PNS –“YOUR assumption of responsibility will not remove, nor even reduce the humiliation the country has suffered.”
Negros Occidental Rep. Ignacio Arroyo issued this statement yesterday as he described as useless President Benigno Aquino’s pronouncement that he was responsible for the bloody hostage tragedy at the Quirino Grandstand.
“And since President Aquino has assumed responsibility following his declaration that heads will roll because of the hostage tragedy, then he should start with his own head and resign,” Arroyo stressed.
Arroyo pointed out that almost two weeks of buck-passing and finger-pointing had passed since the hostage tragedy before Mr. Aquino finally assumed responsibility for it.
“Two weeks without anybody taking the blame, without a clear picture of everything that had transpired, without any real justice to the fatalities. No words by the President will be enough to ease the sorrow of the victims’ families, and the shame that the tragedy has brought to the country,” Arroyo said.
Arroyo emphasized that whatever President Aquino does now, it will not erase the fact that he was nowhere to be found at the height of the hostage crisis.
“He was not there, he was not in control and he refused to take the call of Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang at the height of the crisis.
“Anything that the President says now will not bring back the thousands of Chinese tourists who have cancelled their visits to the country, the tens of millions in lost earnings by airline companies, hotels and resorts, and the livelihood opportunities that went with all these,” Arroyo said.
He also called for an inquiry into why Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo has no control over the Philippine National Police despite the fact that he is the head of the agency.
The solon said it must be determined why Robredo was kept out of the loop on police matters, what were the reason and the circumstances behind it.
“What is worrisome is Secretary Robredo had declared he will not tolerate jueteng, which is primarily a job of the police. Was police control taken away from him to keep jueteng operations unhampered? For whom?
“What makes Undersecretary Rico Puno so special as to lord it over one of the most powerful law enforcement agencies in the country? What are his qualifications apart from being a shooting buddy of the President? Who recommended him?
“Following the bloody hostage tragedy, how can we now expect good, sound decisions from the President,” Arroyo asked.