screw the status quo. we need change and we need it now. we need not a leader who plays with words and public funds. we need not a leader whose years of service fall under the 'fiction' category. we definitely need not a leader who knows nothing. we require a leader who has conviction, who has the guts to change the seemingly unchangeable. we need... to prepare for 2007. Now.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

General Problem

Over 20 years of fighting rebel insurgents, yet until now we are not free from the fear of terrorism. To this day they remain armed, dangerous, and very angry people. Although I support some of their causes I never did support their means to an end. But that is not the question we need to answer. The question that we need to answer is that how is it that the one of the branches of government that gets the lion share of our budget, failed to suppress insurgency after all this years? Come on! Isn't the AFP more technologically superior than the insurgents? And how is it that even the smallest rebel group, known as the Abu Sayaff, remains a major threat to national security to this day?

You know, I am one of those who believes that war often does not end anything. The real casualties here are us. We create more damage than we make repairs. Bottom line is war is expensive. Good thing that our officers have expensive tastes.

When Gen. Edilberto Adan said that only 1% of the AFP officers are corrupt, I somehow wished that I watched another bad episode of jackass, rather than hear this bullish!t on the 11 p.m. news. This is not the first time that AFP has been under fire because of corruption. Allegations of corruption have existed ever since the MNLF problem during the martial law. I agree to that colonel interviewed in that ABS-CBN documentary, when he said its actually a tradition. He himself admitted that he involved himself in these corrupt practices when he realized that he could not go against the system. If Everybody has the knowledge of how it happens, then it is also possible that they know who makes it happen. After all, where there is smoke there is fire, and I'm telling you this is one hell of a smoke.

The victims of this corrupt practices are the very soldiers that we sent in front of the battle field. Just Imagine enduring the thick canopies of the forest, the early morning moisture, the weight of your ammunition, and not to mention the 60 pesos per day meal budget. While our generals enjoy luxury at their 100 million peso mansion, our loyal and brave soldiers could not even get a descent housing loan. While Generals use helicopters for their private means of transportation, many wounded soldiers die in the battlefield because no helicopter was available to conduct a rescue operation. While outgoing AFP chiefs will enjoy retirement benefits, and most probably a cabinet position, many of our amputated, blinded, and even dead soldiers and their family are having difficulty of receiving the benefits that they rightfully deserve. While a general can afford to have six sports utility vehicles, low ranking soldiers could not even rely on their combat boots to get where they are going.

I do not know how is it that AFP can afford to be so blind about what the real situation is. They get the lion share of the bugdet, but how much of that is really used to benefit our poor soldiers? How much of that is being used at least to assure that our soldiers have everything they need out there to survive? Whats worse, is that, the supplier of ammunition to the enemy is sometimes (or many times) the AFP itself. Ironic isn't it? being killed by the same ammunition you are supposed to use against the enemy.These are only some of the things that was told to me by some of the soldiers I know here in U.P.

But I wonder, these young officers, how long could they remain idealistic. How long before the system corrupts them when they rise above the ranks. Come to think of it, they are our only hope. Will they be like that Colonel interviewed on TV, seemingly proud of how he was helpless when the system corrupted him. Most of our officers are PMA graduates, and we are all aware how the concept of honesty and integrity becomes part of their breakfast. In fact cadets are so honest, that they take an exam inside the classroom, where the answers are written in the blackboard. But what happens to them when they go to the real world?

Now AFP generals are pissed off with congress. Saying that these allegations of corruption is demoralizing our soldier. They even threaten us of another coup attempt. Actually our soldiers were already demoralized even before these issues came up. They were demoralized by the same leaders that betrayed them. While they die for their country, their officers abandoned them, enjoying wealth and power they unjustly acquired.

I did not, nor will I support any coup attempt. Although I support some of their grievances, I am also afraid of what might happen to the country as a result of this. I hope something happens with all this investigation, because in the end it is the country that will suffer once more for this. Like I said, I never really liked the Idea of spending so much for warfare. Warfare is expensive, good thing our generals have expensive tastes. -Ahmad


Blogger unknown said...

Seems to me that the situation will be a stalemate for a long time. Obviously we got to keep suppressing the communists, even if it is expensive, otherwise they'll continue to gain ground among the oppressed peasants. I'm not so sure about the urban workers and middle class though I think there's a general resentment amoung the cities and metropolises with the NPA.

