Kris Aquino’s text message to Duterte proves patronage politics is alive in the Philippines

According to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, former television host and Presidential sister Kris Aquino sent him a text message pleading with him not to send her brother former President BS Aquino to jail. It seems she was compelled to contact Duterte on learning that the President is hell bent on getting to the bottom of who was accountable for the tragedy in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on the 25th of January 2015 that resulted in the massacre of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) officers of the Philippine National Police by members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). This move by Ms. Aquino is total disregard for the rule of law. It’s as if it is up to Duterte to keep BS Aquino out of jail for whatever crime he is found to have committed during his term.

For Ms Aquino’s information, if there is merit in any case filed against BS Aquino, it will be up to the courts to decide on the prosecution’s arguments. Duterte does not have control over the justice system. That is a separate branch of government. In fact, BS Aquino should be prosecuted not just for the Mamasapano clash, he should also be prosecuted for breaking the law around the misuse of public funds through scams such as the so-called Disbursement Acceleration Program and Priority Development Assistance Fund.

Subscribe to our Substack community GRP Insider to receive by email our in-depth free weekly newsletter. Opt into a paid subscription and you'll get premium insider briefs and insights from us.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
Learn more

Ms. Aquino thinks she can charm Duterte and stop the prosecution of her brother by going directly to the President. This is a classic example of patronage politics that is keeping the Philippines from moving forward. The reason why Filipino politicians do not bother doing their jobs properly or get away with keeping their jobs even when they are incompetent and involved in criminal activities is because they can rely on their allies in government or use their so-called “celebrity status” to influence those in power.

Ms. Aquino should stay out of politics, stop intervening and let the courts decide if her brother deserves to go to jail for allegedly abandoning his men in enemy territory. We recall that weeks after the former President came under fire for the tragedy, he still failed to shed light on why the SAF did not get reinforcements or help from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) while they were under attack. Just to refresh everyone’s memory, here is what I wrote about the incident

 After reading various reports from mainstream media, two possible theories emerged around why there was a “lack of coordination” between the SAF and AFP. One, the head of “Operation Wolverine” intentionally did not coordinate. Since former PNP Chief Alan Purisima, who was suspended at that time, didn’t want a lot of people to know that he was the one leading the operation. BS Aquino has not admitted categorically that he gave Purisima the go signal to proceed with the operation even while suspended but Purisima’s resignation says a lot. Even without saying “yes, Purisima was involved”, his resignation was good strategy applied by the administration to let the pressure off BS Aquino by appeasing an enraged public.

The other theory is, BS Aquino decided to avoid involving the military. That is why even when the SAF troopers were already calling for help because the militants were slaughtering them, the military couldn’t go to their aid. The reason for this was obvious during BS Aquino’s initial speech three days after the tragic event. At that time, he kept emphasizing the need to push through with the passing of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law. He spoke about it more than the deaths of the 44 SAF troopers. Obviously, the President didn’t want to jeopardize it and the participation of the military in the said operation would have. He was said to have ordered the military to “stand down” instead of “go in” and help the SAF:

It was not clear from our source who radioed the Drone command center and addressed words to his superiors, saying, “Sir, papasok na kami [Sir, we will now go in].” To which the President allegedly responded, “Negative, negative. Stand down.”

Aquino was probably afraid that sending in reinforcements would violate the terms of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB) signed between his peace negotiators and those of the MILF. He must have also been apprehensive that if the comprehensive agreement were breached, a full-blown war could ensue and doom the fate of the Bangsamoro Basic Law now pending in Congress.

So if that were the case, BS Aquino did abandon the troopers. What’s even mind-boggling is how he is still reluctant to condemn the atrocities committed by the members of the rebel forces. Even with the knowledge that the people he is negotiating with mutilated some of the bodies of the SAF troopers, BS Aquino still wasn’t moved enough to scrap the deal. He wasn’t even angry about the way their bodies were desecrated. In fact, BS Aquino could still afford to smile during the necrological service. That’s not something someone with a rational mind would do. That’s not someone who is fit to lead the nation.

Ms. Aquino should be helping in finding out the truth about what happened. Lives were lost due to her brother’s narcissism and self-indulgence at that time. If BS Aquino is not guilty, they should not be afraid of the truth. They should actually welcome the investigation to clear his name or face the consequences of his inaction that resulted in deaths.

We can only hope that Duterte will not give in to Ms. Aquino’s pleas. Having said that, he seems to have softened after her text. He also announced that he will not be pushing through with his plans to create a commission that would investigate the Mamasapano clash and will only rely on the Office of the Ombudsman to continue their “pending” investigation on the matter. That is a disappointing development. We all know that the “investigation” would proceed in a glacial pace at best, especially since the current ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales is allegedly allied with the Aquinos.

We will know in a few months’ time if Ms. Aquino’s text was worth it – when the Mamasapano clash and the death of 44 SAF’s have been forgotten. A real tragedy, indeed.

7 Replies to “Kris Aquino’s text message to Duterte proves patronage politics is alive in the Philippines”

  1. The Aquinos and the Cojuangcos are the ass licking members of the elite. Just look at Kris uncle Peping na kapit tuko sa POC.

  2. Kris Aquino is a seducer…she will use sex and charm to get her Isidra Cojuangco did to Heneral Antonio Luna…it is in their genes ! Seducers, plunderers, murderers, thieves , liars !

    There are many crimes, that Aquino had committed. The Mamapasano massacre; the DAP; ; the PDAF; the Pork Barrel Bribery; the looting to the Philippine gold reserve , and transferring their gold loots in Thailand. Where was he, during the Chinese Luneta tourist massacre?…and this prevailing Shabu Drug trade, with Leila de Lima, as his running dog !

    Ombudsman Judge Carpio Morales is sitting and delaying the prosecution of these cases. This Judge must be impeached and prosecuted, also. We the taxpayers’ are paying her salary. It seems that her loyalty is for the Aquino Cojuangco political axis…not us, her employers. It is time to kick her out; if she refuses to do her job properly !

    Concerned citizens must pursue all these cases…jail and execute the guilty !

  3. will the pilipinos let their commanding general president duterte to the lion’s den too against their war for a better philippines? it’s the people who should decide and not any international treaties. did these international treaties does good for the pilipinos? never! the pilipinos were in a lion’s den for 30 years.

  4. A big minus for President Duterte, indeed. It would only be redundant when the other investigating panel are also Aquino allies. Doesn’t the case deserve a fair investigation this time? It’s like having Andy Bautista and Smartmatic in charge of the next election.

  5. It seems he Aquinos through Kris Aquino arew weaving their collective efforts to derail Abnoy’ march to the hoosegow. It’s about time to show these wackos that the Duterte Administration is not to be trifled with. If Digong was whammied to give in to this temptress’ plea then we might have chosen the wrong leader. This will prove that the current Malacanang tenant has balls to resist this woman. I hope he is not as gutless as his moronic predecessor.

  6. There are two groups of people: Herds and individual clever people. Because herds have numerical superiority, individual clever people remain weak in determining the right fate for the country! The solution: Disperse the herds, augment the individuals!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.