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Monday, July 28, 2014

“POLITICS, it seems to me, for years, or all too long, has been concerned with right or left instead of right or wrong,” according to American poet and author Richard Armour.

But there is no left or right in politics, according to Col. Jon Aying, as far as the Philippine Army 303rd Infantry Brigade is concerned. The right in politics is as Jon asserted recently that “Politics is not the business of the military.”

This was his response to a question from the local media when pressed on rumors of an alleged coup plot against PNoy, coming on the heels of a Supreme Court ruling declaring some provisions of the Disbursement Acceleration Program as “unconstitutional.”


Good response. Leave the politics of right or wrong to the Commander-in-Chief, the president of the Republic of the Philippines and to the judiciary.

Jon echoed the sentiments of the new AFP chief Lt. Gen. Pio Gregorio Catapang who warned soldiers to keep off politics.

“The DAP has become a political issue. We should allow the democratic process to take its course, and let the judicial, the executive and legislative branches of government deal with this. We should not meddle (but) concentrate on our mission.”

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte requested the public that “We should not drag them because the military is for the country and for the people. We should not engage in any efforts to politicize the military.”

Valte exuded confidence that there was no movement from the military to overthrow PNoy, who faces at least three impeachment complaints before Congress.

Lest anyone think I’m a yellow fanatic, let me make myself clear. I’m no fan of President Benigno S. Aquino III. I didn’t even vote for him or the second and third best in the last presidential election.

I disagree with his administration’s insistence that that there was nothing wrong with the DAP because he had the best intention. “Mabuti ang DAP. Tama ang intensyon. Tama ang pamamaraan. Tama ang resulta,” insisted Aquino. (DAP is right. The intention is right. The means were right. The result was right), Aquino insisted. Yeah, right!

Good intention is debatable, the approach is wrong if PNoy violated the Constitution, an impeachable offense. The fruits of the poison tree can never be good, as we learned from the Renato Corona impeachment case.
A wrong cannot be corrected by another wrong. A violation of the constitution cannot be redressed by another constitutional violation.

If people like Bayan Muna Congressman Neri Colmenares are pushing for Aquino’s impeachment, let them. It’s a free country. Let’s leave the impeachment case to Congress and the Senate. If citizens want regime change, let’s do it by the book, by constitutional processes. That would include peaceful demonstrations and protests.

As Richard Jacobson, the chief operating officer of the Manila-based risk consultancy firm Pacific Strategies and Assessments, observed, “In an ideal democracy, the military should be an apolitical organization carrying out lawful orders regardless of the political affiliation” of incumbent officials.

What our soldiers see or hear in DAP or Bayan Muna, let them keep them there. If they want to join the political slugfest, let them take off their military uniforms and join the rightwing, the leftwing, the centrists, and the whatevers among the civilian citizens.



Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 28, 2014.


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