Friday, February 6, 2015

Pnoy's TV speech: Important Points

With a heavy heart, President Aquino announced that he accepted the resignation of his buddy, suspended PNP chief Alan Purisima. Aquino admitted that he and Purisima goes a long way. Purisima was with his side when he was ambushed by rebel soldiers at the height of the coup d'etat in 1989. The president also cited the time when Purisima did not abandon his side inspite of him being a "hot commodity" during Arroyo's time.

Aquino urged the MILF to surrender Usman if he is living inside their territories. It seems that Aquino is banking on the arrest of Usman to turn his lot around.

Aquino again tried to assuage the hurt feelings of the relatives and members of the Special Action Force (SAF) by promising them all out government support. Moreover, Aquino promised that justice will be given to the relatives of the slain troopers.

What is relevant is that Aquino recognised one fact--that some of the troopers were killed while they were already hurt or injured or they were already in surrender--a violation of the Geneva Convention on the Articles of War.

This speech is better than the first one but still leaves several questions.

One, Pnoy did not name Purisima's replacement--will Espina continue his role as OIC? Espina is too political. It is most critical for the president to appoint someone who is perceived to be politically neutral.

Two, Pnoy did not directly admitted culpability and only pointed to the supposed guilt of the former SAF commander. Instead of Purisima, Pnoy already pointed to Napenas as the one responsible for not being able to assess the conditions before the launch of the operation.