We understand

President Aquino at the PNPA 2015 commencement exercises.

President Aquino at the PNPA 2015 commencement exercises.

He couldn’t even mention the incident that he was asking the public for understanding.

In his speech at the commencement exercise of the Philippine National Police Academy’s Lakandula Class of 2015, the day after the nation marked the second month of the Mamasapano tragedy, President Aquino said, “Ikinalulungkot kong may mga pamilyang nawalan ng asawa, ama, kapatid, anak, dahil sa nangyari sa Mamasapano. Ikinalulungkot kong sa pagnanais kong bigyan ng espasyong magluksa ang mga makakakita, sa unang pagkakataon, ng nasawi nilang kaanak, ay may mga nag-isip na ako’y manhid at walang pakikiramay. Ang intensiyon ko noon ay makatulong sa paghilom. Ang gusto ko po sana, kapag may nagtanong ng “Ano ang nangyari? Bakit sila namatay? Ano na po ang mangyayari sa amin?” ay may dala na akong malinaw na sagot. Kung ang naging tugon ko sa mga katanungan ay “Hindi ko po alam,” paano ako makakatulong sa kanilang paghilom? Ikinalulungkot ko ring nadadamay ang ating usaping pangkapayapaan dahil sa sentimyentong naikakabit sa naging resulta ng Oplan Exodus. Sa bawat Pilipinong nabigo at nasaktan dahil sa mga pangyayaring kaugnay ng operasyong ito: Buong pagpapakumbaba kong hinihiling ang inyong pang-unawa. (It deeply saddens me that there are families who are now without a husband, a father, a brother, a son, because of what happened in Mamasapano. I am saddened by the fact that, despite my effort to give the families space to grieve, as they were to meet their fallen loved ones for the first time, some people found fault in this by calling me cruel or without regard for such loss. My intention was to help them heal. I wanted to have clear answers should I be asked, “What happened? Why did they die? What will happen to us now?” If my response was “I do not know,” how could I help hasten the healing? I am also saddened that our peace process has been affected by the sentiments connected to the result of Oplan Exodus. To every Filipino who has felt failure or has been hurt because of the events related to this operation: It is with the abiding humility that I ask for your deepest understanding.)”
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March 27, 2015 9:28 pm  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Malaya, Philippine National Police  10 Comments

What PNoy and Kris Aquino text each other

OMG. I almost fell off my chair upon reading the text exchanges between President Aquino and his sister, Kris Aquino posted by journalist Cecil Morella in Facebook.
PNoy-Kris text exchanges

Yesterday afternoon, Kris Aquino posted in her Instagram account (withlovekrisaquino) her text exchanges with the President last Friday just to disprove rumors that PNoy collapsed.

Kris Aquino’s post: “I still keep hearing the utterly baseless & senseless story about my brother having collapsed Friday night… I am posting our text exchange from March 20, Friday w/ a time stamp of 9:34 PM. If you follow my IG account Thursday after A&A we traveled to Pradera in Lubao, on Friday I posted several pics from our Pampanga taping, on Sunday night on www.withlovekrisaquino.com I posted a TRAVEL LOVE entry complete w/ a timeline of our PRADERA EXPERIENCE. Yesterday, today & tomorrow you’ve watched & will still get to watch it on #krisandbimbysummertv on @kristvofficial_ig. Napakalinaw na SUPER OKAY si PNoy nung Friday because diba nakuha pa nyang pag trip-an & spoof how I talk.”
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March 24, 2015 11:40 pm  Tags:   Posted in: Benigno Aquino III, Malaya  18 Comments

Why Trillanes didn’t sign the Senate committee report on the Mamasapano tragedy

Trillanes being interviewed by Pinky Webb at Mornings at ANC

Trillanes being interviewed by Pinky Webb at Mornings at ANC

Following is the transcript of the interview of Senator Antonio Trillanes by Pinky Webb at Mornings at ANC last Friday.

PINKY WEBB: Senator Antonio Trillanes refuses to sign the Senate Committee Report on the Mamasapano. He joins us here in the studio to tell us why. And we will also talk to him about his plans for 2016. Senator, good morning!

