Friday, February 11, 2011

Again, Not Everyone in the AFP is Corrupt

This is in response to an anonymous reader who left a comment in I Just Had to Say This. I thought my reply would best be shared as a post for the enlightenment of all:

Anonymous said...

The natural thing for somebody falsely accused of something bad is to defend himself, not to silence himself by death. You bet if in his position I will use all the airtime I can get to prove my innocence. It just does not add up.

Look at Lacson. Even the Supreme Court can exonerate him but because he fled instead of facing the music (and by the way he is a legislator so it says so much of his guilt that he is unwilling to face the process he had a hand in creating), EVERYONE doubts that he is, indeed, innocent...(cont.)

Thanks you for your comment Anon. You see, that was the first thing that crossed my mind myself. But people have varying degrees of conscience and sense of honor - guilty or not. We all take accusations differently. But some people are really just makapal ang mukha - they can lie through their teeth and face a crowd and say, I know nothing, I cannot remember, I neither deny nor confirm. Maybe what sustains them is the fact that they know they stashed away money in the bank or somewhere and they have to live FOR that. While some would rather die, than be called out in public. We all take stress differently. Yes, he could be guilty, and I also wish he just spoke up, but what I am against is people trash talking and bad mouthing one another, when in fact they do not know the real elements to the story. I am calling for people to look at issues in a sober and sane manner, and not be carried away by hysterics. Madami nakiki-ride lang sa issue.

I watched the Karen Davila interview of Rabusa in youtube. He admits to being corrupt himself. He is willing to go to jail himself. And I think rightfully so.

I was visiting Notre Dame University once and there's a small Filipino restaurant a few minutes away from it. I talked with the owner and he said a lot of kids of generals and military officials are studying in Notre Dame. But for the chance that they might have been awarded a scholarship, or that they were wealthy to begin with, how can you explain that they are able to send their kids to very expensive schools in the US (and own 8 houses here no less) on their own salary alone?....(cont.)

You brought up Notre Dame. See, with my mindset, the first thing that I thought of was Notre Dame in Cotabato. But you mentioned a Filipino restaurant, so I am assuming you are referring to the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. I am a daughter of a general and my siblings and I went to Philippine universities. My younger sister & I went to a public university, where tuition fees were Php6,000 a semester (enough to save for the younger ones' education fund). None amongst our circle of friends in the military went to Notre Dame or other US universities. Maybe none of us are smart enough to attend, or maybe because not one of our fathers could afford it. See, this is what I am saying. Do not generalize (how apt!). Not all military officers are corrupt. There could be bad eggs, and THOSE are the ones who send THEIR kids to Notre Dame. Now if ALL kids of generals and military officials are studying in schools abroad and shopping like a Garcia son, then the WHOLE institution is in trouble. But the thing is, a lot of us military brats still have to work for a living, can only dream of shopping at Hermes, even help support families you know.

I think the problem is, that we all know it exists, we all are disgusted by it, but we are so unwilling to really make the move toward cleaning the system.

If you worked in government, you would know that it is not easy to change the system. You will encounter a lot of opposition, your colleagues will turn against you, and receive death threats for it. But if you knew the real story in the AFP, you'd know that reforms were put into action starting with Abaya when he made had all funds managed by GHQ sent out straight to operating units to be managed there, in the line. My father abolished J6, the source of corruption in the military and set up a system for accountability. He set into action several programs for reforms (research it in Phil Star or Newsbreak, because you'd never read that in Inquirer) which annoyed a lot of people - fellow officers, politicians, military suppliers. He gained more enemies and was accused of corruption himself by tabloid reporters. Hey, that's what you get for rocking the boat. But do you see any of these reforms being discussed in Congress or the Senate, or the general public? Well, after he retired we cannot really say if those reforms were carried out by his successors, although the current CSAFP assures my dad that is still the case. So you see, some of the issues being brought up are so 2003. But that's because that's the impression being sent out by media. And that's what formed YOUR opinion.


Anonymous said...

Hi I appreciate that you read and responded to my comment! Its actually quite flattering that you actually wrote a post about it!

I think nothing in what I said implied that everyone in the military is corrupt. In fact, I have relatives who used to be in the military. They were most certainly not corrupt, and stole not a single cent for sure.

