The truth is simple and clear. The reality is definite and defined. The Armed Forces of the country belong to the Philippines. Among other things, this means that the AFP, composed and affirmed by Filipinos, funded and supported by Filipinos, belong to the Filipino people. In other words, the AFP is by the Filipino people, of the Filipino people and for the Filipino people. For the AFP to be essentially otherwise than all or anything else than the above—such would be a glaring contradiction of its nature and a monstrous betrayal of its basic finality.
Thus it is that the AFP does not belong to the incumbent national leadership. It is categorically not the armed forces of the ruling administration. Hence, the AFP is neither meant to protect and defend a morally bankrupt government, nor wherefore intended to go against the people who are its much ravaged and well oppressed composite victim. The AFP have the Filipino people as its over-all national superior whose common welfare they must protect and whose public good they should defend. While the Armed Forces of the Philippines may not use their tanks and planes, may not aim their canons and guns even at a government devoid of moral ascendancy to rule, much less could it do the same to the deprived and suffering Filipino people. Doing otherwise would be unconscionable for the AFP.
In other words, to defend the Philippines against external aggressors and to protect the Filipinos against internal forces hostile to their common interest and destructive of their social peace—this is what the AFP is essentially meant for and fundamentally expected to be. To be called and used to hurt, to main or kill innocent citizens and upright Filipinos—this is a gross contradiction of the nature and mandate of the AFP, a brazen violation of its call and finality. In such an event, the greatest loser is the AFP. It becomes the object of public repulsion, the subject of popular disgust.
The imposition of Martial Law in the country during Marcos regime is more than enough to recall what it was really meant when Armed Forces of the Philippines were precisely used and directed against Filipinos themselves. Those where the times when human lives were cheap, when human dignity was reserved to the powerful and the elite, when human rights were those defined by the government—not determined by divine natural and positive laws. It is with shame and aversion that Philippine history cannot but record those basically inhuman times in the country.
It is with joy and gratitude to recall that both EDSA I and EDSA 2 were shining moments in Philippine history. It was during those celebratory days when the Filipino people eventually found their Armed Forces at their side, joining their cause, providing them security. It was during those times when the Filipinos became truly proud of their Armed Forces. Together, they were strong and invincible, energetic and triumphant.
27 February 2008