JoeAm’s findings: Day 3 of the Senate hearings on the Battle of Mamasapano

mamasapano-map inquirer

[Photo source: Inquirer]

In the Day 2 blog, I cited what I felt was the outstanding work done by five senators in pursuit of understandings on the confrontation between Moro rebels and SAF troops at Mamasapano.

Day 3 showed the opposite, senators pursuing political aims rather than neutral fact-finding (Marcos, Binay), Senator Santiago stirring up the tabloid media with accusations against specific people and flinging “coup” talk into the hearings without being transparent about it, and other panel members setting the room to sleep. Senator Legarda continued to push for classified information to be revealed in public session, and asked questions that had been answered earlier in the session when she obviously was not there.

I cited my top five in the last report. Here, for the sake of discussion, are my bottom five, going from worst up: Marcos, Sotto, Legarda, Binay and Recto. The standard: did they contribute anything to moving forward? I frankly don’t know where to put Senator Santiago. She is blunt, unaffiliated with political interests, intelligent; she acknowledged accountability could not be placed with anyone, then proceeded to place it.

Here’s what Day 3 produced:

  • MILF Chief Negotiator Iqbal was forthright and sensitive in representing the MILF point of view. He recited massacres the Moros have faced, said MILF saved the lives of 28 of the engaged SAF fighters, had a history of disenfranchisement to deal with, had trouble controlling elements like BIFF and private armies, had emotions to consider, too, worked through a complex structure (bureaucratic), but wanted peace and would, given time, demonstrate their sincerity. He described the brutality of execution of SAF people as shown in the video released yesterday as “more than terrorism”. In other words, inhumane. Iqbal reminded the senate that there has been no fighting from the MILF for several years now, until this tragic incident.
  • There were determined efforts by senators Marcos and Binay to figure out how to demonstrate that President Aquino was directly involved or negligent, but they rather proved that he likely knew nothing other than what he and Purisima shared that day. Purisima declined to answer what they shared until he had consulted with the President. Senator Marcos at one point seemed to suggest that President Aquino was negligent for not ordering the firing of artillery, and went banshee when the AFP generals told him they could’t fire even if the President ordered it, because of doctrine. Clearly the son of a dictator. Never mind that his suggestion that Aquino should have done more was in direct conflict with popular rage that Aquino had done too much. Politics entered the fray after two days of fact finding.
  • Most of the discussions went over old ground and seemed to reveal nothing new. Senator Legarda is obsessed with “foreign involvement” and I think was dismayed to find this would be discussed in private session. Also a political ploy to appeal to her base? Similar to Senator Santiago’s grandstanding?
  • The famous “intel package” was only three pages long, driving Senator Honasan nuts. I think the senators rather picked up the mood from yesterday’s wild House session. More emotion, less useful information.
  • The MILF has about 7,000 armed people according to PNP intelligence.
  • Senator Ejercito went back to Iqbal’s statement in his letter to the senate and asked what he meant by MILF returning to revolutionary status if the BBL failed. Iqbal said that the Moro effort to be recognized and remedied was a social movement, and they would be obligated to “push their assertions”.
  • Several senators, Cayetano in particular, said it is up to the MILF to demonstrate sincerity to the peace process. Several senators also offered support for the peace process, saying there is no choice. Based on this more moderate tone and Mr. Iqbal’s attendance, my bookie Sal has raised the probability of passage of the BBL by Congress from 35% to 50%. Iqbal said the MILF would respect revisions to the BBL done by Congress, but not if the overall intent of meaningful self governance was “watered down”.
  • Under the BBL, Bangsamoro police would be a part of the PNP, and would not report to the Bangsamoro government. (JoeAm calculates that the police force would be about 6,500 strong).
  • The cease fire initiative during the day of battle was castigated as being  a failed effort. It took 11 hours to get from start of coordination to a cease fire. The peace negotiators who oversee the cease fire effort seemed to place the blame on the failure of the SAF to coordinate. The observation of a cease fire representative was: “Once firing starts it is hard to stop.” (JoeAm says, “Duh! That’s why it is called a cease fire team; you have to stop it once it starts. You didn’t.”)

The hearing was suspended to go into Executive session to discuss confidential matters. Bookie Sal places the probability at 85% that there will be leaks.


