December 12, 2009
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan today says he “doubts very much if the declaration of Martial Law in Maguindanao was meant as a trial balloon for a nationwide declaration”, adding that President Arroyo has never been strong in terms of strategic thinking.
“This declaration is a GMA political survival declaration. To my mind, as in all other scandals she has faced, she is focused solely on saving her own skin. In this case, her only concern is how she can survive possible culpability for the massacre that is being condemned worldwide.”
Pangilinan says that the ML declaration serves as the President’s way out of international condemnation. “It is her way of showing proof to the international community of her supposed non-involvement in the dastardly crime. She is pressured tremendously. After all, at the time of the massacre, the Ampatuans were loyal LAKAS stalwarts, of which she was chairman emeritus. It was E.O. 569, signed by her, that armed and employed the over 100 civilian auxiliaries involved in the massacre. In addition, 30 PNP officers and personnel in the province have likewise been implicated in the killings. In a manner of speaking, her fingerprints are scattered all over the crime scene and she needs to act swiftly to ‘tamper with the evidence.'”
“The accused masterminds were her loyal party men; the other accused were armed by, and employed by her government. She is worried that liability will be pinned on her, and so to save her own skin, she needs to sacrifice the Ampatuans and all others implicated in the heinous offense,” Pangilinan surmises. “Martial Law was meant to save her own skin from possible liability under both Philippine law and international criminal law. She cares little about local public opinion. It is the opinion of the international community that matters dearly to her. She dreads being haled to the international criminal courts for crimes against humanity. The ML declaration is meant to appease international indignation, and does not look to a nationwide ML declaration in the future.”
“She isn’t out to save the Ampatuans; She is out to save herself. For the cause of her own survival, no one is indispensable.”