More than just thoughts and feelings, it is already an established fact that the national leadership has a preferential option to be surrounded by high ranking military officials and police authorities. This is not to say that they are not duly retired. Much less are they not qualified or capable. What is disturbing about this manifest preference is the disturbing popular conclusions that can be drawn therefrom.
Is it possible that the present Administration has already adopted a gun-powder mentality? This is not impossible, considering its several despotic attempts to stop rallies, to silence protests, to curtail human rights. Furthermore, there is the very serious issue of political killings or extrajudicial murders and abductions that are still on-going.
Is it indicative that the government is in effect afraid of the AFP and the PNP? As a composite whole this is not improbable since it is losing more and more its trust and approval rating from more and more citizens. If these people were to rise up in unity against the present government, it has no recourse but to count on the shield provided by the men in uniform. This would explain why the national leadership shows loyalty and favor to retired top AFP and PNP members.
Is it both a false and ridiculous statement that there are no worthy and capable civilians in the country to occupy precisely civilian offices in the present government? True or otherwise, this could be the perception generated by such disdain and depreciation towards civilian professionals by the national leadership.
It bears recalling the not so distant past, exactly the same attitudinal posture and behavioral pattern too place concretely during the infamous Martial Law regime. It was a fearful past. It is an indelible chapter in Philippine history. There still a good number of people who survive it to tell their stories—although one too many have been laid to rest—unknown, unrecognized and unrewarded to this date.
In short, the militaristic preferential option of the present government bears ethical scrutiny and moral inquiry. It is certainly not the way of democracy, much less the guarantee of the civil liberties of the citizenry. Instead, it forwards a bad and fearful omen for freedom loving people.
A gun-powder mentality on the part especially of a distrusted and disrespected administration is not only odious but also dangerous.
9 December 2006