132 Responses to “JoeAm’s findings: Day 3 of the Senate hearings on the Battle of Mamasapano”
  1. Juan Rivera says:

    You hit the nail right in the head about the grandstanding politicians.

  2. adrian says:

    Opinion/analysis very well presented.. I hope you can find a creative way to enlighten the general public so they will understand the art of deception and dirty politics that these elected officials mastered for many generations.

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks, adrian, These blogs are getting much wider readership these days. Our target is not the mass audience, but the opinion makers who DO reach there, or who are responsible for policy.

  3. Sir Joe, may I ask why you have not made a commentary re: the video clip of the SAF mercilessly killed ?

    • Joe America says:

      I did on twitter. I don’t watch gory videos put on the internet by evil people to intimidate and shock. It empowers them and I refuse to do that. Plus not watching helps me avoid the emotionalism attached to such things, and the rash judgments that follow. I can stay balanced.

      I also observed that, regarding ABS-CBN news showing a body in the river, that the fact is a person is dead. The showing of the body is strictly emotion.

      News should deal with facts, I think.

      As for the TAKING DOWN of the video on you tube or wherever it resides, I let others argue the implications on free speech, as it is irrelevant to me given my principle of not watching.

      So there you have it. Longer than a tweet, shorter than a blog. Glad you asked.

  4. karl garcia says:

    Got my answer earlier on Miriam and i agree. Legarda was obviously not around earlier when Senator Drilon warned the resource people not to reveal national secrets, maybe it would not make difference if she was there, and would insist on asking until being stopped by a chair. Binay asked who told the president, and got no answer so Bongbong thinks he might be the one to get the answer. Cayetano rationalized why he is not insensitive and why he is not anti muslim by saying that some of his constituents are muslim, senator JV also had that line in San Juan this time about the dvds I mean the muslim trade that has flourished in green hills.As I said Tito Sotto asked again for photocopies,and the chair obliged.

    • Joe America says:

      ha, next meeting you can write the damn blog.

      • karl garcia says:

        whaat? I don’t want people to boycott your blog,and I don’t think the next meeting would be any better.even a joint meeting of the two houses if ever that happens, would produce anything new.

        • You are a hoot and a half, karl.

          • Karl garcia says:

            Juana. I only know of the hooters resto bar so I had to consult both and the urban dictionary .hehe

        • Joe America says:

          I agree, it is time for the government to get back to work. FOI, Anti-dynasty, other bills that will make the lives of the living better.

          • Karl garcia says:

            First i gave up on their aim to search for truth thru that forum and if it is legislation then proceed with the bbl hearings and channel all the questions there. Don’t tell me they will ask for the same resource persons and ask the same questions.

            • Joe America says:

              The truth is out, all that we need to know, and I hope to wrap that up in Sunday evening’s blog. Any thing beyond where we are is very likely to tilt toward political gamesmanship, as we saw on Day 3. There are still punishments to be meted out through the process of due process, but that does not require Legislative interference. Get on with the people’s work, legislators.

  5. matina52 says:

    I’m just watching the video now. I’m up to Miriam interrogating Iqbal. Iqbal deserves to be commended for his eloquence, calmness and knowledgeability which foiled Miriam’s usual grandstanding and rhetorical rantings,. Bravo Mr Iqbal. I would like to hear more from you if not in this forum, in others and without Miriam please. Thank you.

    • That is so true Ms. Matina, time for us from Luzon to listen to our Muslim brothers :).

    • Joe America says:

      Mr Iqbal did represent himself extraordinarily well, I agree. Miriam seems every year to strive to be more shocking with her statements. Tabloid senator.

    • Bert says:

      My sympathy is with Senator Miriam, she’s not well physically. She’s just trying hard to do what her job demands on her but her cancer affliction is taking its toll on her. I hope she gets well.

      • jolly cruz says:

        I have no sympathy for Santiago. Her boorish behavior has no place in the senate inquiry. As a civilian she has every riight to know what happened. But she does not have the right to shout and demean our generals, who I am sure have had their share of experience in the battlefield. They are heroes as well.

