The Senate investigation into the Mamasapano debacle is not just a soap opera after all. It is worse.
A soap opera entertains. It allows people who want to turn their minds elsewhere from whatever it is they want to run away from. It also gives those who have time to kill something to kill it with.
Except for those who for those who go for the bizarre, the Senate investigation gives us little satisfaction. It makes people angry, bitter, sad or depressed. All of which helps little to alleviate an already disoriented nation.
At the start, there was a glimmer of hope that it would somehow uncover the mistakes that led to the debacle. At the rate things are going, however, there seems to be little reason for optimism.
These days, the lines of questioning are leading away from that.
There is an obvious and unmistakable effort to draw away attention from the President and his orders and thereby deflect blame from him. If ever, he will only be liable for procedural lapses – and nothing more.
The game plan is drawing attention, and with it fire, away from the President and those who ordered and directed the operations. The farther it gets, the better for all of them.
Unfortunately, the blame shifts to fall guys like Director Getulio Napenas who, like a good soldier, has bravely owned up responsibility for the debacle. Napenas, in fact, wants to claim full and exclusive responsibility for it.
He tried to do that. Napenas uncharacteristically admitted all the mistakes if only he was allowed to do it. That led former President Fidel Ramos and Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago to put him in his place.
Of course, Napenas’ version of the story is not possible. The only way for Napenas to do that is to come out with a story that he did not receive orders from President Benigno Simeon Aquino III or suspended PNP Chief Alan Purisima.
The spin to shift the blame to the Special Action Force is so pathetic that they might as well declare that the valiant 44 committed suicide. That would be the height of stupidity.
The facts are clear: they were there because they were following orders. They might have not followed the battle plan to the fullest but that does not remove the liability of those who sent them there.
Obviously, the investigations are turning into one big damage control maneuver. They are killing the SAF commandoes a second time.
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