Thursday, August 19, 2010

Rear Admiral Angue's Paranoia and the Unrest in the Military

It seems that members of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1978 are feeling the heat. A source within the class has now refused to share with me details on what really happened with their classmate, Rear Admiral Feliciano Angue.

Angue, a two star general, was placed as head of the National Capital Regional Command, a post for a 3-star general. To correct this, the AFP leadership ordered him to vacate his post and head the Western Mindanao Naval Forces, a position fit for a 2-star general like Angue.

Because of this, Angue felt slighted and thought that the action was a demotion. Angue expected to be promoted to 3-star rank. The Defense department and the AFP leadership did not promote him. Since he was not promoted to a higher rank, the leadership decided to place him in a post fit for his rank.

So, you ask me, what's so wrong with that? Nothing, except maybe Angue felt harangued by other military officers close to Defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin. Angue wanted the public to believe that he is a professional soldier now being ganged up by politicians in soldiers' uniforms. He is probably feeling the heat, since their class lost one valuable backer in the person of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Angue's paranoia has failed him. Angue pictured something sinister and issued veiled threats of a possible unrest or coup d'etat. He also described the promotion system right now being instituted in the AFP as a "pointer system" instead of a merit based one.

The "pointer system", according to Angue, is based on someone's closeness with the powers-that -be. If you're close to the center of power, you'll be "pointed" to the next post.

What is so new about Angue's paranoia? Nothing, except that he and his fellow classmates are now not the beneficiaries of this "pointer system." Maybe Angue is not used to being left outside the circle of power and desires to once again, enjoy the trappings of power which their class enjoyed during the time of former president Arroyo.

And Angue, mind you, has a conspiracy theory of his own---the political actions made by some generals during the May 10, 2010 elections. Angue said that some generals supported several politicians during the last elections. Is this new? Obviously not. Remember that during the 2004 elections, several of Angue's classmates supported former president Gloria Arroyo and were even involved in that controversy, now popularly known as Hello Garci.

So now, is Angue a professional soldier par excellence? No. Angue is like a spoiled brat denied of his candy. He probably thinks that we are still living under the Arroyo administration, a weak and illegitimate government that is always victimized by several pressure groups, including the military. Angue is so used to instituting strong arm tactics, that he now finds it extremely difficult to pressue the new administration to "toe his line" instead of him, toeing the official line. That even puts his entire record in question.

Yet, imagine the humiliation Angue got from his Commander in Chief. Yesterday, President Aquino berated Angue and told him to shut his mouth and obey his orders. A soldier who does not obey his orders can be cited with insubordination.

Angue has two options---fight it out with the current system by showing his true merit and grit, or resign his post and opt for early retirement. As a veteran, he can now indulge in his favorite pastime which is politics.

Or, as several people say, Angue has another option---do a Trillianes and go to a hotel and announced a coup. By that, Angue's eyes will definitely be opened and his mouth shut forever. And that probably will cure his paranoia.