Saturday, March 14, 2015

Open Letter for the President

Dear Mr. President,

In your inaugural address, you said to me, “You are the boss so I cannot ignore your orders…” Well, Mr. President, I am ordering you now to listen to me.

Forty-four of your men were killed in pursuit of international terrorists. Tactical mistakes were made in the battlefield and for that, the commander of the Special Action Force (SAF) Gen. Getulio Napeñas has accepted full responsibility.

No words, though, can adequately describe how I feel when you say, “Why should I take all the blame?” Have we installed a grown man into office or have we installed a schoolboy? No one is asking you to take ALL the blame, Mr. President. But we are asking you to take responsibility for the incident. You are, after all, Commander-in-Chief.

In an attempt to rescue 52 American diplomats in Tehran on April 24, 1980, eight US service members were killed. In the aftermath of the failed rescue attempt, US President Jimmy Carter issued the following statements.

“…I knew that the operation was certain to be difficult and it was certain to be dangerous…To the families of those who died and who were wounded, I want to express the admiration I feel for the courage of their loved ones and the sorrow that I feel personally for their sacrifice…It was my decision to attempt the rescue operation. It was my decision to cancel it when problems developed…The responsibility is fully my own.”

This is how a president and commander-in-chief speaks.

You, however, have chosen to take a different tone. Your latest tirade, in fact, leaves me reeling and seriously doubting your emotional maturity as well as mental fitness to stand as leader and commander-in-chief.

“Ngayon, sana ho pwede kong masabing tatanga-tanga si Napeñas, hindi niya alam yung lugar.” Did you just call the former SAF chief, “stupid?” I am shocked at your choice of words in reference to the former chief of the elite police forces of the country.

You say you cannot be blamed because Napeñas fed you lies. You say you were given wrong information. You say you were misled. You say you were fooled. E sino ba ngayon ang tatanga-tanga?

You insist that had Napeñas followed your orders to coordinate with the military, the carnage would not have occurred. Was this not sufficiently explained by Napeñas to the entire nation? That your friend, then suspended Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Alan Purisima, after stepping out of a meeting with you, told him that he (Purisima) would take care of this and as such, Napeñas deferred to him?

You harp at Napeñas defying your order yet you conspicuously stay silent on WHY you put suspended PNP chief Gen. Alan Purisima at the helm of the operation. Mr. President, hindi rin kami tatanga-tanga. You cannot keep using Napeñas as your whipping boy. We already know the sins of Napeñas. It’s time you confessed to yours.

I was one of those who put you into office. You owe me, Mr. President. Or was that an empty promise you made five years ago? At the very least, you owe me a straight face, a truthful explanation and a sincere apology. And that is an order.

-Your Boss-

Melanie Lim
Taken from the Sunstar Network
Image from

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