Monday, July 30, 2007

Four Years After Oakwood

Last July 27 was the 4th anniversary of the Oakwood takeover. I will not call it a coup or a mutiny. I would refer to it as desperate attempt to open our eyes to reality. Generations of soldiers will tell you that corruption and favoritism has ruled the military institution for years. While there are genuine soldiers in the military, it cannot be said for some.

Politics have wreaked havoc on the institution. It had clouded the vision and wisdom of weak officers. They have succumbed to corruption and have thrown away the lessons they learned in the PMA. Instead of taking the road less traveled, they took the shorter route to achieve success(?). Enticed by the lure of wealth and promotion, they licked the asses of their corrupt leaders.

The low pay and slow promotion has pushed some to the brink and joined their corrupt leaders in destroying the honor of the men in uniform. There are many more out there who continue to have integrity and honesty. The same cannot be said to the current lot of leaders in the AFP. They would rather sell their souls to the devil than serve the people.

Oakwood was an eye-opener for us. For the firts time, the people heard the rumors from the soldiers themselves. The young men of Magdalo knew what they were getting into. These men put their entire future on the line for the sake of the people and the military institution. We cannot fault them for their actions as its not only the military's intergrity that is at stake, its the entire nation as well.

The Magdalo did not happen overnight, they were frustrated by the system. They went to the grievance committee but was given the cold shoulder SEVERAL times. They sought the intervention of GMA but was not heard. Its obvious that they leadership was in a state of denial or all were in cahoots. Now I tend to believe the latter.

After four years, many who joined the Oakwood have sought different legal remedies. But some sold their comrades out. This only shows that even the Magdalo had weaklings among them. The admittance by most is not a sign of weakness, it was the only recourse they had. A very few went the extra mile and collaborated with Esperon and GMA to save their skin. A highly admirable few have remained steadfast and continue to fight for the truth.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes, IV and Marine Capt. Nicanor Faeldon continue to hold out along with several members of the core group of the Magdalo. The military hierarchy in its shameless state continue to persecute these idealistic young men. But try as they might, Esperon cannot break these men. He only showed what kind of corrupted leadership he has.

As Trillanes and Faeldon clearly points out, the situation in the military has worsened. The debacle in Tipo-tipo showed how leadership in the AFP has failed. The reaction of the leadership in the aftermath also showed how weak this administration is at handling the Moro insurgency. While the military addresses legitimate political dissent with unequaled savagery, the same cannot be said with the handling of the situation in the south. Is it because several interests would be affected? Are we to believe that this administration considers "diplomacy" than action? Is Malaysia a bigger player than just a mediator?

Four years and grievances continue to mount. The cancer had grown and no solution is in sight. As long as unfit leaders whose personal agenda comes first, the Oakwood incident will be followed as more disillusioned men will follow their footsteps. No amount of monetary compensation can buy integrity, honesty and genuine love for country. Men will rise up to continue the ideals of honorable men. Esperon and Gloria may have the upper hand for now but for how long? They will have to face the people sooner or later. Their mockery of morality will have to stop sometime.