President Aquino made his mark for greatness.

There’s a thought that must be taken. I have kept quiet for a while.

Mary Jane Veloso’s dire situation reminded of a time not long ago, in Singapore, about a housekeeper called Flor Contemplacion, left to hang in the gallows, when a tobacco sporting President by the name of Ramos. flew away, and did not help the lowly maid.

When Mary Jane’s fate was sealed, I took a deep breath, and knew that only prayers can make a miracle. But as I prayed, what unfolded before my very eyes was simply incredible. I saw the image of PNoy going through that one last ditch effort to save Mary Jane. To him, it was personal.

He attended to the matter hands on. President begging another to defer execution pending review? No, that does not happen. That is tantamount to doubting the better judgment of another. But he did. He spoke to the press as naturally, verbalizing an idea as his mind conceives it, till a phone call interrupts him, that one important call that spelled, right that very second, that an understanding has dawned. Mary Jane was more important alive than dead.

Presidents, like all others, come and go. Great leaders etch their marks in history. not because of how great a change they have contributed to the development and progress of their country, albeit that matters, but to what he has done to the least of his people.

President Benigno Aquino III, you have just done that. You have made your mark.

For greatness.

Why saying sorry is not necessary.

None more tragic than fall of the troopers in Masasapano. I wondered, too, why the President didn’t show up at the Villamor airbaise, to receive the fallen SAF. But the President’s actuation and speeches showed how he felt, He was also shocked, at a loss as to what went wrong, As commander-in-chief, he had to assess what happened. And lest he gives faulty answers to the families and to the people, he made sure he knew what led to the demise of the forty-four troopers. Now we know there was disobedience, and perhaps complacence on the part of the support SAF, because they rejoiced too early, as the Ground Commander already received congratulations. Sigh. The President, more than any of us, lamented at the death of his men, and he said he would carry this earth-shaking tragedy to his grave. He had reached out to the families, to help them in any way, if that is the only way he could somehow lessen the grief of the widows, the children, the parents, the siblings, the families of the valiant forty-four. Actions speak louder than words, The President has humbly accepted all tirades, including curses on his person. What else do the critics want. Sorry? Oh no. Saying sorry is not appropriate. The President stretched his “pakikiramay” more than that word sorry. He deeply took being father of his land to heart and soul, In silence, he grieved.

By way of response to a GMA news clip.

Truth be told, it doesn’t have to come to this. Senator Grace Poe’s Committee Report is frustrating, because it pertains to a statement that the President is ultimately responsible. No, he is not. There is a difference between being responsible and ultimately responsible. Check the dictionary, Senator Grace. The President has acknowledged that he is responsible. Ultimately, the report could have concluded that the SAF erred, with regards execution. And the Ground Commander could have been rejoicing already, having taken the terrorist down, Sayang, Senator Grace, your conclusion satisfies a clamor but not the truth. And may I take this opportunity to give an unsolicited advice, do not pursue the presidency yet, you can’t hear well with the deafening noise, that you fail to see clearly, As to the people, we have become bullies, bashing with foul language, prone to revelry, to put blame on another. Look what we’ve done because of our crab thinking, we have failed to honor fully those who sacrificed their lives. And the ‘has been’ who had corrupted this country has resurfaced, taking advantage of the situation. Sigh.

The media and the Masasapano Report, a reaction.

  • Eileen Leyva It is reports like this that is really disturbing. The media were able to take a peek, but have not read the report in its entirety, and for the benefit of putting up a news, there is a “should have” line that puts the President to blame. It is that elusive peace in Mindanao that grips the nation now, and we have to resolve the conflict with our brothers down south,. But if the media continues to malign a President, which takes our view from the conflict, how can we achieve the peace we all want? The Mamasapano story is a very, very sad story. But it happened, and we grieved for the valiant forty-four commandos who courageously fought and faced death, there is no question in their heroism, But do we honor them by playing blame game? No, we don’t. If I have to state my sixty peso point of view, the Mission Exodus is a brilliant plan, the gallant Special Action Force went there to serve warrant of arrest to two international terrorists,. But of course, the gravity of that serving the warrant entails hostile forces, thus the commandos knew that death awaits, Every soldier and every police knows that, and the families of the men in uniform know that when their loved one sets off on a mission each morning, the possibility of them not coming back alive is very true. Did the SAF succeed? Yes. They killed the terrorist Marwan. And wounded the other one. One would argue that forty-four dead is too high a price, Of course, we don’t see forty-four flag-draped caskets every day, That was why even the President was shocked and shaken, and was ill-advised not to receive the dead at Villamor airbase. He should have, because as President, he must be first in line in saluting his fallen men. Does that mean he must be held accountable for the deaths? No. Dying is a part and parcel of a uniformed man’s story. The tragedy is in the outcome, because everyone is too noisy, especially the commentators who do not know what they are saying, because for the most part, they were speculating, Pending the report, stop the negativism. If Ground Commander Napenas erred in his execution of the plan, may we find it in our hearts to forgive, Who are we not to? All of us commits mistakes, blatant ones, for that matter. But our being humans ensues actually in our kindness, and when we look back at our young heroes, we know that we are better human beings because of them. Let us not spoil this moment of their valor. We might be grieving still, and forever will, but this is their moment of glory. To the media, please put their stories in your front pages, so we can relive their lives and give thanks,
    • Emmanuel Faustino Sorry but the stand down order of the reinforcement given by the president is unacceptable plus 3 times of his interviews shows his lying..specially the binola ako ni napenas..wake up dont be blinded by an incompetent leader
      Like · 3 · 9 hrs · Edited
    • Eileen Leyva Emmanuel Faurstino, it is unacceptable, not an acceptable,
      Like · 1 · 9 hrs
    • Eileen Leyva No thanks, Emmanuel Faustino? See, we all commit mistakes.
      Like · 1 · 9 hrs
    • Freeman Alix Your a good writter maybe a blogger too, you have good idea too but lacking a good motivational factor that we should be convinced to believe you what you are talking about, your saying saf44 are heroes but stating to us that pnoy has nothing to do with it, doesnt make sense at all…
    • Eileen Leyva Thank you, Freeman Alix, for appreciating my writing, What I am saying about the heroism is that these magnificent forty-four were prepared to die, for God and country, and for the people, and their families. Armed missions always entail danger, defeat, death. Happy endings only happen in the movies. The SAF 44 knew they would die, and they faced it, fighting to their last breath. We call that VALOR. Ask any gallant soldier or police, like General Espino, I heard him say he would have wished he was among the dead, because that would mean he has given his very life for this country, Now, there might be a clamor for justice, because there are forty-four dead, and the natural course of things is to put the blame on somebody, That is not the case. Ask for justice? Justice has been served, by the blood of the valiant forty-four. The country is a little less terrorized. Our children and grandchildren a little safer. And all because of those forty-four young heroes. When freedom is lived by the blood of heroes, no enemy can penetrate those left behind. So why blame another? That would only be diminishing what they had sacrificed. I won’t let that happen, I hail them as I hail Greg del Pilar, the 23 year old hunk of a man who stood his ground on Biak na Bato, or Tirad Pass, because of him, we have our freedom.