The piece was about how Reyes did not do himself a favor by killing himself. The mention of ND (youre right I was referring to ND here in the states) was to reiterate that corruption exists in the military, and that I had, though very remotely, seen the product of it. I thought how poignant the scene must be when the privileged kids (of the most probably corrupt military officials) are served food by the hands of a hardworking Filipino who had to leave home to try to give a better life to his family, and whose tax money (from the remittances he sends home) is financing the very expensive education of these kids. Nevertheless, I do not think that reading it to mean that everyone in the AFP is corrupt is a fair reading of my comment.

Bravo to your dad for serving the country honestly. If more people were like him then we (our country) probably would not be in this mess.

How many scandals and exposes have we seen? How many of those involved ended up being prosecuted, or if so, are now behind bars? Even the Marcoses, while they were in exile for a while, NEVER SPENT A DAY IN JAIL, in fact they are back in power. If you read or watch ANY of their interviews, they still think they never did anything wrong. It is not going to surprise anyone I guess if Bong Bong Marcos runs and becomes President in the future. That is really scary.

Again I appreciate your time and blog space. All the best, to you and your family.

teritee said...

the filipinos cannot be blamed for thinking that most military officers are corrupt. i myself, was a kid in the 70s, & i grew up thinking generals were ultra rich because my classmates & batchmates who were kids of generals were all moneyed, and i am from an exclusive all girls private school. i got older, met more kids of military people that were wealthy, and had huge mansions with matching lifestyles. then i got wiser and thought, everything does not compute...all that with a general's salary??
BUT...i agree that not all the eggs in the basket are rotten...because i did have other friends from military families that were soo not like this.
Angelo Reyes was a respected man, and many people admired his work ethics & ability. many are vocal about it. and we should give him that. whatever his motives were in taking his own life he takes with him to the grave. but for him this was his honorable way out, and his refusing to defend himself further is maybe his way of sparing his family from more ridicule & hurt.
we each see his death differently, as an eye-opener, as hara-kiri(the death of one is for the good of the many)or as a way of opening the can of worms maybe, but as a firm believer that God makes things all happen for a reason, i do hope that the reason behind all this eventually is for the betterment of our country, and for the total erradication of graft & corruption, not ONLY in the military but in ALL ranks, departments, branches & organizations of our government. so all you politicians & government officials, we got our eyes on you too. God bless you christine & us all.

cd_mfo said...


Thank you for clarifying! And thank you for saying you do have relatives in the military who were not corrupt. I wish more people came out in and spoke of military officials and their families who live frugally.

I agree he did not do himself and also his family a favor. I am betting his kids would rather have him alive even if shamed.

I personally find it disgusting to be fed and educated by corruption. It was my frustration that my parents dissuaded me from studying in Ateneo (I got into Management Engineering and was a Merit Scholar - which meant I could take a test to take advanced classes, this is not a financial scholarship) and had to study in UP because it was what they could afford (I am the eldest of 5 kids, and the prospect of having 4 more kids to send to school proved daunting). Yes, UP is still UP and at least I earned my education the righteous way.

I am proud of my Dad, and I take every opportunity to set the record straight because he and our family have sacrificed too much in service of the country (while he was in active service, we practically grew up seeing him maybe a total of a month in a year. He was not around for special occasions or PTA conferences. We did not have luxuries - maybe that's why when I started earning my own money I felt the need to treat myself, LOL) and I cannot take it when people lump us together with those who are tainted.

I share your sentiment about all these exposes. In the end, they amount to nothing, and people have just accepted these as a fact of life, when in fact, with sincerity and political will, kaya naman talaga. It's just that most will go with what's easy, the path of least resistance. I get annoyed when known thieves, plunderers and crooks are celebrated in media, you see them laughing on TV, charming reporters, and celebrated in society magazines, treated as celebrities. But because people want more of them, want pictures taken with them, they continue to be in the limelight. Who cares about a person toiling at reform, taking fabricated hits left and right, that's not news. Something is fundamentally wrong with our society.

Mina said...

"Nearly all men can handle adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." -- Abraham Lincoln

Interesting post, MFO. It is true that not all military/government officials are corrupt. However, there are plenty of those who are. And it is sickening how their lifestyles are funded by people who hardly have anything to eat on a daily basis. Such pernicious "leaders" need to be exposed and prosecuted...but we all know that's not gonna happen. Not anytime soon, anyway.

cd_mfo said...

@terranova Yeah you are right in that observation. There are some who live lavish lives. I myself ask my parents why others can afford those big houses and nice cars. But thank you for saying too that not all kids of military families live like that.

