Wednesday, May 13, 2009

armed forces of the Philippines

”… The Armed Forces of the Philippines is the protector of the people and the State…” ( Phil. Constitution: Art. 11, Sec. 3 )

While probably unsaid and possibly unfelt, these are the times that try the AFP soul. “Declaration of Principles and State Policies” having the above cited constitutional provision notwithstanding, there are marked indications that it is becoming harder and harder for the AFP to be the “protector of the people”. Reason: The present administration has been long trying its utmost best to instead make the AFP protect the former – at the expense of the people. In other words, the incumbent government well perceived as corruption incarnate, appears to spare no one and nothing for its self-perpetuation in power and wealth by temptations of affluence and convenience continuously and consistently laid at the feet of the AFP.

Otherwise – and this is an open secret – how come more and more former highest ranking AFP officers are in fact appointed to likewise high ranking offices in the administration? Why is that the highest government official – and this is public knowledge – has been long exerting extra effort to be effectively surrounded and served by many latest ex-AFP generals? For all intents and purposes, there appears to be a deliberate desire and design for the AFP to be the protector of the ruling administration, of the present government – not of the people. It would not be difficult to conclude that nothing less than the above cited constitutionally declared principle and policy could be anything but reality.

All the above bad news notwithstanding, the People of the Philippines finds consolation in the truth that a great number of AFP officers and men still remain faithful to their noble and difficult calling of laying their lives on the line – and not infrequently losing them – for the Country, viz, for the good of the Filipino people and the welfare of their State. They are the admirable men and women in uniform who adhere to their crucial vocation and comply with their vital mission – all strong temptations and devious enticements to the contrary, notwithstanding. The Filipino people may not but salute them with high admiration and much gratitude.

The way things are with the supreme Malacanang tenant plus minions vis-à-vis the AFP as a whole, not few thinking people are heard speaking of either “explosion” or “implosion” – two terms which have acquired distinct significance and relevance to the now obtaining socio-political situation in the Philippines. There would be an “explosion” when those in uniform rise to protect the people. On the other hand, there might be “implosion” in event that those supposed to be protecting someone else precisely move to dispose of the latter and place themselves instead in the latter’s seat of power and wealth. Would that such talks remain but words without translating themselves into reality. Would that the highest public official be also the highest servant of the people – not their supreme master.

+OVCruz, DD
May 13, 2009