“Gone are the days of forbearance. The people do not want Aquino’s apology, the people want him to step down.”
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – Thousands of protesters called for President Aquino’s ouster as, they said, they are fed up with “his lies upon lies.”
The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) led different groups that marched from Welcome Rotunda to Chino Roces Bridge (former Mendiola Bridge), in the afternoon of March 20, Friday.
The groups said they had enough of Aquino’s lies — from his campaign line that he will lead the nation to the “righteous path,” to the Presidential pork barrel, and the latest, in trying to wash his hands of the botched Mamasapano operation.
Renato Reyes, Jr. secretary general of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan said the reports by the Philippine National Police Board of Inquiry (BOI) and the Senate investigation showed that Aquino had a hand in the Mamasapano operation all along.
In the BOI report, Reyes said, it was clear that Aquino gave direct approval for the execution of Oplan Exodus last Jan. 25. Reyes also cited the Senate report that said Aquino “is ultimately responsible” for the operation being commander-in-chief of all armed forces.
He said it is not true that suspended PNP Chief Alan Purisima was “just helping Aquino to understand the jargons of the operation.” He said the BOI and the Senate reports said that Aquino allowed suspended Purisima’s participation and bypassed the chain of command of the PNP hierarchy.
“He let his suspended ‘kabarkada’ Alan Purisima participate in the operation, when he should not be allowed to coordinate, to be included in any meeting, and to be texting with the President and Napeñas regarding the operation. The report said Aquino should have coordinated with the officer-in-charge of PNP,” Reyes said.
The biggest lie of all, Reyes said, was that the US had no hand in Oplan Exodus. He said the BOI and Senate report clearly said that six American soldiers were seen in the SAF tactical command headquarters.
“What were they doing there? Playing chess, drinking coffee? No. They are there because they were the ones dictating to the SAF and Napeñas what to do in the operation,” Reyes said. “Probably, they are also the reason why Filipino troops’ lives were sacrificed all because of the US’ dictates.”
The BOI report said US forces provided real-time “intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support” to the operating troops involve in the operation.
Reyes said that the biggest accountability lies on Aquino.
“Aquino and the US cannot trample over our sovereignty because of their War on Terror. Aquino, who is a puppet of the US should resign,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lawyer Krissy Conti, assistant secretary general for campaigns of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers said Aquino can be held accountable once he steps down from power. He may face different charges, from culpable violation of the Constitution to obstruction of justice not only in his role in the Mamasapano encounter but also on the issue of Disbursement Acceleration Program.
“There is no cure for being stupid, martyr and playing blind. The only solution is to act. And today, the people are making this initiative so that Aquino can no longer fool, deceive, and lie to the Filipino people. We, the nationalist lawyers are one with your call for Aquino to step down.”
‘People do not want anymore BS’
The recent result of the Pulse Asia Survey is proof that people do not want any more of Aquino’s lies and empty promises, said Bayan spokesman Teddy Casiño. The survey said that only “42 percent want Aquino to stay.”
Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan said in a statement, “The 42 percent who do not want Aquino to resign are not necessarily happy or satisfied with his governance. The same survey indicates how 79 percent remain dissatisfied with Aquino’s explanation of the Mamasapano carnage.”
The said the Pulse Asia survey was conducted earlier this month on 1,200 Filipino adults that also shows 29 percent supported the calls for the President’s resignation, while 28 percent are undecided.
Ilagan also noted that the plunge in Aquino’s performance and trust rating was steeper than ratings posted in the last few months of then President Joseph Estrada’s administration.
Aquino’s performance rating plunged from 59 in November 2014 to 38 in March 2015. Compared to Estrada’s performance rating that plunged by a mere five points from 50 in October 2000 to 45 in December 2000.
Aquino’s trust rating also dropped by 20 points from 56 in November 2014 to 36 in March 2015 compared to Estrada’s trust rating that plunged by 14 points from 40 in October 2000 to 26 in December 2000 amid televised impeachment proceedings.
Casiño noted the few policemen in the gates of Mendiola Peace Arch. He said that in previous protests, more policemen with truncheons guarded the gates of Malacañang. “This is a sign that even policemen are fed up with a liar President.”
He said the Filipino people are veterans in ousting a worthless president they no longer want. The people did it in the Edsa People Power I in 1986, forcing dictator Ferdinand Marcos to flee to Hawaii, then in 2001, when they forced Estrada out, leaving thru Malacañang’s backdoor onboard a boat on Pasig River.
Vencer Crisostomo, chairman of Anakbayan, criticized Aquino’s henchmen, as well as his sisters who cover up for the President’s incompetence. He said the people have suffered enough under the Aquino presidency; the youth have no future due to unaffordable education, the low salary and unending price increases and the negligence of disaster victims by the government.