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February 19, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

Ronald Roy — Feb. 19, 2015

Were the lower chamber’s hearings on the Mamasapano carnage suspended by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte so they could buy time for an orderly whitewash or coverup? Unconvincing was his reason that the search for truth was hampered not only by the overemotional deportment of crying witnesses (assailed by a Muslim lady representative as grandstanding), but also by the unruly behavior of his finger-pointing and screaming colleagues.
Well, I would see it as a clever whitewash move, given the pendency of the work of the PNP’s Board of Inquiry (BOI). It’s pretty clear that P-Noy’s congressional cohorts can later resume their investigation after they have secretly connived with the BOI to dovetail the material points needed for a whitewash. But people will hardly buy this devious scheme. I won’t.
I don’t think that the suspension was necessitated by the “chaotic” behavior of witnesses and investigators. So what if they got the better of themselves! It’s when passions run high that truth is often blurted out. The legal principle of res gestae states that an utterance that is made at the height of a startling event is, in most cases, so clothed with truth that it can be admitted as an exception to the hearsay rule.
For instance, an eye-witness account of a gristly head-chopping murder is given a high truth value because the startling event allows no time for concocting a story and leaves indelible imprints on the memory. In connection with the Mamasapano slaughter, video footages “speak the truth” as they depict startling events of barbarity, sadism and hatred — more eloquently, in fact, than words can.
The Palace, pro-MILF peace panelists and hard-core Yellows demand that we remain calm, avoid anguish and tears so as not to muddle up the search for the truth. HUH?! When Deputy Director General Espina and General Napeñas wept during a hearing, the entire nation wept with them. Grandstanding?! We see our P11-per-combat-day crack policemen — felled and defenseless — butchered and robbed of their arms, equipment, munitions and personal belongings, and we’re supposed to remain calm, to not rabble rouse, to not weep, and to not demand at the top of our voices justice for them?!
What’s wrong with grieving, wailing or crying? They are valves for the therapeutic release of pent-up emotions, the wide avenues for spontaneous self-expression that makes for openness in dialogues and all other forms of human interaction. Tears, whether from indignation or grief, not only wash the aches off our wounded hearts, but also the smudges that block our view of the truth. Heck, it’s downright immoral to coerce us to stifle our anger and grief that produce tears!
The MILF secessionists will not allow the Bangsamoro Basic Law to be watered down, and as soon as it’s been signed, its ratification shall take place only in Mindanao; no, not in the entire country. And the national government, including the Supreme Court, shall be bound by the referendum’s results. The BBL compels us from Luzon and the Visayas to fund the secessionists’ development in the billions and billions of hard-earned pesos, but we will have no voice in its referendum. HUH?! We gotta be idiots to allow this! And to think I once thought there was only one idiot throughout the archipelago!
The Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) was created under the Constitution. Since the BBL cannot change the characteristics of the ARMM without amending the Constitution, necessarily the BBL must be ratified by the national electorate. Therefore, there is neither rhyme nor reason for holding the referendum in Mindanao to the exclusion of voters from Luzon and the Visayas. Really, the reason for their exclusion is much too obvious: to prevent them from thumbing down a manifestly unjust law, one that has been crafted supposedly to ensure lasting peace for the entire country.
My choleric readers are on the warpath. Let me respond to two of them, as follows.
Miguel (del Rio), you are the head of a thriving family business. Now, what if armed men demand that you draw up the necessary papers conveying to them 75% of the business, and threaten that if you resist they will harm you and your family. You report this to the authorities, but they tell you to give the brigands all they want for the sake of peace. Will you?
Sarah (Cuesta), nobody in his right mind wants war. I don’t. But when push comes to shove, self-respecting men must remember the historical lesson that wars are sometimes waged precisely to win the peace. They’re no different from self-defense and defense of innocent third parties.


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