29 January 2010

Controversial General Promoted

Controversial Generals
One of the complaints by the families of the Maguindanao massacre victims last 23 November 2009 was the seemingly inaction by the Philippine Army to protect civilians when intelligence reports reveal a confirmed threat to their lives. The general who heads the armed forces unit in the province was relieved because of that incident, but was later rewarded by a promotion.

As expected, Army spokesman Lt. Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr. was quick to defend their action by claiming that said the promotion of Maj. Gen. Alfredo Cayton to vice-commander of the Philippine Army went through the proper procedures of the Board of Generals.

"Dumaan yan sa proseso ng ating Board of Generals. Di basta-basta itatalaga kung di dadaan sa proseso (His promotion went through the Board of Generals. The promotion was not done on a whim)," Burgos said in an interview on dzXL radio.

But everyone is sure the collective memory of the population is as nothing compared to the faultless recollections of those in military power who can, if they wish, conveniently obfuscate history.

It was quite obvious and supported by accounts of witnesses that Maj. Gen. Cayton and Col. Medardo Geslani (both, pictured above) denied the request from the victims for a security just because they claim they are not inclined to protect politicians as part of its mandate to remain apolitical. Wow! Everyone feel safe already?

So these two military officials really believes that their bitter inaction to the request can save lives, which they were mandated to do? That tells us everything we need to know about Maj. Gen. Cayton and Col. Geslani.

But the excuse did not stop there. The two officials also claimed the number of available foot soldiers was limited. This is classic. How limited is limited? How about they augment the force themselves so that we have two more mediocre soldiers holding outdated rifles in that convoy?

The incredible lack of concern about the brewing tension in his area of responsibility characterize the way Gen. Cayton and Col. Geslani will handle future military operations. It shows how pathetically inept they are when it comes to extensive concern for the lives of Filipinos and the service that they swore to perform when they wore those uniforms.

This country is better off not relying on them anymore. They unwittingly merely followed the dictates of a coward spirit patterned most probably to the previous traitors of World War 2. It is a mistake so great that while a lowly soldiers struggle to fortify this country's foundations, the two military officials deliberately regressed on it to save their skin in an air-conditioned office, ultimately weakening whatever gain a non-commissioned officer has achieved.