How does one measure an honorable man? Let alone such an enormous group of men, as is a nations military? Is it based on their actions in combat? How they look after one another in a dire situation? How they protect their nation? Or is it simply based on what they stand for?
The Samurai of feudal Japan. Along with the warriors of ancient Sparta, have come to embody the standard to which honor is measured by.
So what has happened within the ranks of the Philippine AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) that has their honor to be collapsing? Sadly… It is all about money.
The Philippine Star reported the following:
Recently, Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Pio Catapang, while in Zamboanga, has denied that he was conducting a loyalty check as he began his ground unit visitation even as he dispelled an alleged coup plot.
Catapang said he had to meet the ground forces for the first time since his appointment last month as the new APF chief.
He also stated that they had discussed with the soldiers the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and how it was used by the military leadership for a number of projects, including the enhancement of their capability.
“I think they don’t have to ask the zquestions, the answers will have to come from us, the officers, who know what happened to the DAP given to us,” Catapang added.
It certainly sounds as though he is making sure his men are reminded of all the wonderful funding the Aquino administration has been pouring into them these past few months. And in recent light of the nations Supreme Court declaring a number of the Presidents financial activities as unconstitutional. It’s understandably so, that one would want to keep his military happy at all times.
Which leads us to the question of Lost Honor.
In many democratic countries around the globe, It is the duty of any soldier to defend his nations Constitution first and foremost. To some, such as Philippine columnist Gina Lopez, this may seem as just a piece of paper. But it is that simple piece of paper that binds a nation together. For within the margins of that piece of paper, are the agreed upon laws and/or guidelines which define a nation and its people.
Civilian. Governmental. And of course, its military.
If the AFP continues to ignore their sworn, Constitutional mandate, and follow a leader that has distorted that piece of paper for his own personal goals. They too, will soon be seen as corrupt as their Commander in Chief. And if historical memory serves me correctly, former President Ferdinand Marcos eventually used the AFP to control some of his needs during the Martial Law years. Yet, unlike Marcos, Aquino’s motives are of a more personal, and vindictive nature.
And with 2 years remaining for the current administration, one would venture to guess that an Aquino dictatorship, coupled with Martial Law, could be looming on the rapidly approaching horizon.