        In spite of her pronouncements of her intelligence and brilliance (?)(bar exam results 75%), I am sure she does not know anything about military tactics and operations. So to imply that the generals are incompetent and do not know what they are doing is the greatest insult to these officers who have dedicated their lives so that we, the civilians, can live in the comfort of our homes.

        I was really waiting for one of the generals to shout at her, and risk contempt just to put her in her right place. Her fellow senators, specially Trillanes and Honasan should have come to the defense of the generals.

        Santiago’s raves and rants are a disgrace to the whole Senate. Only those who revel in insulting people will find her performance worthwhile. I find her irrelevant and not worthy of the attention that people have given her.

  6. Brian says:

    Only in a democracy can star-ranking generals get yelled at for failed tactical operations by a former RTC judge who claims she has memorized Black’s Legal Dictionary.

    • Joe America says:

      The good senator is a piece of work. Citing her Latin and legalese as if that would make her appear smart, cracking sex jokes, or lecturing others on how to live their lives better. She is alternatively funny and pathetic. I’m surprised she didn’t have a sex joke for Iqbal.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        When Filipinos argue they use English.
        If the opponent is good in English, they quote dead poets, dead philosophers and dead best selling authors
        If the opponent is good at it as well, they up the ante, LATIN.

        American elected officials never quote poets, philosophers and authors to support their arguments. They do not even quote Latin. They use PLAIN ENGLISH.

        • Joe America says:

          🙂 I need to find my old Latin textbook. I think I’ll do a blog in Latin.

          • sonny says:

            No need, Joe. I volunteer to edit any Latin text. “O, tempora! O mores! … usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra!” (My card, Joe.) 🙂

            • Joe America says:

              Ahahahaha. Here’s an idea. YOU write YOUR long’promised blog in Latin.

              • Joe America says:

                Haha, between yours and Mariano’s we’ll blow everybody’s minds . . .

              • sonny says:

                No, no, mon frere. I can only deliver lessons to translate Sen Santiago’s Latin epigraphs. A blog in Latin will set back my promised blog a light day away. Your guess was not too far, Joe. I am thinking one on CBCP. (What else could I think of?) 🙂

            • Karl garcia says:

              From cervantes to cicero.. I dont even know pig latin and its pinoy version jejemon. But will also want you to submit the debut blog as excited for mariano’s as well.

              • sonny says:

                Lores, Taga bundok and Yvonne and others have set some pretty good standards in substance and form. Must maintain them too.

              • sonny says:

                Karl, I just couldn’t resist the similarities from Cicero’s orations and Caesar’s Gallic Wars to our own times. 🙂

              • karl garcia says:

                So the senate during cicero’s time is still the same as today including the mockery.when it comes a to czar, i hope there is no contemporary brutus.

              • sonny says:

                Our knowledge of those times seem to indicate they were all DEADLY serious. For Filipinos shame, ostracism and ridicule are the weapons of choice, longer lasting than poisons or daggers. But now desecration and savagery are added. (Or have they always been with us?)

              • karl garcia says:

                Watch the asian news channel, fisticuffs galore.we are very tame sa lagay na yan.

        • Bert says:

          Please, guys, write Latin blog in the Society of Humor, not here.

          • sonny says:

            Can’t do Latin humor, Bert. That is really asking for the moon.

            • Bert says:

              But…but, Sonny, of course you can, here’s the proof:

              “No need, Joe. I volunteer to edit any Latin text. “O, tempora! O mores! … usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra!” ”

              :), I’m laughing already, and if that’s not Latin humor, then I’d guess I’m the man from the moon.

            • sonny says:

              Bert, the purist in me says Latin humor cannot be because it is a dead language. At best, satire is close (using classical, medieval or ecclesiastical literary models) and punning is more accessible. To do the latter depends on how extensive and agile your Latin vocabulary is, just like in English. IMO, of course.

            • Bert says:

              Well, if that’s the case, Sonny, we’ll just settle for a Latin blog without the humor since humor is dead already, maybe the reason why Italians are such morose people. Farther, satire, or pun, in Latin will sound the same to me, won’t know if it’s dead or still gasping so better to forget it. But, please, when you’re done with your Latin blog, publish it in the Society of Humor, not here.

              • sonny says:

                So noted, Bert. Sa totoo lang, Latin is industrial strength soporific. Best used in anatomy na lang.

