The Mamasapano Incident is a badly written drama story that tickles us to hilarious laughter at its ending.  It’s made up of  a sequence  of incredible actions and events replete with lies and doublespeak in its dialogues.  In its entirety, these constitute its  “panorama and scene” which fails to push the story movement with interestingness.

It begins fairly well with a flashback—the dramatic botched operation of the PNP-SAF—that is meant to jolt  the nation to shock and wonder.  Everyone who listens to the newscast raises his eyebrow with a questioning “why and how”.  

​But the flow of subsequent events drags as the major characters were introduced in repetitive question after question after question with no definite and clear answers, because each character-player in the story seems to have a homogenous role— “denial” of any knowledge of the Incident.  One expects the central character, the Commander-in-Chief, to be all and about to engage all questions in the investigation in the halls of Congress .  But the slow and incomplete unfolding of the Truth is flavored with a disgusting series of lies and doublespeak, making the function of characterization wrongly  described as testimonies of resource persons.  Even the idioms used in military parlance employed are perplexing, such that an order or command is issued as “advice”.

The only interesting act is the chauvinist utterances of a distinguished Senator who exposes his ignorance of Mindanao history, most especially the history of the Bangsamoro struggle for self-determination  that started with the trampling of the sacred Mindanao shores by the American forces.

But the drama story has to continue  with half-truths and prevarications woven with clear intention of inventing a whitewash or cover-up. But all the while the politico-literary critics  lament the lack of interestingness in the flow of the narrative , because it does not at all contribute to an appreciable climb to climactic action that would constitute  a kind of revelation.  Or in literary parlance—the epiphany that  dissipates all doubts and unravels the mystery that engulfs  the nation’s curiosity.

Even the element of magic realism—the involvement of Americans in the botched Mamasapano operation—  as seen by the critical eye of a prelate in Cotabato City seems in need of irrefutable  proof, although this does not seem like magic but a concrete reality to the Tukanalipao residents who have actually witnessed the “drone” in the sky days before and during the Incident.

​Maybe, if the good prelate were the writer of the story, it would be given  a more dramatic treatment.  This  magic realism element  if sus tainably well-handled in the narrative could have unfolded an avalanche of Truth.   For all we know, it constitutes the redeeming factor in the quest for Truth in that its role in the scheme of events in the Bangsamoro struggle for self-determination has long been an established  fact.   US imperialism is a fait accompli in Philippine reality no matter its covert participation in military operations in the country.

​The multi-faceted investigations made by various agencies—The PNP itself, the DOJ, the CHR—are but decorative expressions equivalent to the use of  purple prose that obscures rather than clarifies, not unlike squid tactics that muddle the issues.   And Malacanang’s own musical acts through President Noynoy’ s bagpipes only succeed in pushing him deeper into inescapable liability.  They only slowdown the movement of the quest for Truth because the bag of lies that accompany his hypocrisies and cajoleries do not lead the thematic thrust to its satisfactory credible conclusion. As a matter of fact, the narrative rambles from one ridiculous lie to another, and from one cover-up tale to another, that only deepens the anger of the widows and relatives of the Fallen 44.

​Until finally, the story  ends in a slanderous dressing down of SAF Commander Napenas in a televised speech,  by the central character himself, President Noynoy  Aquino.  In throwing all the blame to the poor SAF Director, the President exculp ates himself and the purest of generals Allan Purisima! Ultimately, General Napenas becomes the “fall guy”—the villain in this poorly crafted story whose plot is prepared and fleshed up by Malacanang under the shadow of the US.

​But there’s a sequel to this story.  It is  a sequel that derives its plot from the ideals and convictions of the thousands upon thousands of the Filipino Youth whose hearts pound loud like rolling drums in uni son with their footfalls on the streets — marching with the force of the battlecry on their lips—  “Noynoy Step Down!— NOW!”

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