Daily Archives: January 29, 2015

Accountability and Deniability

January 28, 2015

Accountability and Deniability

By Arturo P. Garcia

When the news of the “misencounter” between the PNP Special Action Force or the police commandos out to arrest the two most wanted terrorist Bali Bombers from Jamayat islamiya(JI) Marwan and Usman became headlines, many were shocked.

The news detailed that the Philippine police forces suffered one of its worst debacle in the field last January 24, 2015 at Mamapasapano, Maguindanao. When the smoke of battle was cleared, the PNP reported 44 of its SAF were killed and 12 others were wounded. On the other hand, the MILF reported 64 police commandos were dead.

Many questions remained unanswered questions were asked by the public, political analysts, the media and all people from the entire spectrum.

Questions like; how true is the report that the mission order to deploy the 392-man SAF in a sneak operation in MILF territory was signed by Executive Secretary Ochoa by authority of the President?

How true is the related report that Aquino and his security cabinet cluster headed by Ochoa were obliged by the US to make the mission order on the basis of supposed A-1 info from US intelligence that the target JI personalities would certainly be cornered?

How true is the report that the OPAPP endorsed or agreed to the use of SAF for the purpose of “law enforcement” as the way to circumvent the standing ceasefire rule that the GPH needed to consult with the MILF in case of AFP military operations in its territory?”

President Aquino III in a press conference last January 28 answered these questions. But the problem is he never denied his accountability but he also confirmed his accountability.

President Aquino pointed out that there is “an outstanding warrant of arrest” and he has cleared the operations in principle and has given specific instructions for “ coordination” between the PNP and the AFP where he hinted “ the problem might lie with the coordination between the friendly forces.”

Using the reason that “ he does not want to preempt the Board of Inquiry”, he like many others wanted to ascertain the facts before he make any conclusions. Any form of denial but at the same time accepting his accountability as the commander in chief.

But for the peace advocates like me, as President Aquino stated, that ”the best way to honor our fallen heroes is to continue the peace process and pass the Basic Bangsa Moro Law” now suspended in the PH Congress.

On the other side, even the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Central Committee through its Chairman Al Hadji Morad, “ expressed deep sympathy to the relatives and friend of the victims” and promised “ investigations on the their part to go the bottom why the incident appeared.”

While from the sidelines, the usual “dogs of war” are up against the MILF and even President Aquino III. While at most, they are calling for investigation; some are calling for impeachment and cry for vengeance,They are again rattling their sabers and are calling for blood.

From former presidents Erap Estrada, Fidel Ramos, DILG Chief Rafael Alunan III as well as retired military generals, they say” you cannot trust the MILF and are echoing the age old adage, “you can only trust a dead Muslim, but never a Muslim.”

But President Benigno Aquino III remained firm and on his nationwide address asked lawmakers to honor the 44 elite policemen killed in a clash with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) members by passing the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

In a televised speech, Aquino said abandoning the peace process will be a disservice to the fallen officers from the PNP-Special Action Force (SAF).

“Kung hindi magtatagumpay ang prosesong pangkapayapaan, kung babalik tayo sa status quo, o kung lalala pa ang karahasan, di ba’t ito mismo ang kabaliktaran ng kanilang pinagbuwisan ng buhay?” Aquino said.

And for me , that was very well said.