Don’t look now but the embattled administration of Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III, on the run since it fatally botched the public relations management of the fallout from the massacre of 44 police commandos in January, is now bringing out its top communication guns. Noted Filipino blogger, the eminent Manuel L Quezon III (MLQ3) who was once famous as the outspoken pioneering figure in the early days of the Philippine blogosphere, has broken his five-year self-imposed sabbatical on issuing his once widely-read biting commentary on current events and raging issues.
In his piece The Mourning After published today, MLQ3 lays out a manifesto of BS Aquino apologism that echoes much of what’s already been said by lesser writers in his camp. That’s the trouble with (1) being a bit rusty and (2) being late to the game. It just comes across as a lame waste of space.
MLQ3 tries to make a case that President BS Aquino’s flaccid presence in the crucial hours (that then became days) following the breaking of the tragic news of the massacre can all be attributed to the “stoic” character of the president which owes its roots to the president’s own personal experience with personal family tragedy. We all know where that is headed, and MLQ3 indulges nonetheless.
On the delayed addressing of a stunned Filipino public immediately following the massacre, MLQ3 issued the following now-tired-from-overuse excuse…
I suggested to him that he needed to go on TV immediately because the country needed a consoler-in-chief. [President BS Aquino] looked at me and said he owed the country the facts. He proceeded to interrogate the top brass; and only after this did he address the country.
And, get this, no excuses coming from the President and his staff will fly without the obligatory blame chaser: “I only understood why he said this, when it later emerged that prudent measures he had ordered to prevent mass slaughter hadn’t been carried out.” Ouch! goes the former SAF commander yet again. MLQ3, it seems, is reading from the official script. Poor guy. To be fair, the Noted One is an indentured blogger nowadays, see.
On the brouhaha surrounding the presidential no-show during the arrival of the fallen commandos’ remains at Villamor Air Base, well, you know that feeling of dread when, in the middle of a conversation, you realise you’re about to be told a story you’ve already heard like a million times? Brace yourself for this…
And [BS Aquino] told a story: when they came home from Boston, they barely had any time to be together with their father for the last time: could we imagine what it was like to see his grisly remains for the first time? He would not deny them time; the families must have time to come to terms with their grief; he would not bring a circus to intrude but instead, see them when his public role was proper –to deliver a eulogy—and his presence would serve a purpose beyond ritual: to assure them concrete plans were in place to provide material security to families confronted not only with grief, but anxiety about their future.
What is astounding is that whilst there was a lot of words on the stuff President BS Aquino did to be seen to be contributing to assuaging the grief of the Fallen 44’s family and friends, the silence over the lack of resolve to hunt down and punish their killers remains deafening. Again MLQ3, as a Malacanang guy, likely has his hands tied. As long as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Malaysia remain “partners” with the Philippines’ “Central Government” in the continued push to get the scam that is the Bangsamoro Basic Law passed into law, talk coming from the government about who killed these men will remain a no-go zone. MLQ3’s piece mirrored that reality. No surprise there.
The fact remains, the key questions in this national crisis still remain unanswered:
(1) Why does President BS Aquino remain silent and non-responsive to calls to bring the perpetrators of the atrocity to account for the massacre of 44 Filipino police officers?
(2) Why was suspended police chief Alan Purisima given command of the operation despite his current administrative status?
(3) Why wasn’t Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and acting police chief and Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina squarely within the loop when the ill-fated operation was executed?
(4) Why single out PNP-SAF commander Getulio Napeñas Jr now?
MLQ3 may be the best guy in Malacanang’s bloated “communications” team to paint lipstick on a pig. But, at the end of the day, Leonardo da Vinci himself may be called to do the same and said pig will still be a pig.
Laughable attempts have been made in the last several weeks to paint President BS Aquino as a “stoic” leader who, now in MLQ3’s words, is faced with “a situation that is not conducive to wearing one’s heart on one’s sleeve, or demonstrating weakness, not just in public but even in private.” MLQ3 along with the apologists that had come forth with the same excuses before him over the course of this crisis seems to be mistaking stoicism with just plain garden variety lack of emotion perhaps bordering on psychopathy.
There is a saying: It is usually the simplest theories that turn out to be the soundest. Seeing the thousands of words being dished out by Malacananang’s in-house army of “communications” professionals and its extended “family” of inbred apologists across social media and the blogosphere, and spun into pained blathering of excuses and justifications has got LIAR written all over them.
Such a waste of precious Filipino wordsmiths all for the cause of propping up an illegal peace deal and, ultimately, saving Uncle Peping’s hacienda from long overdue comprehensive agrarian reform.
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