Enrile’s Mamasapano hearing an ‘epic fail’
Senator Enrile was in full prosecuting attorney mode as he spoke in large terms and explosive words to try President Aquino in the courtroom of public opinion. We waited anxiously for the new information Enrile promised he would bring to the table. And waited . . . and waited some more. Two hours we waited . . . through a pedantic repetition of details covered in the original hearings.
The new information? Senator Enrile’s spin. His interpretation. His bitter railing against the President of the Philippines to try to do what could not be done. Prove that the President had run this operation and was responsible for 44 deaths.
It was an “epic fail” by Senator Enrile.
The testimony proved that the President was NOT operationally engaged in Mamasapano. We learned that the President’s “compartmentalized” approach to holding information in confidence was not a bad and manipulative thing, as Enrile charged, but a common and essential way to keep a high priority, secret project confidential. We learned that the President had very little information through the course of January 25 as to how the operation was going, and what did come to him was incomplete and very generalized. We learned that, without a doubt, the President DID NOT issue any order to “stand down”. We learned that the President was more than concerned about the mission and the safety of the troops, directing that an additional 100 troops be deployed, directing that SAF coordinate with AFP (disobeyed), and directing full support by the AFP before he climbed on the plane to Zamboanga at 9:00 in the morning.
We learned that it is Senator Enrile who has no compassion, who would require the families to once again live through their pain for the Senator’s personal bitterness toward the President of the Philippines. We would see Enrile reduced to laughing at the wording of the texts that the President sent during the morning of the 25th, as if his laughter would make us believe the President was not compassionate.
It seems to this observer – my opinion only – that Senator Enrile is the one lacking compassion, and integrity, and honesty. He is the one who said he was only interested in the facts, then proceeded to re-interpret them. With words and laughter and accusations that rang thinner and thinner as his harangue droned on.
As the counter-testimony came flowing out, Senator Enrile changed his tactic. He forgot about his accusation that the President had hands on control of the outcome and was directly responsible for the deaths. He charged that President Aquino was negligent because he had NOT taken a hands on approach . . . and was therefore directly responsible for the deaths. From Enrile’s view, the President would be damned if he did or damned if he didn’t. The goal of Senator Enrile was not facts. But damning President Aquino.
Enrile was reduced to badgering former PNP Chief Purisima by suggesting he was lying and stupid. Enrile was trolling the Senate. Senator Enrile even taxed Senator Poe’s patience when he tried to say that President Aquino had ordered that Roxas and Espina be excluded from the operation when testimony clearly had shown that General Purisima had made that decision himself. And he verified it in the hearing.
Senator Enrile miscalculated.
Facts are facts and they showed Enrile to be wrong.
He also failed to anticipate that there were objective senators fully ready to act as defense attorney against the bitter rhetoric of Senator Enrile.
Senators Guingona, Angara, Drilon, and Aquino made clear that the operation was an SAF proposal, and SAF executed. It was not initiated by the President and the President was not at all engaged during the day of the operation, other than at a high and presidential level. They showed that the problems were in the field, with late “time on target advice from SAF to the AFP, poor coordination of troops in the field, and AFP’s inability (failure?) to provide artillery support.
Anyone who argues this was the President’s operation and charges him with direct culpability is pursuing personal or political aims over the well-being of the nation.
We’ll see how the media play it . . . and get a reading as well as to their ability to be journalistic and factual. Versus political and sensationalist.
We also need to ask the Supreme Court:
“Tell us again why Senator Enrile is not in jail?”
I’m also sorry to report, I think the questions must also be asked of the Senators:
“Are you really aware of what it takes to fight a war, or even a battle? Are you tough enough?”
Because I think way too many of them have no idea. No idea about a President’s heavy burden of command responsibility. No understanding about intelligence or the chaos of battle. No concept that some battles are lost. No ability to look at the facts, outside of political expedience.
They help with the blame and the scapegoating and . . . for the failure to grasp what the battleground is like . . . they help amplify and extend the suffering of the families of those who were brave, but did not come home.