As criticism bears down on this administration in the wake of the Mamasapano clash, President Aquino faces the impossibility of extricating his personal history from the national narrative.
THERE is a particularly painful grief that comes from having judged a person, only to discover later on, when it’s too late to matter to that person, that you were wrong. When those coffins emerged from the C-130s in Villamor Airbase, the steady beat of the drums, the constant repetition of “Nearer My God To Thee,” the sound of hundreds wailing as parents, wives, and children—realizing with finality that their loved ones were truly gone—broke the heart of a nation, one that had long ago consigned the uniform of a policeman to being a badge of shame instead of honor. We realized we had been wrong—and not just about one or two, but about many.
These men, in their metal coffins covered with the flag, were heroes.
At the height of a raging battle, one of the many spokesmen of the battalion CO stands up, with bullets whizzing by, shells exploding around the foxholes, and asks the beseiged troops for more patience and understanding, since the CO has been through a lot, had been traumatized as a child, and had been thrust into his post with high expectations from the troops, and so can we all please just hunch down and not confound him with uncalled-for criticism if we can’t follow his weird commands? this, while the battle is still raging.
The only actual instance when you should take a bullet for the President is if that projectile is an actual bullet on a very real trajectory path for the President. Otherwise, none of you have the power to stop bullets aimed at the President. Because he is the most powerful person in the country and you are not.
That said, I will repeat this: The person who, ultimately, owns responsibility for all those deaths in Mamasapano is President Benigno Aquino III. He is, ultimately, the person on whose hands rests the blood of the brave SAF44, the seven civilians and the MILF who died there by his order.
We did not elect this President to be another run-of-the-mill leader. Every president ends up, sooner or later, obsessed with history; each one is the product, not only of the history of his or her times, but also of his or her own personal history.
He dishonors the brave and the fallen, and the peace we all wish were real by shirking his role and responsibility in this matter and putting others in the untenable position of fall guy for his mistakes.So, yes, kung ito ang ama ng bayan natin, maulila na po sana tayo sa lalong madaling panahon.