The Incident Investigation and Review Committee report on the hostage taking was finally released to the Chinese Embassy.
As an afterthought the document was then posted on the Government’s website. This allowed over 80 million Filipinos with no access to the Internet to remain in the dark.
In fact all Filipinos continue to remain clueless since the IIRC recommendations were omitted from the Government’s posting. Fortunately the full report is available at the Associated Press, probably on the Chinese Government’s website and at your local newstand.
It can also be read on ABS-CBN Online as early as last Thursday, a day before its receipt by President Aquino.
In keeping with the Administration’s principles of transparency and fairness, President Noy withheld the recommendations of the Report to allow the Palace’s legal luminaries of Ochoa & De Mesa to assess the findings. So much for confidence in the work of our Secretary of Justice, Leila de Lima, who chaired the IIRC and who is understandably “dismayed”. Humiliated is probably a better term.
What happens if O&DM differ in their assessment of the recommendations? Does the matter get remanded to a third party for arbitration or do they just flip for it?
If you think this unduly delays matters, that may be the idea.
The Administration should already forward a copy of the Report to the Supreme Court since, based on most previous labor of Ochoa & De Mesa; this is where the whole thing will end up anyway.
The Report has recommended that charges be filed against 13 people in both Government and media. The former may be held liable administratively and for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide.
The media practitioners may be sanctioned for violations of their code of ethics or for hogging cellphone lines to the hostage taker, whichever sticks.
Already the Report is being attacked on various fronts.
While thanking the Administration for putting them second in receiving the Report (the first was ABS-CBN), the HK Government demanded definite answers on how the eight victims were killed (You mean this was not in the Report?). HK will conduct its own investigation. Hopefully its findings will coincide with ours, otherwise we are in trouble. This could be the end of all cheap imports from China.
Relatives of the victims complained the Report did not provide them sufficient evidence to sue the Philippine Government for incompetence and reckless endangerment. They have engaged the Fortun brothers to represent them. The latter, lawyers for the Ampatuans, have a reputation for fighting for the oppressed.
Mayor Lim and Vice-Mayor Moreno are literally decrying the Report’s lack of consistency; but really for dragging them into the mess which they were a part of.
Media, when not lamenting the Government’s favoritism, once again, for ABS-CBN, is claiming its Constitutional right to run amuck when lives are in danger.
Politicians are accusing Malacanang of incompetence, a subject they are familiar with.
The Filipino people are angry at the Government’s China First policy.
Ombudsman Gutierrez, one of those potentially culpable, believes the hostage-taking affair was a set up to ease her out of office. In the interest of clarity she is planning her own investigation.
To his credit, DILG USec . Puno took the accusations like a man. “Tell me, tell me to my face, Mr. President, that you no longer love me and I will quietly walk into the sunset”, he has virtually said. Say it, Mr.President, please say it.
Shalani hopes the same fate does not befall her.
Various officials have defended the Administration most notably Philippine Ambassador to the U.N. Cabactulan:” Yes, (the Report) was given some importance here but there are events … that put countries in such an extreme and difficult position and the best that are being attempted by countries are something that cannot just be negated first and foremost”. Come again?
In obfuscation this quote now ranks ahead of Venus Raj’ s response at the Miss Universe Pageant.
There are only two winners from the IIRC report, both of whom have chosen to remain silent and wisely so.
One is ex-President Gloria who is just giddy that this all detracts from the Truth Commission and those awful SONA revelations.
The other is Vice-President Binay . Jojo is beside himself at the amateurishness and alleged corruption of some of President Noy’s choir boys. If only he had been appointed DILG Secretary as he had requested, none of this would have happened he is intimating to the nation. His wish may now be granted sooner than expected.
Yes, looking back, this date could historically well be the day Binay is considered to become the next President of the Philippines.