In fairness to some, there are military officials who come from families with means or married into a family with means, if not a working/entrepreneurial woman. I remember the wife of one of my dad's officers was worried because her dad felt so bad for his apos sweating it out in their military quarters that he had ACs installed for them. She said, Oh no, what will the others think! By the way, she happens to hold a senior position in an IT company in Makati, so she really could honestly say she could afford it, but she was worried they could be singled out.

After reading his last statements, you are correct that it was all about honor. And I really wish too that his death and his family's pain is not for naught. I hope this teaches all the senators, congressmen, and even policemen who double examine suspects a lesson in conducting investigations in a calm and civilized manner. Emotional abuse is worse than physical abuse sometimes, because words can strike to the core of a person's being. More than that, I do hope this also reminds government officials that we are all sick of charades and want action on their part. Thanks for your insightful comment and God bless us all!

cd_mfo said...

@Mina I like your quote. I hope that will be posted on the halls and walls of every government office, to serve as a reminder that power is not meant to be abused but to be used as a means to serve the good of all. I also hope that the self-serving buffoons in the Senate who think it is their God-given right to shame ordinary powerless citizens realize that all the parading and posturing they are doing just goes to show that they are of weak character. Besides, that Navy asshole who can't even stage a successful coup, who couldn't even serve his term if he wasn't let loose, is the product of corruption himself. His mom was a supplier in the military, aren't they the ones showering comptrollers with gifts and grease money anyway? Aren't they the ones supplying sub-standard equipment. Who spent on his loser coup? On his election campaign? He couldn't have mounted it by word of mouth and text messages (hey even text messages cost money) alone. There's dirty money behind that peeps, electioneering and all that dirty stuff. Jeez, get this guy some Kool Aid (to cool off his utak filled with pulbura). As for the rest of us, please. Don't drink the Kool Aid (and I mean it in the way it's meant to be taken).

As for those pernicious "leaders", if not our lifetime, hopefully our children's.

Litzie said...

Love that take regarding that Navy A-hole. Talk about someone who spent so much even behind bars. He should have looked at himself in the mirror first. Parang di siya sundalo, a disgrace, really.

I had to laugh about the Kool Aid, I love Kool Aid. LMAO. Way to go Tin.

trina said...

i'm affected when the military gets singled out for corruption because a lot of groups are corrupt like 1) media journalists who demand money to skew stories 2) politicians who don't allocate funds properly 3) private sector magnates/proprietors who evade taxes and seek to monopolize industries or doctor their income 4) i bet even nuns and priests who make money in education are somewhat corrupt 5) how about the cops who demand lagay from drivers 6) and then there are the landed rich who claim spanish ancestry and supposedly inherited the land from spanish colonialists... when in fact they took the land from the indigenous filipinos and never gave it back. 7) those NPAs who forcefully recruit and demand food and money 8) contractors who offer kickbacks on biddings 9) and the list goes on...

of course it's wrong to generalize as i'm sure there are still honest and clean people out there. whether they are simple farmers and fishermen or real public servants. i'm proud to say i have many friends who are honest and trustworthy.

what turns me off is people in politics pointing fingers and acting like dogs when in fact they are guilty of worse sins. that fugly navy guy for instance, when he instigated his failed coup, had accomplished nothing in his life. what did he know fighting people with 20 yrs of experience? did he think he was capable of being president himself? he'd only served a few years. i don't get his platform. it was so pathetic seeing his angry peers on tv. i can't believe he was hailed a hero by some when he tricked soldiers to go to Makati and threatened to bomb the Oakwood building.

a soldier's vocation is a calling. it's a hanap buhay and buhay. if you're not willing to make that sacrifice, don't do it. think about it, a soldier is meant to protect the people and uphold laws. they are supposed to be a symbol of peace. their job is to follow the chain of command. their job is to take orders. if they don't like the orders, then they resign. isn't that what you would expect from your bodyguard?

soldiers are paid little and in return they are called to serve and fight to death if necessary. i don't see any other work with that job description. they deserve respect and no less. they should be paid a lot of money coz generals in other countries sure as hell get paid properly and are deemed a lot of honor and respect. those guys are heroes. but at the same time, it is their duty not to abuse power and to use it wisely.

and it's true, the media is focused on an expose that has already been addressed. gen abaya initiated reforms and dad continued it, but i barely read that in the papers. no one is talking about the good that has been done. they're just feasting on the past... if you're going to the past, then you may as well go back to pre-Magellan days when real Filipinos owned Philippines.... give back the haciendas... sell those churches...

cd_mfo said...

Thanks Litzie! Dapat mahiya sya sa sarili nya! Wala naman syang nagawa talaga! I should post Marc's speech on the honest Filipino public official.

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