Hey don't get me wrong, there's nothing more that I would like than for peasants to have the land that was stolen from them three, four, five hundred years ago thru the system of enconmienda down to the large friar estates and now the hacienda holdings and multinational land conglomerates to be given back to them. I'm all for collectivization of agriculture (the just concluded Land Reform Program's a joke), but I don't like communism in business and other industries.

I do believe that the solution to this problem is for someone to offer an alternative platform of governance. There isn't as yet a political party that advocates collectivization of agriculture and yet at the same time is an advocate of laissez-faire form of capitalism, which is kinda of a paradox. Well actually there are only two types of political parties in the philippines: the leftist communists, and the innumerable traditional parties that have no platform or ideology whatsoever and which only exist to perpetuate patronage politics.

9:30 AM

Blogger AKILEZ said...

I wonder where is Katie? This post was posted by Ahmad (a muslim?)

I remember a story about an AFP officer who cried during an interview. He said his soldiers were fighting with sandals and rations that they bought from their own money. This is only one of the stories from an Honest offcer in the AFP. I have been waiting for a modernize AFP. Modern in political thinking and able to suppress foreign invaders. I said that because The Philippines is the only country in south east asia that can be invaded by sea,land and air. yes we have 700,000 strong troops. But why can an Arab terrorist did attacked a military out post in Mindanao and gave arms to the MILF and supported them during a raid?

Are you Suprised that Arabs are fighting side by side with fellow Filipno Muslims? Filipino muslims fought during the Afghan war against the Russians. And now the Arabs are here to support their fellow muslims in Mindanao. But why The Moors (Moro) are still up on arms for the past 500 years? Was it neglect,want their own country, or just plain brutal? The .45 caliber was invented just for The Moro but it couldn't even stop their struggle for FREEDOM.

If I go on and explaining everything I rather put this posting on my blog. Try to reading Stanley Karnow's Book "Our own Image"

10:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Philippine generals should be ashamed of their extremely selfish conduct. This behavior does not run in Filipino blood (as some would say). Where is my evidence? Read as follows:

At least four Filipino-American soldiers have died in Iraq and Afghanistan within a three month-period from August to October 2004, bringing to over a dozen the number of U.S. soldiers of Filipino descent who perished in the ongoing U.S.-led war against terrorism, the Filipino Reporter has learned.

One of the victims’ fathers, mourning the loss of his son, called for a “leadership change” in America, saying “the President rushed our troops into battle.”

As of this week, there are over 1,100 American soldiers who have lost their lives since the war against Iraq began in March 2003, and more than 7,700 wounded in action, according to the Pentagon.

Among the Fil-Am soldiers killed were Army Capt. Dennis L. Pintor, 30, of Lima, Ohio; Spc. Kyle K. Fernandez, 26, of Pearl City, Hawaii; Army Sgt. 1st Class Joselito O. Villanueva, 36, of Van Nuys, California; and Army Spc. Edgar P. Daclan Jr., 24, of Long Beach, California.

Capt. Dennis Pintor

Capt. Pintor, a 1998 West Point graduate, was killed Oct. 12 when an improvised explosive went off in the roadside while he was riding in a lead vehicle of convoy in Baghdad. He was stationed in Iraq since March with the 20th Engineer Battalion B from Fort Hood, Texas.

“He was a commander, so he was in the lead vehicle and he was the first one to be hit by the bomb,” said a close family friend, Lillian Abelita. “Three of his men also died in the blast.”

A day before the tragedy, Pintor e-mailed Ohio’s local paper, Lima News, asking for help to give the Iraqi children school supplies.

“He died the next day and his last wish was not even for himself, it was for the Iraqi children,” Abelita said.

Pintor, a graduate of Army Ranger School, joined the Army after high school so he could earn his education. “He wanted the family’s resources to be available for his younger brother and two sisters,” said an uncle, David Garrison Jr.

He left behind his wife, Stacy, and a 4-year-old daughter, Rhea, in Killeen, Texas.

His parents, Alberto and Ellen Pintor, sold their Ohio home this summer and retired to the Philippines.

