Thursday, March 2, 2006

The Citizen-Soldier's Moral Dilemma

I have already told the story of General Angelo Reyes' actions on 19 January 2001, in When Last the Military Withdrew Support, where one is forced to conclude that a military rebellion-cum-mutiny against the chain-of-command, led by the AFP Chief of Staff himself, is the very foundation of the present dispensation in Edsa II. Much earlier, I wrote The Paradox of People Power on both Edsa I and Edsa II. Today I want to make the connection between those seminal events in Philippine military-political history with current events involving alleged coup plots and destabilitzation moves against the government that precipitated Proclamation 1017. From what we already know about last week, what the government was seeking to foil, was not some dastardly assassination plot followed by some military junta run by a tactical sargeant, but an almost exact repeat of Edsa II. The most interesting development is in fact that almost equivalence, because what might've been Edsa 2006 represents a philosophical improvement over Edsa 2001, and may be the most principled solution to the Citizen-Soldier's Moral Dilemma.

I believe this dilemma is what is at the heart of the current crisis. It has to do with the following problem. Suppose you are in active military service and consider yourself both a loyal soldier and a loyal citizen of the Republic, meaning to say you want to uphold the Constitution in all your actions. Suppose further that you discover that the orders and systematic practices of the legitimate Chain of Command to which you belong, and which it is your sworn duty to respect and obey, appear to be unfair, unjust, corrupt, or patently illegal. Suppose further that you discover that the problem goes all the way to the top, to the Commander-in-chief and the Presidency itself. What are your moral obligations to the Constitution and the people, whom you have sworn to uphold and defend? You are caught on the horns of the Citizen-Soldier's Dilemma.

This moral dilemma was faced by Gen. Angelo Reyes during the term of President Joseph Estrada, who was indeed a plundering, womanizing, insane drunkard, of a Chief Executive and a Commander in Chief, who had driven Philippine society to the nadir of self-respect during his term. Yet Joseph Estrada was unquestionably elected to office by a decisive victory over his opponent in the 1998 elections, the current House Speaker and chacha demiurge, Jose de Venecia. His electoral win is the only one in living memory NOT questioned as having been won by cheating or revolution. But by 18 January, 2001, Erap had been impeached though not convicted, and the civilian forces of Edsa II had been rallying 24/7 for three straight days at the Edsa Shrine to force him to resign, after it became obvious on 16 January, 2001 that his allies in the Senate would eventually acquit him. The impeachment trial would've continued however, and who knows what the verdit would actually have been.

But that outcome of Erap's impeachment trial would become moot and academic because of what Gen. Angelo Reyes, Chief of Staff of the AFP was about to do. On 19 Jan 2001, General Angelo Reyes solved his personal Citizen-Soldier's Dilemma in this case by WITHDRAWING SUPPORT FOR THE PRESIDENCY in his capacity as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, famously taking the entire AFP General Staff with him (Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines) in a mass defection to the Edsa II People Power forces then conducting a continuous 3 day rally (Jan 16-19) in front of theEdsa Shrine calling for Erap to resign. His quotation in an address to the General Staff just before he defected to the anti-Erap forces was, "Gentlemen, I hope you know what we are about to do is Mutiny." The rest is history. Gloria was sworn in as President by then Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. on the very next day, 20 January 2001, an event I have characterized as a Judicial Coup d'etat by the Supreme Court, whose story is also told at Philippine Commentary in The Real Coup d'etat.

Angelo Reyes solution to the Soldier-Citizen Moral Dilemma was thus very simply --MUTINY-- break the Chain of Command and abandon the Commander-in-chief by "withdrawing support" for the Presidency, a phrase that was in the headlines again last week and in Proclamation 1017 itself, and in exactly the same context, if not resutl. Gen Reyes had convinced the entire General Staff to withdraw support for Erap with him, then they abjured their soldier's oath of fealty to the Commander-in-chief and chain of command. Then they defected to the forces seeking his ouster and together with those forces OVERTHREW the duly elected democratic President.

No one since Marcos has so fullsomely deserved to be mutinied against than Joseph Estrada. But was Reyes' solution to the Citizen-Soldier's Dilemma right? Suppose that one of the service commanders under Angelo Reyes, say the Marine Commandant, did not actually agree with his proposal they "withdraw" support for the Commander-in-chief and unbeknownst to Reyes after their meeting, had mobilized his own troops for an assault on the Edsa Rally because he had come to the conclusion that Mutiny is not the correct solution to the dilemma, since in fact the 12 million citizens who had voted Erap into office in the only election of recent memory in which the victory of the winner was not contested. Pperhaps Edsa II might not have ended in the way that it did.

