Birthday boy Aquino must resign over Mamasapano clash–militants
MANILA, Philippines – Protesters returned to Mendiola in Manila on Saturday morning to call for the resignation of President Benigno Aquino III.
A day before the President’s 55th birthday, a dozen or so members of Anakbayan Metro Manila brought placards bearing Aquino’s image with the words “Mamasapano Carnage #NasaanAngPangulo.”
The hashtag “NasaanAngPangulo” was a reference to the public outrage amid Aquino’s absence during the arrival honors for the 44 Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) members who died in an alleged misencounter with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25.
Lloyd Magsoy of Anakbayan Metro Manila said Aquino should be held accountable for the perilous operation, which also resulted in the death of Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir (alias Marwan).
‘With the injustices and social ills being accorded to us by the Aquino government, there is indeed no reason for the Filipino people to celebrate his birthday,” Raymond Palatino, chairperson of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Metro Manila said in a statement. “The best gift that we can receive from him will be a pronouncement that he will vacate his post in the soonest possible time.”
“President Aquino should have immediately [followed] the resignation of former PNP Chief (Alan) Purisima and face all possible charges that will be filed against him,” he said.
Aquino on Friday announced that he has accepted the resignation of Purisima, who is being accused of directing the Mamasapano operation despite being on preventive suspension while being investigated by the Ombudsman for an anomalous transaction.
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