Lost AFP Moorings
Officer corps issues – INQ7.net is my column for today.
Manuel L. Quezon III: on-duty punditry, off-duty rants, double-duty opinions and opportunings. Resources on Philippine history.
I refer to your article Officer corps issue of 15 November 04 in the Daily Inquirer. You are perfectly right when you wrote, and I quote
“It is tragic to see how views like General Lim’s evolved into the adventurist and alarming mentality that lead officers to believe that they are the praetorian guards tasked to ‘save the nation’ from itself.”
It was not that way once upon a time. I am a member of class 1944 of the Pre-War Philippine Military Academy, an academy envisioned by your grandfather, Commonwealth President Manuel L Quezon, to produce an elite corps of highly principled regular officers and gentlemen of our Armed Forces, steeped in the tradition of honor, dedicated to the service to and sacrifice for the country, imbued with courage, loyalty and integrity, completely apolitical and committed to the principle of supremacy of civilian authority over the military. While we did not take a vow of poverty, we were trained to disdain the accumulation of material wealth, as it was beneath our dignity to be filthy rich. The military was supposed to take care of our economic well-being, so that we could direct all our efforts in our profession of arms. To make sure that we remain apolitical, your grandfather even denied us the right to vote and decreed that the Secretary of Defense was always a civilian to emphasize the civilian authority over the Military.
It is, therefore, a great disillusion to us veterans in the twilight of our years to see that the military ethics we value so much have been replaced by an ethos of graft and corruption and politicization brought about by the Martial Law imposed on the Filipino people by Mr Ferdinand Marcos.
Surely, there is a need to re-structure our Armed Forces. More importantly, there is an urgent need to restore the moral and philosophical imperatives in our officer corps if only to disabuse it of its praetorian mentality.
I met and knew General Vicente Lim well. His son Vicente JR was my PMA classmate and we bunked in the same room before he left for West Point.
Colonel AFP Retired
Your article today would have a part 2 right? Other than obligations in a democracy, for us to move forward, I believe there should be inner healing, that as in any individual, starts with acknowledging our wounds; for the philippines, our wounds of the past and present. same as what happened in south africa.
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