              • Joe America says:

                hahaha, why do I suspect we are not getting our highly demanded Latin blog.

              • karl garcia says:

                Premed students studying anatomy would drop out without an industrial strength stimulant.

              • sonny says:

                Joe, you got it right. I can always translate my English blog using an on-line Latin translator. Better yet, baby steps. I will translate the comments. Shelley Berman’s stool will be rockin in no time. 🙂

                @ Karl surprisingly Latin is a built-in mnemonic for identifying body parts and health conditions. e.g. who can forget the pair of glutei maximi and where it is, or why vagina was chosen to describe the you-know-what; same for cervix and many others. Incidentally, I recommend if your children are offered, grab 2 years of Latin lessons and their English will improve markedly for life. Grades 6 & 7 are about right. With this, Pre-Med Anatomy Latin will be a breeze.

              • karl garcia says:

                so in the case of med students, latin is a stimulant. so there you have a market for your blog.
                “the cbcp and the anatomy of man”.

              • Joe America says:

                We’re going to rename this blog the Philippine Comedy Club. All we need is Ed Lores’ perspective on Latin blogs.

              • Bert says:

                Sonny, I asked my friend, who is an undertaker, if he has ever used Latin in his trade, sorry but I showed him your trade secret here in Joe’s blog, he said, basing from his experiences in dealing with anatomies, using soporific materials whether in industrial or local strength can be quite challenging since the effect of soporific is confined solely to inducing sleep or drowsiness and therefore futile. The good news is that he intend to use it anyway to alleviate his insomnia.

              • sonny says:

                🙂 Bert, I had notions long time ago of doing extension classes in Latin & Greek antiquity. Given my earning capacity & responsibilities I had to chuck the idea. But still am a wannabe classicist though.

              • sonny says:

                “the cbcp and the anatomy of man”. ha ha. mabalin met.

              • karl garcia says:

                diak amo. did you say can too?you really are a polyglot .

              • karl garcia says:

                Online dictionary pa, dami namang kapitbahay …..pwede rin pala ang meaning. Can too nga naman pag word for word.

              • sonny says:

                Karl, you are getting hard of hearing. 🙂 I didn’t say can too, I said “no can do” ha ha. Puede lang pag-isipan. I can still remember dreary afternoons. Latin was like drilling teeth. Joe knows the daily drill of declensions, conjugations & inflections. The payoff is mostly accuracy in vocabulary.

              • Joe America says:

                I learned more about English in Latin than I did in English. I still smirk every time I use the subjunctive . . . as if it were a sneak attack on the unwary . . .

              • sonny says:

                Karl, looks like anybody who did Latin has “battle wounds” to show. I think Edgar has also. But the net takeaway was always a more disciplined respect for English and a soft familiarity with the Romance languages, worn almost like a military campaign ribbon for life. IMO. It is no accident that Latin makes appearances in mottoes, logos, aphorisms, proverbs, etc. Greek is right up there too. The hallmark of high literacy was Latin & Greek at least my guess up to the invention of printing. Learning them is a must for Classics study, anyway.

  7. Lilit Trinidad says:

    Did anybody notice Purisima’s slip? He said after he was suspended, he turned the operation over and was no longer involved and merely offered “advice” after that briefing with the President. Yet he admitted it was he who texted Gen. Catapang asking for help when the SAF commandos were already in trouble. This is separate from when he informed him earlier “Time-On-Target” about the operation. Sounded like he was still very much in the loop.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      We do not see the timeline from the moment of engagement to asking for help from the superiors. THIS IS TOP SECRET. THE FILIPINOS CANNOT KNOW THIS. The Truth Commission will not ask of this. They wanted the head of Benigno Aquino instead of the planners.

      Benigno Aquino is no military man. A peaceful man. A peaceful non-military man cannot know how to execute a kill. It’s got to be those PMAyer graduates.

      • sonny says:

        MRP, seriously I was trying to think of this fiasco in terms of motive, opportunity and means.

      • Pallacertus says:

        I suppose I’ll ask the obvious question (as it’s not obvious to me, for what I hope are obvious reasons): why is the timeline from the SAF’s engagement to asking for help from their superiors supposed to be a national secret?

    • Joe America says:

      He was, and I suspect was operating much like the President’s “stealth” mission liaison. How active that relationship was we don’t yet know.

