POSTSCRIPT / April 16, 2015 / Thursday


Opinion Columnist

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ITR filed manually, tax paid in 7 minutes

OLYMPIC DASH: Like many other harassed taxpayers, I was expecting the worst with the April 15 deadline for the filing of income tax returns. But, for the record, it took me just seven minutes to file manually my ITR last Tuesday in my favorite Land Bank branch in Quezon City.

That Olympic dash was from the moment I entered the bank to my exiting. What helped expedite the process was my coming ready with all the required documents, the exact tax payable (a la exact expressway toll), and my trusted senior citizen’s card.

Lesson learned: None. I’m just used to trying, now and then, to beat the system.

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KIMI LETS GO: At around 2 a.m. yesterday I saw being tapped out on my screen a series of Twitter texts baring the thoughts of Rep. Kimi Cojuangco (5th Dist., Pangasinan) on the Jan. 25 Mamasapano carnage and the just concluded inquiry of the House of Representatives.

Feeling her disgust and anguish over the needless death of 44 of the best officers of the PNP Special Action Force who were sacrificed in the high stakes gamble between saving either their lives or a “peace” process, I take the liberty of reproducing her tweet-thoughts here.

We wonder if her views coincide or run parallel to those of other members of the Congress and the millions of Filipinos who have stayed awake monitoring with us developments on Mamasapano and the Bangsamoro Basic Law being pushed by Malacañang.

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TWEET THOUGHTS: Here then is congresswoman Kimi Cojuangco letting go on Twitter:

“At this late hour (1:44 a.m. Wednesday) I am being haunted once again by the deaths of our SAF44. I will say what I think based on the (House of Representatives) inquiry and what struck me most.

“If the (PNP Board of Inquiry) report finds three people (President Aquino, ex-PNP Director General Alan Purisima, and ex-PNP SAF Chief Getulio Napeñas) culpable, then fine. However, it is clear in my mind that there are many others culpable.

“Those who surrounded President Aquino in Zamboanga gave the excuse that they did not know. Now they all admitted they found out early in the morning that the SAF44 were in trouble as early as 7 a.m. So even if they were not privy to the mission, that still is no excuse at that point in time.”

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RACE FOR TIME: “Why did they not advice the President to send reinforcements? Why did (PNP OIC Leonardo) Espina who knew his men were in trouble not step in to move heaven and earth and advice the President to send reinforcements? The SAF44 were still alive. There was ample time to do so.

“Col. Gener del Rosario of WesMinCom admitted that he prepared needed artillery when he heard the SOS from ground commander Supt. (Michael John) Mangahis. Del Rosario was ready, but waited for the go signal from Major Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan (commander, 1st Inf. Div.).

“Mangahis in his desperation repeatedly called Del Rosario and narrated in one of those calls he was put on hold while Del Rosario got a call from Pangilinan. He heard their conversation.

“That was when Mangahis realized peace negotiations were given priority. Sadly, in the HoR hearing he challenged Del Rosario to “man up” and tell the truth. It didn’t happen.

“In earlier interviews AFP chief of staff Gen. Gregorio Catapang (who was in Zamboanga on Jan. 25) claimed the peace process prevented them from sending the AFP to help the SAF commandos. So the rest is history.

“In my mind their lives were less important than the peace process. This disgusts me.”

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‘STAND DOWN!’: “So back to my point. Yes the President is taking the blame, but those that advised him in Zamboanga are just as culpable. These people that convinced him that a stand down order must be given have blood on their hands.

“They are CULPABLE for the deaths of the SAF44. Who are they? I have an idea, but am not in a position to interrogate anyone.

“Also they are COWARDS and OPPORTUNISTS! How dare them do what they did and allow only the President to take the fall. They are GUILTY too.

“So now I am letting go. I did my part and if our society cares enough to want to know what happened in Zamboanga, then good. But if not, then I accept. Although I am totally, again to use the word, disgusted. if this is OK with others then who am I to ask anyone to pursue the truth.

“I said my piece and am setting myself free. But will NEVER forget that this inhuman incident happened. And it is WRONG. I now let go.

“And to mainstream media: It is your responsibility to bring this out. Well if this issue is not valid to you then I totally will lose respect for you. But if you decide to investigate, I just gave you a lead which many people already figured out. It does not take a genius to see what I see.

“Again I am at peace, because I did my part. To those who read what I have to say, please, I beg you do not forget the fact that the SAF44 did not have to die. Thank you for reading. I am now free.”

(First published in the Philippine STAR of April 16, 2015)

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