DANILO LIM-ARIEL QUERUBIN SOLUTION: Today, the Citizen-Soldier Moral Dilemma engulfs the Philippine Military again. This time, it is the beneficiary of Edsa II President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, that is the Commander in Chief, whose legitimacy in office has been in serious doubt since the discovery of the Garci Wiretapped Conversations. Indeed, whether or not she is guilty of VOTERIGGING the 2004 elections, there is little doubt she is guilty of WIRETAPPING herself and an Elections Commissioner she did not trust and just had to monitor using the services of the Intelligence Services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) No one has done more to expose and prove the existence of a massive wiretapping operation involving Isafp that Senate Defense Committee Chairman Senator Rodolfo "Pong" Biazon, a former Marine Commandant himself. See Senate Is Really Digging Into Wiretapping Controversy.

In both sets of alleged crimes, the voterigging of the 2004 elections and the wiretapping of the President and Commissioner Garcillano, there is one common element: the prostitution of the military to partisan political purposes. For example just yesterday, Senator Rodolfo Biazon revealed that accused coup plotter General Danilo Lim of the elite Scout Rangers, was one of those who had approached the Senate demanding an investigation of military participation in the election in Mindanao. And in the tense hours before the Fort Bonifacio standoff, Col. Ariel Querubin, in making his frantic calls for civilians to come and protect them, was shouting to reporters that "All we wanted was clean election!" -- in apparent reference to the participation of his unit in the cheating operations exposed by General Gudani in Mindanao. PCIJ has coverage of Gudani's Senate testimony here. The other important personality is General Nelson Allaga, who last Sunday figured in the Fort Bonifacio incident and is now the new Marine Commandant replacing General Renato Miranda. Ellen Tordesillas has the story of his participation in the Sulu elections operations. Manuel L. Quezon III has coverage of the many reactions to Proclamation 1017, and his own good thoughts on this matter.

Let us accept as as true the claim of the Palace that General Danilo Lim of the elite Scout Rangers Batallion of the Philippine Army, had asked his immediate superior General Generoso Senga to withdraw support for the Presidency with him, and that Colonel Ariel Querubin had done the same with General Renato Miranda, and a similar defection from the PNP Special Action Force by a General Franco. It has been further revealed their plan was to march out of their camps last Friday, without guns and uniforms if Col. Querubin is to be believed (and the fairy tales of the Daily Tribune's new editor and publisher, Chief of Police Lomibao, disbelieved), to join the Makati rally led by Cory Aquino. (I believe Querubin because it seems impossible that they planned to bring an armed force to the peaceful rally).

The picture that emerges is that of a stunning new solution to the Citizen-Soldiers Dilemma: RESIGN YOUR COMMISSION, BECOME INSTANTLY A CITIZEN AGAIN, THEN WITHDRAW SUPPORT FOR THE PRESIDENT. In this way, you have "preserved" the chain of command, as you have not acted in the role of Soldier, but of Citizen. In this way they found a brilliant solution to the dilemma which does not require them to break any oaths or abjure the Constitution. The solution of General Lim and Colonel Querubin would have been a vast philosophical improvement over that of General Angelo Reyes. Once, when I was still working for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, I asked then AFP Chief of Staff Narciso Abaya whether he himself would've done what General Angelo Reyes did on 19 January 2001. He asked me to turn off the tape recorder, but did not elicit a promise from me never to reveal his answer which I do today for the first time, ever: General Abaya said, he would NOT, that he was a "Constitutional Soldier" and that he would first resign then join the Edsa forces.

The inexorable conclusion is that if we are to accept Pres. Arroyo's claim that she was trying to FOIL A COUP D'ETAT last Friday, then she has just portrayed her own ascension to power in January 2001 as the result of the exact same thing. And if they are now arresting people, on rebellion and coup d'etat charges from years and even decades before, then General Angelo Reyes should also be so charged and arrested for his Mutiny and Rebellion on 19 January 2001.

This is the essential absurdity of Proclamation 1017 under the political mob rule of Mrs. Arroyo. The "clear and present danger" is primarily from her own illegitimate and reckless rule.


Anonymous said...

There was no coup

There was no assasination attempt like what she wants to show the world

the 48 +-hours left to evaluate pp 1017 would be for adding tall tales
to justify PP 1018

Anonymous said...

the last sentence is definitely not wishful thinking....

what is the value added worth of the PP(paraphrasing the CHR commish from talkshow viewpoint)

It has no added value..for it has no value at all.

as to what the former CSAFP did and what the other former CSAFP would have done..was all a matter of principle or lack of it.

Rizalist said...

So frustrating to see how easily the world can be fooled by a govt determined and smart enough.

Anonymous said...

The truth will prevail...
As of now it so frustrating and I agree the world could easily be fooled.

Dominique said...

Stunning analysis of the dilemma, sir.

I think it's not so much that the world is fooled as it is that it chooses to do nothing. All the more damning, then.

