed Truth panel.

Meanwhile, PNoy haters and naysayers are seeing the unfortunate killing of the SAF 44 as an opportunity to renew, or reinforce their unfulfilled dream of ousting the duly elected President.

Impeachment is politically not viable. A coup d’état is militarily unacceptable. Resignation is virtually impossible. People Power is practically unsupportable.

Most recently, through NTC, the following 5 Catholic leaders jointly issued a statement demanding PNoy’s resignation: Davao Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla, Zamboanga Archbishop Romulo de la Cruz, Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, Naval Bishop Filomeno Bactol, Fr. Carlito Clase on behalf of Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos.

CBCP, which is made up of 99 active and 32 honorary bishops and other members, took a different view. Its President, Archbishop Villegas issued the following statement, “Before we have all the facts, however, the CBCP cannot morally join in the calls for his resignation, leaving this decision to his (PNoy) humble and prayerful discernment of his capacity to lead...”

Yes, the SAF Fallen 44 died, knowing that they were pursuing justice and peace. To honor them, PNoy declared a National Day of Mourning. He spent about 10 hours condoling with their surviving families. He declared them heroes in a Presidential Proclamation and awarded them “Medals of Bravery”. He committed to the families all the assistance accruing to them, be they pension, health benefits, education for the children and the donations that would be collected. Of course, he offered prayers by and appreciation from a grateful nation. As Commander in Chief, he assumed full responsibility!

They did not die in vain! They killed the Osama bin Laden of Asia – the $6 million terrorist Marwan, and wounded the $2 million terrorist Usman. The necessary and beneficial consequences of Marwan’s death are immeasurable. Also killed were 18 Muslim rebels. A total of 348 policemen who were involved in the operation returned home alive although 11 were wounded.

Blessed with wisdom while discerning that there can be no peace without justice, PNoy ordered Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to prepare criminal charges against those responsible for the carnage. On the table should be possible commission of Crimes Against Humanity.

In pursuing justice, PNoy’s GPS is a Genuine Peace Settlement. In pursuing economic prosperity, PNoy’s GPS is a Grand Prosecution of the Sleazy. In both cases, PNoy must stay the course!

No comments:

Post a Comment