After Listening to President Aquino on EDSA Anniversary Mass

Thanks, President Aquino, for sharing to us your juvenile thoughts when your father was killed and tossed. I was watching the television that lunch time of August 21 when the tube went blank, but news of your father’s assassination has hit the airwaves, and I saw my own father’s face, his concern, his sadness. My father told me about your father’s genius and gift of gab, and together, my father and I listened to that one rare moment when from prison, he was allowed an interview, and gosh, he outsmarted his interviewers, including that Sri Lankan Ronnie Nathanielz.

Of course any one of us would very much like to avenge a senseless act of violence for a loved one, but as you reminded us, that is not forgiving, that is not the way to peace, not love at all.

I have done my best to listen to you, as you are my President, Now I will put my total trust in you on this Bangsamoro Law, because you are right, peace begins with us.

And as St. Francis would pray…..

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life

On Mission Exodus and the Magnificent Forty-four.

The dead tally stands at forty-four, reason for a nationwide highly emotional hoopla, President Aquino receiving the severest criticism: first, for a fault called failure of operation, because bashers contend that if it was a success, there would not be 44 lives taken from their loved ones, and second, for a no-show at the arrival rites of the lifeless and shattered bodies of the magnificent troopers in metal caskets, draped by Philippine flags, and to which I surmise that the President was still in a state of shock, even if he was putting up a brave front at a car show in Laguna, and please, presidential spokespersons,do not undermine the people’s intelligence by saying he was getting through scheduled events, how lame an excuse is that, because a president must be first in line when his troops come, dead or alive. The people would have understood it more if someone said he was sick, and we would have understood that he was shaken. Wrong advice, ES Paquito Ochoa, to shelter the President by sending him to the car show.

The President met with the families privately, and spoke on prime time television two times. Not once though did he defend himself, not even when the legislative houses turned into spectacles, especially the lower house called congress, where the representatives reduced their house to much of an agora, no offense to market vendors, please.

But today, the honorable senators are mum, after executive sessions that invoke secrecy. Chairperson Senator Grace Poe is explaining that no cover-ups will be made so the President might be saved. There is no such thing, Senator Grace, forty-four dead means the mission was lethal. That was why the best and the bravest were sent there, because it was impossible to get out alive, Those men knew the Mamasapano gauntlet meant their demise, and they faced it. Mission Exodus was more than saving face. Mission Exodus was saving our country from far more ghastly scenarios, saving our families from whining and wailing in lamentation.

The valiant forty-four will forever be heroes in our history books, and their beings forever etched in our hearts.

President Barack came to town.

It was a grand and heartwarming welcome for President Barack Obama in Manila, red carpet, twenty-one gun salute, and a real hot sun. It was Filipino hospitality at its best: the native food, the pangkat kawayan, the Kuh Ledesma/Leo Valcez voices, and the courteousness and kindness that is innately Filipino.

I listened, of course, to what the two presidents have to say about the visit and the affairs of the region and the rest of the world. Criticisms abound, but we have to give it to these two great men (both my age), that they are doing their damnest best for peace and the betterment of all the peoples of the world. I do not doubt their sincerity and honesty, for they would have blundered in front of the cameras, but I did hear spontaneous responses, not calibrated, and sometimes, I would like to reprimand the critics for creating a whole bunch of senseless stumbling blocks the slows the success of these leaders.

Hope springs eternal.