Was the Napoles "surrender" a cover-up?
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Freeman) - September 17, 2013 - 12:00am

Call it unbelievable, but the column of former Senator Francisco "Kit" Tatad at the Manila Standard was highly explosive because he is saying that the fugitive Janet Lim Napoles of JLN fame wasn't really brought to Malacañang in the evening. She was there early in the morning at the Palace with Pres. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino, III with a few Cabinet Secretaries. But the "official" story that the Filipino people got from the Malacañang Press Office was, if Kit Tatad's sources are to be believed, a blatant lie!

Given the fact that we've already gotten too many lies emanating from Malacañang, I would like to hear how the Palace Rasputins would react to the column of Kit Tatad. Of course, it is easy to tag Kit Tatad as a lackey of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo or his ties with the unlamented conjugal dictator president Ferdinand E. Marcos. But tagging former Sen. Tatad as linked to those people is something he never denied.

But it doesn't change the fact that he wrote that explosive column yesterday to tell the whole world that the "surrender" of JLN to the President late on Aug.28 was just one big zarzuela or a cover-up. At this point, let's see the response of the Malacañang Palace Rasputins to his explosive article.

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In this day and age of electronic banking…people who have bank accounts must have one way or the other an Automatic Teller Machine account, which is now widely used by almost everyone, including government officials and employees. This is society's way of keeping money safely inside the bank…and when you need money…you can easily go to your nearest ATM machine and withdraw the money you need even at night. Call it convenience banking. So just imagine that all of a sudden…all these are no longer available to you.

This is exactly what is happening in Zamboanga City when the rebel forces of Nur Misuari's Moro National Liberation Front swooped down on that southernmost city of flowers to dramatize their situation with the use of violence. For a week now, Zamboanga's banks were closed and so too with many other establishments. In short, the economy of Zamboanga has ground to a halt!

The siege of Zamboanga City is now a week old and if you recall, the first thing that Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas did was to order the shutdown of operations at the Zamboanga airport. This act apparently caught many people unaware and visitors to Zamboanga City were literally trapped in that besieged city. This was a monumental mistake done by Sec. Mar Roxas.

The problem with Sec. Mar Roxas is…he seems to be doing everything for and on behalf of Pres. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III. But the poor fellow is not a military strategist or tactician…so thinking that the Zamboanga Airport was in grave danger…he immediately closed the airport. He should have instead created an air corridor cordoned by the military in order to ensure the safety of aircraft coming and going. But he chose the easy way and that is to shut down airport operations…and unwittingly trapped people who wanted to get out of Zamboanga City.

Sec. Mar Roxas should have immediately asked Pres. PNoy to declare a Zamboanga City in a State of Emergency. But a week since that siege began; they have not declared any emergency situation in Zamboanga City. Sensing that Sec. Mar Roxas was given full publicity in trying to help or at least diffuse the Zamboanga crisis, enter Vice Pres. Jejomar Binay who called on his old classmate Nur Misuari to call for a ceasefire.

What we are seeing here is already in preparation part and parcel of the upcoming 2016 presidential elections where both Roxas and Binay are the supposed front-runners in their desire to be the next president after the term of Pres. PNoy Aquino. They would even go to extremes to show to the Filipino people who is the better man to run this country. But at the expense of the people of Zamboanga?

Of course a ceasefire would have done great things to stop the violence in Zamboanga City and bring at least a brief respite to the battle weary people of Zamboanga. But Sec. Mar Roxas wouldn't agree to a ceasefire unless the MNLF surrenders first then they can start talking. Sec. Roxas again forgets one important Moro trait…that they don't understand the word 'surrender'. He could have used a different word, but never surrender because the Moros were never subjugated even by our Spanish colonizers. Meanwhile, I suggest that Sec. Mar Roxas should get out of Zamboanga and let the military conduct its operations in the area. The AFP knows better how to handle Muslims after all; they've been at odds for so many decades.

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Email: vsbobita@gmail.com



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