Aquino + New PNP Chief = Alternative truths on metro traffic and Mamasapano case

The accidental president famous for his tactlessness and rabidness against political opponents was never known for being a visionary and a great thinker. Well, unless you consider his “inspiring” yearbook message profound or fecundly crafted. President Noynoy Aquino is rarely a source of wisdom, discernment, and reliable information. He even claims to have been “fooled” by his good buddy Cesar Alan Purisima and former SAF head Napenas.

Still, Noynoy has some “alternative truths” worth scrutinizing as they offer a glimpse of the kind of mindset the country’s top public official has.

Traffic solution worked!

Noynoy appeared to have been so impressed by his approved idea of letting the PNP Highway Patrol Group (HPG) take over the management of traffic on EDSA that he wanted his newly appointed PNP chief, through a text message, to make sure that his “well done” compliment for the PNP is disseminated. Is this another alternative truth for Aquino? Alternative reality?

As if being taunted for the premature praise, PNP chief Marquez was caught in heavy traffic last Tuesday while traversing the southbound lane of EDSA. Similarly, a couple of days after the Noynoy praise was publicized, MMDA chair Francis Tolentino failed to show up in a scheduled TV guesting because he was stuck in heavy traffic. A heavy downpour also doused the warmth out of the premature praise as if reminding Aquino and the PNP that they haven’t done anything significant yet.

Mamasapano as what we don’t know it

President BS Aquino is simply not over with his purportedly Nobel-Peace-Prize-enabling BBL dream yet. Now, he is floating the idea of an alternative truth on the Mamasapano Massacre possibly to reduce the blame of the SAF44’s death on the MILF and finally have the BBL passed.

At the “Meet the Inquirer Multimedia” forum, the country’s highest public official who still refuses to properly honor the SAF44 claims that, “There is an alternative version of events that happened there.” Noynoy said that they are looking for “witnesses that will prove or disprove certain observations.” When asked by Inquirer’s Jimenez-Magsanoc regarding the basis for the filing of cases against those who were suspected to have massacred the SAF44, Noynoy was being stingy with his details, asserting that he would rather not talk about the specifics because it might get in the way of the government’s efforts in getting to “the truth of his matter—the complete truth.”

Just like what he did during his final State of the Nation Address, President Aquino refused to even mention the SAF44 again but he mentioned the Mamasapano incident and Marwan. Notably, he kept repeating the phrase “alternative truth” or variations of it. Nothing clear was said about this so-called alternative truth, though. He just mentioned something about the dead Marwan photo published on Inquirer, highlighting the questions that arose from it. As Inquirer noted, there are questions as to how SAF was able to take the photo in the middle of a firefight and why Marwan was half-naked. Of course the answers to these questions are already quite clear; there wasn’t a heavy exchange of gunshots yet (as repeatedly said on TV, the deadly encounter happened when the troops were already leaving the area) and nobody really cares about Marwan being half-naked.

What’s the relevance of Marwan’s half-naked corpse? Is the President implying that SAF tried to abuse him? So what if he was killed while having carnal knowledge? Is Aquino trying to make the SAF appear to be the one that used excessive force for killing a “defenseless” terrorist who was about to climax? What significant truth did the Magalong-led Board of Inquiry miss to amount to a whole set of alternative truth?

Newly appointed AFP chief of staff General Hernando Delfin Iriberri, in an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, said that Noynoy already discussed the matter with him. The military, accordingly, is already validating new details about an “alternative truth” on the bloody incident in Mamasapano. Like Aquino, Iriberri refused to spill more information about the matter because it is supposedly very sensitive.

According to Inquirer’s source, the alternative truth “may have serious unintended consequences” and that “lives are at risk.”

It’s curious how it took many months before this new angle on the Mamasapano Massacre was revealed and even more curious that it is now being floated as Noynoy intensifies his calls for the passing of the BBL.

Advocates of peace to redouble efforts v. peace spoilers

Relatives Of Fallen 44 join Walk for Peace and Justice for Fallen 44 (Photo: March 8, 2015, Edd Castro)

In Noynoy’s alternative truth, it’s not that people don’t want the BBL; it’s just that there are those who want to spoil the chance to have peace.

We are quite sure the Malacañang, OPAPP, and the MILF will quickly shrug off the recent exposé that apparently belies the MILF’s claim that they were responsible for the death of Basit Usman. There’s a new twist in Usman’s death. Someone who claims to have worked with the Philippine military is saying that he and some companions were responsible for the death of Basit Usman, who he refers to as BU. Contrary to earlier reports, it is claimed that Usman was not killed in a chance encounter but everything was planned. Allegedly, there was a promise of $1 million and another P6 million in rewards. They are coming out now because they have not received the promised reward money yet and because their lives are in danger.

The MILF asserted that they were responsible for the death of Usman. The AFP, however, refused to give a comment, saying that they are still doing investigations on the matter.

This new development certainly goes against Noynoy’s goal of having the BBL passed at the soonest possible time. Nobody will be surprised if he pulls out another alternative truth card on this. This will likely be considered as “black propaganda against peace” in the words of OPAPP and Malacañang. That’s why Malacañang is calling for peace advocates to “redouble” their efforts against spoilers.

This call for “redoubling efforts,” though, sounds alarming. Is the recent effort to reveal an “alternative truth” on the Mamasapano Massacre part of these efforts? Is the planned reopening of the Senate Mamasapano investigations part of the scheme? What else will they be doing to try easing the public’s aversion to the BBL? What other ways are they considering to redouble their efforts just to have the BBL passed?

These are just a few proofs of how skewed Noynoy Aquino’s truths and realities are. He fondly calls the people his bosses but he rarely listens to what the people say. When the surveys favored him, he enjoyed savoring the idea that many Filipinos support his administration. His PR team feted the numbers and even proceeded to self-adulation. However, when the survey on the public’s position on the BBL revealed that most are against it, especially in Mindanao, Noynoy suddenly stopped believing in surveys. He still persistently wants to have the controversial BBL passed. It’s the same with what’s happening in Metro Manila. Many are clamoring for the sacking of MMDA chair Francis Tolentino (who has been callously using government resources for his senate bid) and the installation of a traffic czar, but Noynoy seems to have no intentions of listening.

Well, it’s really difficult adapting in the alternative reality of Noynoy Aquino.