      • manuel buencamino says:

        The involvement of Purisima in the operation is only important as far as determining whether or not it was a cause or a contributing factor to its unfortunate ending. If all those deaths occurred because of certian decisions he made then he is to blame but if he was not the principal reason for those deaths then he is not. The focus on his being suspended at the time is a matter for lawyers not for military commanders who have a dangerous operation to carry out.

        • Joe America says:

          I agree, the suspension is irrelevant. The President can consult with whomever he wants, even Joe Blow off the street. But Purisima’s not following the President’s “advice” about working with AFP is another matter.

  8. Bing Garcia says:

    For me, the highlight of the senate hearing today was the response of Ging Deles to Alan Cayetano. She said the IRA, FARC and Nelson Mandela’s armed group were labeled terrorists before. She then proceeded to say the US government concluded that the best way to neutralize the MILF is to go to the peace process.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      The Muslims were given all what they wanted: Autonomy, plenty of Holidays, They can do whatever they want to their women, carry guns, etcetera. YET, THEY STILL SHOOT US. HARBORING INTERNATIONAL CRIMINALS AND TERRORISTS.

      Peace process only works for MILF to regroup, retrain, rearm and kill.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes. On Day 3, I think Cayetano met his match. Actually, two of them: Deles and Iqbal.

  9. Juana Pilipinas says:

    Mamasapano is the Philippines’ version of Benghazi. Like the Benghazi’s senate investigation, the Philippine senate will not be able to prove that the President is criminally culpable. Yet, the event will be used to taunt and diminish the President at every turn by his opponents like they did, and are still doing to Hillary Clinton.

    • mercedes santos says:

      YUP, bunch of COPYCATS !!! When will we ever learn ???

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Mamasapano is a combination of real war drama:

      Benghazi – failure of American Military to protect Benghazi Embassy due to confusion

      Take down of Osama Bin Ladin – By few good men. They did mock attack. Well planned. Well executed. The generals down to privates never talked to American Media ONLY ONE TALKED TO THE MEDIA. The SAF44 did the opposite with due respect. It was not their fault. It was the fault of Philippine Military.

      The American Media – They got their news from the Rose Garden ONLY. Nowhere else. Becaue the American Media knows that Generals and Privates are not allowed to talk to the American Media except from designated authorized spokesperson.

      The Creation of Commission of Failures – Only in the Philippines

      The Movie: Seal Team Six – Will there be SAF44: The Movie?

      Blame Game – The Commission of Failures want Benigno Aquino’s head.

      Thank goodness Benigno Aquino did not go down tit-for-tat with every accusations the politicians made thru the tabloid. Benigno Aquino is using Religious Philosophy: “If it fails, blame them. If it is successful, grab the credit.

      The church use this Philosophy all the time: If prayers do not get answered, blame the Filipinos. If Filipinos are successful, because of prayer to God. NEVER FAILS.

  10. Pallacertus says:

    Two thoughts:

    1. God, Miriam. I like you, I like your book, I’d even considered voting for you should you run for president, but DEAR GOD PLEASE STAHP

    2. I’m puzzled by this article as well as the comments. Is asking when Noynoy was informed of things going south in Mamasapano a legitimate question? In my humble opinion, yes. So why are you guys saying that’s off-limits to the public, that’s a national secret (that Purisima, Espina, Gazmin, et al won’t reveal to the senators even in executive session)? I don’t get it.

    • Bert says:

      Pallacertus, may I. The question as to when Noynoy was informed was answered already by the President himself during his first TV broadcast after the Mamasapano incident. He knew of it in the morning. So there is no point in asking the question WHEN over and over again when the question was answered already. That is not to say that it’s not a legitimate question, it is.

      It’s easy to see that Purisima, et al have their reasons for their refusal to be subjected to farther scrutiny about the matter. My guess is that it involves national security that might cause destabilization in the government that surely will result to something detrimental to the future of this country.

      There will be political repercussions here, but, whether we are for the administration or for the opposition, I think that political stability is a prime consideration.

      The Mamasapano operation is a successful operation, the target Marwan is dead, Usman probably seriously injured. Sadly 44 precious SAF lives were lost but who knows, maybe if the operation to get Marwan and Usman occurred some other time, nobody can tell for sure whether there could be less or more casualty than it has this time. My two centavos.