SENATOR ANTONIO TRILLANES IV (SAFT): Good morning Pinky.

WEBB: Alright. The Mamasapano Report gathered 20 signatures from your fellow Senators with reservations, half of them with reservations. There are four who didn’t sign, yourself, Senate President Franklin Drilon, Senator Enrile and Senator Lito Lapid. You were quoted saying that the Senate report was lacking.
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March 21, 2015 11:50 pm  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Philippine National Police  66 Comments

Mar forgot to tell PNoy about BOI request

Police Director Benjamin Magalong, BOI-PNP head.

Police Director Benjamin Magalong, BOI-PNP head.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas forgot to tell President Aquino of the request Police Director Benjamin Magalong to interview him before the Board of Inquiry on the Mamasapaano tragedy released their report last March 13, ABS-CBN reported.
Mar Roxas. Photo from KickerDaily.

Mar Roxas. Photo from KickerDaily.

Magalong said he met with Aquino in Malacañang on Tuesday together with Roxas and Philippine National Police Officer-in-Charge Leonardo Espina.

He said Roxas also apologized for failing to inform the President about the BOI’s request to interview him regarding the Mamasapano mission.

“Binanggit din niya syempre yung issue na bakit hindi ko siya na-interview. At in-explain ko rin sa kanya na, inamin din naman ni Secretary [Roxas] na talagang sa dami ng trabaho nakalimutan na mabanggit kay Presidente at dapat na-remind ko sila,” he said.

It will be recalled that Presidential Spokesperson scored the BOI for not getting the side of the President before issuing the report.

It was reported here Monday that Magalong asked Roxas last March 9 to relay their request to Aquino for an interview.
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March 19, 2015 12:55 am  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Benigno Aquino III, Philippine National Police  32 Comments

Poe to Aquino: Be a leader, tell the truth

Sen. Grace Poe reveals findings of Senate committee that investigated Mamasapano tragedy.

Sen. Grace Poe reveals findings of Senate committee that investigated Mamasapano tragedy.

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.)”
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March 18, 2015 12:03 am  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Bangsamoro, Senate, surveys  22 Comments

BOI requested for interview with Aquino

It is not true that the Board of Inquiry did not try to get the side of President Aquino on the Jan. 25 Mamasapano tragedy that claimed 67 lives including 44 of the country’s elite police commandos, 18 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and five civilians, including an eight-year old girl.

DILG Secretary Mar Roxas accepts from PNP Board of Inquiry Chairman PDir Benjamin Magalong the copies of the report on the Mamasapano clash during the official turnover on Friday, March 13, 2015.

DILG Secretary Mar Roxas accepts from PNP Board of Inquiry Chairman PDir Benjamin Magalong the copies of the report on the Mamasapano clash during the official turnover on Friday, March 13, 2015.

Last March 9, BOI head Police Director Benjamin Magalong told Interior Secretary Mar Roxas that they would like to interview the President and the latter promised to relay the request to Aquino.

This took place when Magalong requested Roxas for an extension to submit the report.

Magalong never got a notification from Roxas on Malacañang’s reply to his request. He submitted the BOI report last Friday.

Malacañang is not happy with the report of the BOI that investigated the Jan. 25 Mamasapano tragedy of which found that the Chain of Command in the Philippine National Police was violated and one of the culprits was President Aquino.
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March 15, 2015 11:27 pm  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Philippine National Police  29 Comments

China’s latest expansion to deny PH access to Ayungin shoal

Mischief Reef

Mischief Reef


By Tessa Jamandre, Vera Files

China has created new artificial islets in two more reefs in the disputed South China Sea, which the Philippine military fears is meant to choke off its access to Ayungin shoal, where a crumbling Philippine Navy ship is beached.

Rep. Ashley Acedillo of the Magdalo Partylist

Rep. Ashley Acedillo of the Magdalo Partylist

In an interview, former Air Force officer Rep. Francisco Acedillo, now partylist representative of the Magdalo party, shared the latest maritime surveillance photos showing how China’s land reclamation is expanding to cover all the seven reefs it occupies.

