Mar 192015

Widows of some of the commandos killed in the Mamasapano incident on Thursday openly called on President Benigno Aquino III to apologize for what befell their loved ones after they successfully neutralized a suspected terrorist in late January.

Julie Cayang-o, widow of PO1 Gringo Cayang-o told GMA News Online on Thursday that the president should apologize for the incident. 

“Yes, he must do that! ‘Yung public apology nga ay hindi pa sapat para sa nangyari tapos napakahirap pa nilang sabihin ang totoo,” Cayang-o said in a text message. 

Marie Angeli, widow of PO3 Noel Golocan, on GMA News TV asked Aquino why it seemed difficult for him to say sorry for what happened in Mamasapano.  

“As wife of isa sa mga fallen 44, lumabas na po lahat ng investigations ng BOI and Senate, bakit hanggang ngayon hindi man lang kayo makapagsabi ng sorry?” she said. 

The widow of PO2 Mark Lory Clemencio said Aquino’s apology would only be useless. 

“There’s no point. If he does [it], it’s because he is pressured… It’s better [i]f people ask him to step down,” Kristine Clemencio told GMA News Online.

The draft report of the Senate joint committee that looked into the Mamasapano incident found Aquino “ultimately responsible” for the tragedy. More than 60 people, including 44 commandos, were killed in Mamasapano.

The policemen found themselves in firefights with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and its breakaway Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters after neutralizing Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan in alleged MILF territory on Jan. 25.

The mission wasn’t coordinated with the MILF and was initially kept from Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas, PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director-General Leonardo Espina and the military.

Aquino knew about the operation that he discussed with then-suspended PNP chief Director-General Alan Purisima and then-SAF director Director Getulio Napeñas.

The least PNoy can do

According to Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz, a persistent critic of the Aquino administration, the president was a “very incompetent felow” for not apologizing over the bloody incident where 44 police commandos died, 18 Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters, and five civilians died.

“He is not a bad man, but he is a very incompetent fellow. He does not even know how to apologize,” Cruz said in a post on the news website of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines on Thursday.

Cruz who is the former head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said an apology is the least Aquino can do to console the families of the victims.

“It is a little consolation, although it is not enough. It is worst if you don’t even apologize. An apology will not suffice or will return the lives lost, but at least it is a consoling gesture,” he said.

Earlier, some political personalities including Senator Sergio Osmeña III, former Senator Panfilo Lacson and former President Fidel Ramos called for Aquino to take responsibility for the deaths and to apologize.


Resigned Akbayan party-list Rep. Walden Bello, a former ally of Aquino, on Thursday urged the President to acknowledge his responsibility after a Pulse Asia survey indicated 79 percent of Filipinos are dissatisfied with the president’s explanation about the incident.

The former lawmaker, however, believes Aquino isn’t keen on apologizing because of his “self-righteousness.”

“I think [the president’s refusal to apologize is] just [due to] stubbornness and self-righteousness, with a lingering but eroding conviction that he didn’t do anything wrong. Another problem is his being surrounded by aides afraid to tell the emperor he has no clothes,” Bello said.

Apologizing will do no good

An Aquino ally in the Senate, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, said saying sorry for his involvement in the Mamasapano incident will do President Benigno Aquino III no good.

Trillanes said former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo once apologized on national television for calling an election official while the votes were still being counted after the 2004 elections. He said the people were never impressed.

“Yung pagso-sorry e kalokohan po yan. Ganyan din ang in-advise nila kay GMA noon na magsorry. Naniwala ba tayo? Napakalma ba tayo? Hindi, ‘di ba?” Trillanes said in a news forum at the Senate.

“In fact, lalong gagamitin yun. O, kita mo umamin na, tanggalin na’. It’s a trap,” he added.

According to GMA News Research, the only other President to apologize aside from Arroyo was her father, Diosdado. —NB, GMA News

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