      • Joe America says:

        Indeed, the fact-finding at the senate level I think is done. Anything beyond this is political. The Day 3 meeting deteriorated to political plays in the guise of fact finding. The obsession with President Aquino is ridiculous. He has likely given the go-ahead on all the Marwan operations, and perhaps others from the Army side. One was costly. Get over it. Move on. (Pardon me for being harsh, but the President has a nation to run and the senators have important work to do.)

        • jolly cruz says:

          What the Senate and Congress actually want is a categorical statement from Noynoy to admit that he was responsible for the operations. He can not be resposible for the operations because he is not a military man. What he is responsible for is sanctioning the operations. But this does not need any explicit admission. The good general napenas has already admitted that there was tacit approval and the meeting on Jan 9 supports this. So what is the truth that the two chambers are looking for ?

          The two chambers should now deliberate on what sanctions to give the president for not informing the PNP OIC and Roxas and using Purisima as the pseudo commander of the SAF units. Enough of this playing to the emotions of the people. Enough of using the SAF 44 for selfish interests. Their deaths are for naught if their deaths will lead to the return of the crooks in government, the thieving corrupt bishops, the carpet baggers, etc.

          • Joe America says:

            Yes, I agree with that. I also think the President’s decision to call in Roxas and/or Espina is a proper executive function, and Legislators would be intruding in Executive affairs if they offered any kind of formal criticism or sanction. I don’t know what precedents there might be. I would add that the Legislature is neglecting its own business by extending hearings and maybe ought to be sanctioned back by Executive. 🙂

    • Joe America says:

      The Legislature is not empowered to subpoena the President or otherwise know what the President does not want to share as a matter of executive privilege, to preserve the separate branches of state. It is up to the President but if he opens the door a crack by allowing Purisima to report the times, when he refuses to answer as to what was said, he will be criticized. He preserves the power of future presidents if he does not allow the Legislature to intrude on his affairs.

      • karl garcia says:

        Again I am curious as to why congressman Neri Colmenares made a motion to subpoena the president and it was voted upon. What if he had enough votes, what would happen, then?

    • pinoyputi says:

      I felt the same way about Miriam. She askes questions, but only as a step up for her telling her own story and conclusions. I don’t understand why there is no one asking her whether she likes answers.
      The “when” question is instrumental for the “who” question and that should be asked endlessly. Most probably this was Purisma which then would show that he was not only advising, but in fact ordering around. It would be nice if the truth commission comes out with the the truth, but i seriously doubt it.

  11. Matina52 says:

    Did anyone else take note of Gen Espino when he told Alan Cayetano that PNP men in field assignments get an extra P250 a month, yes P250 A MONTH for risking their lives against the enemy from the front and government’s poor coordination and lack of support from the back. This is an insult. Is there anything we can do to raise public opinion to correct this?

    • karl garcia says:


      Long title


      Legislative status

      Pending in the Committee (8/12/2013)

      • karl garcia says:

        Legislative History

        [ 2013 ]
        7/16/2013 Introduced by Senator ANTONIO “SONNY” F. TRILLANES;
        8/12/2013 Read on First Reading and Referred to the Committee(s) on PUBLIC ORDER AND DANGEROUS DRUGS and FINANCE;

        • Joe America says:

          Poe chairs the Public Order one and there are five finance sub-committees. It’s not clear who is accountable for moving the bill.

          • karl garcia says:

            I see older encarnations of combat pay bill, so like foi the bill gets to be refiled repeatedly. I used to downplay certification of urgency by the president,but I think it is very vital for a bill to move.

            • karl garcia says:

              Forget presidential seal of approval for now.

              Going back to bills that often gathers dust because it involves money. They always say provide funds thereof. Even old laws are not implemented because of lack of budget.sure there are 5 subcommitee finance chairs supposedly to divide the load and makes things smooth but the budget secretary cannot divide himself to five for all bills that concerns budget he has to face em all one by one.that is just the senate’ s side.don’t wantt o imagine the hor’s side. That meetings with dbm is for forecasting purposes because it sure is not retroactive and i imagine that is for dbm to assure that there would be enough money,eventually.but we all now thatis not how the cookie crumbles.
              hope i made sense in my viewpoints.
              I have seen you explain thelegislative and budget process before, can you please paint a clearer picture.thanks.

