MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – While the bodies of 42 police officers slain in an encounter with lawless elements in the southern island of Mindanao arrived at Villamor Airbase in Manila yesterday, President NoyNoy Aquino was toasting champagne with top business executives a few miles south of the capital.
Somber and solemn ceremonies were held to honor the police officers — members of the Special Action Force who were practically wiped out in a surprise encounter with the rebels.
Cabinet officials present during the arrival ceremonies included Vice President Jejomar Binay, Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, Transport Secretary Jun Abaya, and Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda.
Other notable guests were former President Fidel V. Ramos, Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, and Sen. Nancy Binay.
Most of the guests, including VIPs and relatives of the slain cops, donned black ribbons on their left arm.
Aquino, on the other hand, was hobnobbing with executives of Mitsubishi at the inauguraton of the car manufacturer’s new plant in Santa Rosa, Laguna.
“I wouldn’t miss Dom Perignon for anything,” Aquino said, referring to the top brand champagne served at the elaborate event. The president was also very delighted to see a display of the latest Mitsibishi Lancer.
For Aquino, it’s business as usual — literally and figuratively.