You just cannot sit down and talk with President Noynoy these days. His close associates in Malacañang said the President is “depressed.” The President did not even attend the annual awarding ceremonies of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines (TOYM). He, instead sent Secretary Almendras to give the awards.
I think President Noynoy is more scared of the prospect of being unseated as President amid calls for his ouster rather than being depressed on what happened in the Masasapano massacre .
Civil society groups and several church leaders are supporting calls for President Noynoy to step down, Even the families of the 44 police commandos slaughtered by Muslim rebels in Masasapano, Maguindanao, said they will join groups to march in the streets to demand the resignation of President Noynoy.
It was reported that President Noynoy was given a “cold treatment” by families of the slain cops and by some PNP officers when he attended the necrological services at the SAF headquarters in Taguig city. At least two families refused to acknowledge the presence of the President and even refused to receive the medals being awarded to their slain husbands from the President.
I cannot blame these grieving families. The President never showed compassion, humility and sorrow during the necrological services for the fallen soldiers. The President even arrived late, they said. Most probably, President Noynoy attended another inauguration party from a car manufacturing firm.
Calls for President Noynoy to step down have snowballed in the wake of public outrage and grief over the sad fate of the slain policemen. Active and retired military and police officers and their men have also joined the clamor for the President to quit.
Retired General Edilberto Adan, Chairman and President of the Association of Generals and Flag officers (AGFO), said that there appears to be an apparent restiveness among several members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and also in the Philippine National Police (PNP) due to the President’s poor handling of the Masasapano incident. Adan told news reporters that some active and retired officers and their men are eager and willing to come out in the open and make their presence felt in support of the ouster call. He said AGFO members are demanding for a swift and independent investigation on the massacre.
Batangas Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said President Noynoy should step down. He urged the people to go out on the streets to demand his immediate resignation. Zamboanga Archbishop Romeo de la Cruz echoed the same sentiment. He said he is asking President Noynoy to resign because he is not competent enough to run the affairs of the government.
Over in Malacañang, the President’s trusted men are doing their best to save his “head on the chopping block.” Although it is very clear by now that he and suspended PNP Chief General Alan Purisima were the only responsible parties involved in the botched police operation in the Masasapano massacre.
Until now, President Noynoy is refusing to the answer questions from the media on the extent of his knowledge and participation he and suspended PNP Chief Purisima had on “Operation Wolverine.” The “operation wolverine” was hatched by General Purisima, with the approval of President Noynoy, to capture Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli Bin Hir, alias “Marwan.” The U.S. government has offered a $ 5million bounty for his capture. The FBI said DNA samples apparently confirmed that Marwan was indeed killed, though.
Meanwhile, it was reported in the news that a seething Interior Secretary Mar Roxas stormed into the office of President Noynoy to demand the firing of Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa and General Purisima. As expected, President Noynoy turned down the demand of Roxas and refused to take any actions. An agitated Roxas reportedly warned President Noynoy that if he fails to take any action against Purisima and Ochoa as a result of the Masasapano massacre, it would trigger his downfall.
Roxas is said to be demanding for the firing of both Purisima and Ochoa to avoid public perception that the government will “whitewash” the ongoing investigation of the massacre. He reportedly told the President to fire both men to placate the families of the slain policemen who are hurting and grieving and to show that the government is since and doing something and that justice is served. Sources said that Roxas even banged the door when he walked out of the President’s office.
Maybe within the next few days, I expect Roxas to tender his irrevocable resignation to Aquino. I wouldn’t blame him. He has been biting the bullet for a long time for Aquino. If this happens, this could really be a bad sign for the Aquino presidency. This could be the start of his downfall. Let us all wait and see.