Spc. Kyle Fernandez

Spc. Fernandez of Pearl City and four other U.S. soldiers were reportedly on a routine patrol in Uruzgan province, northwest of Deh Rawood in Afghanistan when a remote-controlled homemade bomb detonated under their Humvee last Oct. 14, killing Fernandez and another soldier. The remaining three were wounded.

Fernandez enlisted in the Army three years ago and was assigned to Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion of the 25th Infantry Division, in August.

He was given a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his ultimate sacrifice.

He left behind his wife, Celeste, and their 4-year-old daughter, Kyla, and a year-old son, Keahi. His survivors also include his parents Renald and Noe Fernandez, brother Koa, and sister Kehau.

His father Renald called for a “leadership change.”

“This president rushed our troops into battle,” Renald told reporters. “I’m not endorsing any candidate, but I think we do need a change. I think we should exercise our right to vote...A leadership change would eventually, perhaps, lead to different policy, where maybe the troops could come home.”

Maj. Gen. Robert Lee, Hawaii’s adjutant general, said “a loss like this is always tragic,” but added that he thinks the Bush Administration is taking the right steps in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Fernandez’s brother Koa, 24, enlisted in the Army early this year and was set to report for duty on Nov. 2. But because of his brother’s death, the Army has given him the option to get out of his service commitment.

Sgt. Joselito Villanueva

Sgt. 1st Class Villanueva was killed in a Sept. 27 ambush by a sniper’s bullet in Balad, Iraq.
Known to his colleagues as Sgt. V, he was on a routine patrol when his convoy saw a truck driven by a Iraqi civilian crash around 8:30 a.m. As Villanueva got out to help, a hidden sniper fatally shot him.

Just last April, Villanueva earned a Purple Heart when a roadside bomb exploded next to his Humvee, killing one of his soldiers. A small piece of shrapnel pierced his neck and he nearly died, too.

Born in the Philippines, Villanueva joined the Army in 1986 and was assigned to the 9th Engineer Battalion, 1st Infantry Division in Schweinfurt, Germany.

He served in Operation Desert Storm and Kosovo. A combat engineer, he was deployed to Iraq last February as the platoon sergeant for Company C’s 2nd platoon.

He was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart to go with two National Defense medals, four good conduct medals, four Army achievement medals, and one Purple Heart he had already received.
He is survived by his parents, Edito and Pilarita Villanueva.

Spc. Edgar Daclan Jr.

Spc. Daclan, an Army combat medic, was killed Sept. 10 when a hidden explosive device detonated near his unit in the central Iraqi city of Balad, north of Baghdad.

A Department of Defense statement said Daclan’s patrol was responding to indirect gunfire when a roadside bomb exploded.
Born in Cebu City, Philippines, he was 8 when he and his family moved to the U.S. in 1993. The family lived in Long Beach for one year before settling in Torrance, a suburb in Los Angeles.

He was only two semesters shy of finishing his electrical engineering degree when he surprised his family and voluntarily gave up the peaceful, tree-shaded hills of Cal State Long Beach for the war-torn sands of Iraq.

There was no draft and he didn’t have to go, but the way he saw it, there was no other choice.

“Edgar decided that he was needed,” said his sister Iris Daclan of Annapolis, Maryland. “He knew what he was getting into. He knew there was a war. Because we’re immigrants here, because this country has done so much for us...he wanted to serve the country.”

About eight months into his tour of duty in Iraq, Daclan — who belonged to the 1st Infantry Division’s 18th Infantry stationed in Germany — was scheduled to come back to Southern California on leave Sept. 25.

Daclan did not just take care of his soldiers, according to his platoon leader 1st Lt. Jon R. Martin. “He often found himself aiding Iraqis wounded in accidents simply caught in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Martin said. “He would not discriminate.”

Daclan, who was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, is survived by his parents Gertrude and Edgar Daclan Sr., five sisters — Iris, Aileen, Ira, Sheila and Sunshine, all of Torrance.

4:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Don't worry Katie is arround, I assure you of that. Im not excatly a muslim (by religion so to say), although my father embraced this faith. Islam is a religion of peace, and my father and I both agree that the 500 year war between christians and muslims should stop. Precisely because 500 years of war did more damage than reforms. There is a way for us to co-exist in this country without bloodshed. All we have to do is respect each others existence. So, yeah, I do understand what you mean.


10:26 AM


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