Thursday, January 6, 2011

Discipline at the AFP

Cadets at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) are reprimanded whenever they violate the Honor Code. 


" Cadets do not cheat and steal", a Cadet answered a question by one of his superiors when asked what's the Honor Code. 


There's now a "modification" of this Honor Code, according to some. It now says "Cadets do not cheat and steal...only Generals do."


And Major General Carlos Garcia only followed the cheat code.


So now, it is best to steal big and return half the loot when authorities discover your crime. 


Imagine, we paid for Garcia's education. For four years, Garcia lived off the State's kindness. We paid for his trousers, his tuition fee, his food, even his briefs and socks. He literally survived through our generosity.


Garcia probably enjoyed living off from somebody's monies so much, he continued his austentatious living even while a general.


Garcia probably thought that the State owes him big-time. Or maybe, just maybe, Garcia thought that why not steal when everybody is doing it anyway.


Or maybe Garcia thought that the Honor Code does not apply to him any more since he's no longer a cadet. 


I remember those honorable generals of the Japanese Imperial Army. When they blundered or when the honor of the regime was at stake, they take their knives and slash their stomachs with it. They even do it with a smile. 


Garcia is a different animal altogether. He can stomach stealing other people's money. That's why his tummy is so big.


While Garcia pleaded for a lesser offense, eighteen alleged mutineers yesterday filed for amnesty.


Former Lt. Senior Grade and now Senator Antonio Trillianes IV and seventeen others filed for amnesty. The amnesty proclamation literally expunged their alleged crime against the State. 


The difference between Garcia and Trillianes is this--Garcia stole the people's money while Trillianes fought against those who stole from the people's coffers.


Trillianes suffered years of jail-time for a crime that any rational and democracy lover would love to commit during his lifetime, just to prove a point.


Garcia suffered a year or so in jail for a heinous crime so humiliating to him, his forebears, his ancestors and his progeny that the only way out for him is not a plea bargain but suicide.


Trillianes fought so that discipline and honor will once again occupy the minds of the soldiers. Garcia fought a legal battle just to keep half of his loot.


Trillianes will sleep soundly at night knowing that he did the right thing. Garcia will always be haunted by thoughts that thousands of soldiers and millions more of their families ekk out a living from their measly combat pay while he and his relatives pig themselves out of the soldiers' monies. 


Trillianes fought so that combat boots will always be of quality make. Garcia fought legal battles to justify that Generals are entitled to a commission from every boot made.


In other countries, the likes of Garcia are always shot and given an un-glorious burial. Here, the likes of Garcia are even called "honorable", " Your Excellency" and "sir". They are even saluted by poor and destitute soldiers. 


If I can just speak a word or two with Garcia, there are only two words that I'll tell him---commit harakiri