              • karl garcia says:

                I guess the pnp magna carta bill would move if public opinion calls for it. To borrow from sonny that is witth the use of Polyanna lenses.I second the motion on Matina52. hope somehow this gathers enough public opinion considering very recent events .

  12. manuel buencamino says:

    And so what I learned from Santiago’s Q&A are 1. That she has received numerous awards 2. That she memorized Black’s law dictionary 3. Words are her profession 4. she was a former RTC judge who is using her legal training to assess a covert military operation 5. That I should have teed off earlier instead of making my playing buddies wait until she finished her diatribe.

    That is the problem when a hearing on a covert operation is handled by politicians who have absolutely no background or familiarity with the subject at hand. Miriam, former RTC judge, focused on finding legal blame for the encounter, insisting that Purisima had no business meddling in the operation because he was under preventive suspension.

    Well, Purisima was in on the planning from Day One. He had been involved in the pursuit of Marwan for years. So he and all the info, experience, and background he brought are out because he was under preventive suspicion? Mind you the suspension was to prevent him from meddling with a graft investigation. Now what does that suspension have to do with the covert operation that he was in on for months and months? Should the OIC Espina and Roxas who were not involved in the pursuit of Marwan have assumed Purisima’s role as principal planners? Well, from a lawyer’s perspective, yes. From a soldier’s perspective, no fucking way!

    Preventive suspension aside (admittedly difficult for one former RTC judge to do) the question Miriam should have focused on was the operation – did it have enough intel, were the planners familiar with the ground conditions, was there sufficient preparation and training, was it planned and led by the right people etc etc.

    If Purisima disregarded his suspension and was actively involved in the planning and even directing the operation, the question is not his legal liability working while suspended but was he the reason for the loss of lives? Was it due to bad planning, bad execution, wrong choice of ground commander etc. etc.

    • josephivo says:

      I had similar thoughts with “time on target” and “advisory”. Why did nobody asked immediately the obvious follow-up questions: “who did put it in the oplan and why, what consequences of this decision were anticipated?”, “what was the actual consequence of this decision?” and “why did you advise …, what were the consequences anticipated?”, “what was the actual consequence of advise …?”. Not the legalistic approach but the cause/effect process approach.

    • Joe America says:

      In Sunday eve’s blog, I will show how Miriam is responsible for the 44 deaths. She ought to shut her yap instead of so easily and arrogantly laying waste to people who have worked a lifetime for the nation. Your point is spot on, about Purisima’s intimate knowledge of the intricacies of the Marwan hunt, likely including information about US intelligence, and it is something that Espina is unlikely to have had. The President was in order to simplify and go directly with Purisima. But Purisima blind-sided the President, I would guess, by failing to notify AFP.

      • bauwow says:

        @ manuel, thank you for giving me another perspective. I did not see it that way, but you are right, MDS does not have the necessary training to ask about any covert military operations.

        I don’t really get it. People are blaming the President for the death of the Fallen 44.

        Just saw the movie, Lone Survivor. I thought an American covert operation always succeeds, just like what they did with Osama. But this operation failed. Shit happens. And shit is probably what happened to the fallen 44.

        Uncle Joe, will wait for the Sunday evenings blog. As I also wait for MRP’s blog.

    • karl garcia says:

      MB, thanks and same can be said to the ombudsman who implied contempt.

  13. Killer says:

    Quite amusing how a Marcos strives to find someone to blame for an incident related to the conflict in Minda-fucking-nao.

    • Joe America says:

      His bit at the hearing was hilarious, arguing that the President ought to have ordered artillery fire, and the generals saying their protocols would not allow them to fire. The dictator’s genes rose to Marcos’ head and he went ape-shit. He couldn’t believe they would disobey the President. Embarrassing in the extreme . . .

      • Steve says:

        Maybe he also couldn’t believe that a President might listen to the military officers when they told him they have no viable targeting information and artillery fire would be likely to hit nothing, civilians, or their own men.

