A Senate “reinvestigation” of the Mamasapano incident to coincide with its first anniversary on January 25 this year has been proposed by Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, who claims to have new information relevant to establishing what really happened.
But coming as it does on practically the eve of the May elections, the reinvestigation will be solely in furtherance of the political aims of the senators who’re running for either reelection or other posts this year. It is unlikely to yield different results, and would probably re-affirm the conclusion of the Senate committee on public order chaired by Senator (and presidential candidate) Grace Poe that the incident was, as popularly perceived, “a massacre.”
The plan for constitutional amendments has been compared to a dance, which among metaphor-conscious Filipinos followed naturally from the use of “cha cha” as shorthand for it. Cha cha DIs have indeed been trying to lure everyone onto the dance floor through various inducements, among them the promise of relief from poverty, which they claim’s the result of a perennial gridlock between the President and Congress. But most Filipinos won’t dance, and it’s not so much because they think federalism and a parliamentary form of government won’t work. It’s because they doubt the motives of their champions.
Before July the result had been a dance floor littered with DIs dancing with themselves, while most of the would-be instructees have left the building. But if you think the dance hall owners and the DIs had packed up and gone out of business, think again. Despite a less than lukewarm public reception, they’ve persisted all these years. They’ve carried the campaign to schools and universities, to business groups and academia, to civil society and the media, where at least the issue has somehow remained alive, if not well and kicking.