The latest reclamation work is being done on Mischief and Subi reefs, known to the Philippines as Panganiban and Zamora, which are fast catching up with the five other reefs where China had done reclamation work early last year.

Acedillo branded this move as “ graver danger to the country’s national security.”

The photos, taken at an altitude of 5,000 feet, show multi-storey buildings, deep harbors, and airstrips being constructed. Also sighted were cargo and supply vessels steadily hauling construction materials in reclaimed lands.

“I warn my colleagues in Congress and the Filipino people of an impending danger to our national security and it’s right at our doorstep, less than 50-kilometers away from our Ayungin Shoal and roughly 400-km away from Palawan,” Acedillo said.
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March 15, 2015 10:38 pm  Tags:   Posted in: Foreign Affairs, South China Sea  5 Comments

Ano ang nangyari kay Mar Roxas?

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas. Photo by Edwin Bacasmas, PDI.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas. Photo by Edwin Bacasmas, PDI.

Sinabi ng Board of Inquiry ng Philippine National Police na siyang nag-imbestiga sa trahedya sa Mamasapano, Maguindanao noong Enero 25 na nilabag ni Pangulong Aquino ang chain of command.

Dahil doon nagkandaloko-loko ang operasyon. Umabot sa 67 na buhay ang nalagas kasama na doon ang 44 na miyembro ng SAF, 18 na miyembro ng Moro Islamic Liberation Front at 5 na sibilyan.

Sa halip na purihin ang BOI sa pamumuno ni Police Director Benjamin Magalong, hepe ng Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, inabswelto pa rin ni Interior Secretary Mar Roxas si Pangulong Aquino.
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March 14, 2015 11:04 pm  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Abante, Philippine National Police  8 Comments

The Lantern festival crowd: showcase of Taiwanese’s admirable discipline

In the 30 or so minutes that I was in the midst of the teeming crowd in Wuri Railway Station in Taichung, Taiwan last Saturday, I gained insights about the Taiwanese and in way, in their relations with mainland China, more than what I have learned in my readings in the past.

Thousands and thousands of people of all ages – babies, children, elderly, even the handicapped, filled every inch of the train station. Organizers said there were 1.5 million visitors that night, a record attendance.

As I flowed with the crowd, I thought of the stampede in Shanghai last New year’s eve where 36 people died and for some fleeting moments, it was scary.

Wuri Railway Station in Taichung, at about 9 p.m. of Saturday, March 7, 2015. Part of the 1.5 million  who came to visit the Lantern Festival.

Wuri Railway Station in Taichung, at about 9 p.m. of Saturday, March 7, 2015. Part of the 1.5 million who came to visit the Lantern Festival.

But the amazing thing was,the crowd was moving orderly. There was no pushing or elbowing out each other. It was discipline at its most awesome.
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March 12, 2015 12:07 am  Tags:   Posted in: Arts and Culture, Foreign Affairs  11 Comments

The potent bite of the ‘Mosquito Press’

Documentary-Portraits of Mosquito Press

Documentary-Portraits of Mosquito Press

Congratulations to JL Burgos for bringing to the screen an important chapter in our history of struggle for press freedom.

“Portraits of Mosquito Press “documents the struggle for press freedom at the time when the country was still in the grip of the Marcos dictatorship.

“Mosquito Press” was Marcos’ belittling of the small, independent newspapers which he allowed to operate to give a semblance of press freedom under his autocratic rule.

The small, independent newspapers lead by We Forum, owned and edited by Jose Burgos, Jr., were called the “alternative press.” Alternative to the establishment press owned by Marcos cronies and relatives and toed the government line that Marcos was the savior of the Philippines.

We Forum was critical of Marcos. When asked by international media about issues raised in We Forum, Marcos dismissed it as nothing but the handiwork of the “mosquito press.” In effect, they are just mosquitos. Nothing that he cannot swat easily.

Later, Marcos would realize that mosquito bites can be potent.
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March 4, 2015 12:48 am  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Malaya, Media  12 Comments