        I haven’t been watching the hearings; I have a limited tolerance for telenovelas and a number of other things to do… but the quote that stood out to me was a Senator telling an Army officer that he could get viable artillery targeting information from a telco based on mobile phone signal. Some of these guys really ought to sign up and join the military, since they know so well how everything ought to be done.

        In fact, if all the keyboard commandos and armchair Rambos jumping on the internet to tell everyone what should have been done would just join the military, the Philippines would probably be able to conquer China. With all that expertise and knowledge waiting to be deployed, why not?

        • karl garcia says:

          Sir Steve,
          I understand your concern I may have been one of the keyboard warriors caught in the crossfire of discussions, but I also feel the same way Senators just get their info through phone or breakfast,lunch or dinner meetings. The little info they get and it is a slam dunk. I better stop a senator might call me a keyboard warrior and ask me to take his/her place.

          • karl garcia says:

            Sorry again sir, but even if I am ignorant to the stuff you said, it confirms the theory in my head that even those three hundred(?) SAF left behind could not tell the army where to fire, where to go , who or what they might hit or how to proceed. Mahirap na pag nandon ka kahit praktisado ka na,nagkagulo na eh,best effort na lang talaga.pati yung cease fire,mahirap din yun pag nashock ka na.

      • sonny says:

        Sad. Very sad. I think it is time the old man be interred away from his Lenin-like shrine in Ilocos Norte. I had glimmers of hope. Now I have to say, there is no Marcos torch to pass! The martyr lives on.

    • Pallacertus says:

      Just about everyone was (and most are still) obssessed with blaming and finding fault with what happened on Mamasapano. It doesn’t take a Marcos (not that I’d blame Bongbong for being a Marcos) to err.

  14. Jose Guevarra says:

    A strange thought just crossed my mind… Wondering right now if the Mamasapano incident was somehow timed to distract the people’s attention from all of the corruption allegations against the Binay family… Again, just wondering…

    • Micha says:

      Not so sure about that Manong Joe. If Purisima was the chief planner/architect of the hunt, he may not really have foreseen that Binay would benefit from the distraction.

      But vultures and hyenas cheer up whenever they smell corpse and blood. Jose Almonte was hinting that there is restiveness in the military. Rumors of kudeta is being circulated. Gloria Pandak is petitioning the court that she be released from hospital arrest.

      The BJJ gang is sprucing up for a possible getaway.

    • karl garcia says:

      not to sound like an echo,but the incident is being used to agitate the people to blame the president.

    • Joe America says:

      I think there is speculation that Binay was the coup committee’s designee for President. The crooks have circled their wagons around the President’s mistake not attending the coffin arrival, and the incident itself, to seek to destabilize the Philippines. A lot of pardons ride on desperate people taking desperate acts. It is wise for the good people who put Mr. Aquino in office to make very clear that these moves are offensive to them. Stability is paramount for a rising Philippines. And transition to another “straight path” president.

  15. Jose Guevarra says:

    So maybe Purisima had nothing to do with having Binay benefit from all of this Mamasapano bruhaha. But what if the SAF44 were successful in extracting Marwan and Usman with minimal casualties? What would people be talking about these days?

  16. josephivo says:

    There are so many layers in the story now, all more or less interrelated, but all needing a different discussion. This blog was about the reaction of senators on the tragedy, most comments are referring to different issues. I need Edgars help to structure better the enumeration of the layers.

    1- The human tragedy, the loss of 44 lives with all related emotions of anger, sadness, outrage, unbelief…

    2- Military, the “lessons learned” on information gathering. Strategic level, Oplan level, tactical, communication and coordination, organizations or line of commands …

    3- Political:
    3.1- MILF and Bangsamoro
    3.2- American “cooperation”
    3.3- Highjack of the subject for a different agenda
    3.4- PNP – AFP responsibilities
    3.5- …. many more

    4- Legal:
    4.1- Definition of suspension…
    4.2- Definition of civil war, insurgence…
    4.3- Efficiency of 8 parallel investigations
    4.4- … many more

    5- Relevance of reactions
    5.1- the media
    5.2- Senate
    5.3- House of representatives…

    6- Conspiracy theories: starting with the first question: “Was it planned to fail or planned for success?”

  17. karl garcia says:

    I am sure Joe has finished his blog for tonight. singing to the tune of let’s wait a while.

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