IT WAS YOUR FAULT, SIR!
There’s no way to say it gently, but it was your fault, Sir! Not all but mostly.
Your fault, Sir, lies in your trifling with the proper chain of command. In so doing, you unintentionally caused organizational confusion right at the top-most level, setting off a chain reaction cascading down the line, the final consequence being the failure of the ground forces to coordinate and organize as they should for the mission. That breakdown contributed enormously to the carnage. There is a reason why there is such a thing as command structure or chain of command or whatever else it is called and why armed forces like the PNP and the AFP observe it with rigor. I would explain it but maybe
your friends Senator Sonny Trillanes from the Navy and former Senator Panfilo Lacson also former PNP chief could do a better job expounding on why respecting the chain of command is so very crucial especially in a mission as dangerous.
But even that is forgivable, Sir, for as President you are granted so wide a latitude to do your job. It is just one of those things attributable to human imperfections. No malice intended. Heck, blunders happen even to the smartest of human beings. And certainly there were even far more deaths traceable to other presidential decisions of other Presidents.
Where you fail big time is in your conduct as a leader— after the fact. When you were nowhere to be seen at the arrival of the bodies at Villamor, but seen in a trivial event not far, that was the first and it looked really ugly. The impression you made was that of an absolutely uncaring, unsympathetic leader. Has that something to do with your experience having a murdered father? Or were you just feeling guilty?
Another stand out was your failure to denounce the MILF whose members were involved in the massacre. Heck, not even a whimper. You were everywhere instead pushing hard for the BBL and peace talks, to honor the dead, you said. Whooa! Did we hear the widows nodding and applauding in agreement for the manner their husbands are to be extolled? Whatever the motivation, the impression was that your sympathies were somehow with the very group who mowed down your own men. At the very least, a suspension of the talks and the deliberation of the BBL should have been ordered. Was your deadline more important to you, Sir, than the feelings of the public?
Now, a good leader should own up to both the successes and failures of his men. And if a leader must lash out at his men, deserved or not, he would do so not in public. That atrocious act of tarring and trashing the SAF ground commander, in a supposed prayer assembly yet, was so unbecoming, no,so disgusting, to say the least , of you as Commander in chief, Sir. We saw a man who for want of saving his own skin was all too willing to push another into a cliff. They have a name for that and it is very unflattering. Oh well, some say it runs in the blood.
Indeed, in your vain effort to wash your hands of any responsibility, you are making it worse, Sir, unwittingly revealing some things about yourself better left concealed and unsaid.
Edit: I am crossing out Senator Sonny Trillanes as it turns out he believes the President could ignore to the chain of command. Rather strange for a former military man.