The Bystander said...

I must say that it is through patriotic Filipinos like you, sir, who give hope to this seemingly hopeless situation.

What disgusts me is the practice of this government to circumvent the law as they see fit and the apparent failure of our democratic institutions to correct the excesses of her illegitimate rule.

GMA until 2010? No, it's GMA beyond 2010, at the rate things are going.

For how long can the Filipino people tolerate her indiscretions? Do we have to wait for another 20 years?

manuelbuencamino said...

Why should they resign?

There is no chain of command right now. The commander in chief is a self elected president.

What soldiers of integrity and courage must do is break the chain of corruption from the self elected CIC all the way down to PVTs. That is the only way to reinstitute a real chain of command.

Rizalist said...

I don't agree MB. The principal contradiction that soldiers like Gen. Lim and Col. Querubin have resolved for themselves is that whatever they decide to do, whatever actions they undertake, the Military must never end up killing each other again. That I think is a good thing. The Chain of Command of the Military must never be broken by any soldier or officer. The reason for this is Constitutional: the right to life is the highest liberty. Since soldiering IS necessarily a life and death affair, it is in fact the Chain of Command that ensures the LEAST loss of life in a case like this. It is also a principled position which the soldiers themselves have taught us.

That is why their solution is brilliant, for if and when they do decide that they will withdraw their support, it will be as INDIVIDUAL CITIZENS of the Republic, fully empowered with all the freedoms of expression and speech necessary to attend a protest rally. That way the Military itself is not pitted, ever, against Civil Society. For remember it is the Defender of the People AND the State. (read the 1987 charter to see this often ignored "AND").

A military coup d'etat on the state must never be tolerated. You only want that now because you are against Gloria. But imagine the situation when someone like MLQ3 is President. Would you be so sanguine about what you just said, MB?

No. Lim and Querubin's solution to the dilemma seems infinitely better to me than yours, which is morally incosistent.

But I know where you're coming from. I'm mighty pissed off too, believe me!

manuelbuencamino said...


Yes I would be as sanguine if MLQ3 became a self-elected president, A self-elected president is no CIC.

What you have instead is a chain of corruption that must be broken by soldiers with courage and integrity.

That is what RAM and Ramos did when they broke the chain of Marcos' command.

Now I am not accusing RAM or Ramos of courage and integrity but you get the drift.

There is a time when even those who happen to wear the same uniform must make a moral choice.

Should they save the organization from becoming completely corrupt or should they walk away from it?

Rizalist said...

They should walk away from it if their objective is to disobey the CIC. As soldiers they swore an oath of fealty to the Constitution to obey the Chain of Command.

Or do you actually think that what Angelo Reyes did was right?

I don't understand what you mean by "There is no chain of command right now." This is just a moralistic statement or judgment? Surely it is not a factual, objective statement.

Also, "What soldiers of integrity and courage must do is break the chain of corruption from the self elected CIC all the way down to PVTs. That is the only way to reinstitute a real chain of command."

Can you explain this more? HOW exactly do they "break the chain of corruption ...all the way down"? And how does that create a real chain of command?

And don't skirt the question, about the shoe being on the other foot. We may agree with the OBJECTIVES of the soldiers who want to oppose GMA, but what is your moral principle in saying

Rizalist said...

...saying the chain of corruption can be broken by breaking the chain of command. What's the connection?

Anonymous said...

If I am not mistaken

Both mgen Miranda and Col. Querubin are in floating status...

Unlike Mgen Garcia whose benefits are void...being on floating status does not void your benefits..(Hillblogger where are you? need you on this..)

reality bites..not to be self righteous but my dad is only one of the few to surrender his military quarters post retirement..because many where not able to invest in one...another issue on the chain of corruption and chain of command..the president may be the symbolic CIC but post Marcos even FVR era the chain of command begins with the CSAFP(HillBlogger or anyone correct me if wrong)So i agree that there is no connection.
The president should not even salute.


Great piece, DJB!

I go the way of M Buencamino:

As I have said in an earlier posting when you asked me about the same dilemma. I had said that if I were Lim, I wouldn't resign. I wouldn't turn my back on my men by resigning my command in the face of the enemy. I wouldn't surrender my men, my uniform, my rank and my command to the enemy. I also gave a couple of reasons why resigning would not be the recourse of the moral and the brave.

You must consider, DJB the one underlying reason for all this restiveness: the military is in a state of alert for obvious reason, that like it or not, the nation has been facing the prospect of a civil war for the last 2 years. The prevailing conditions therefore are extremely abnormal. And in such conditions, a military officer must call upon his moral reserve to help him solve a moral dilemmma.

Under these extraordinary circumstances, Lim drew on the moral tenet of the military oath: it is the guardian, protector and armed guarantor of the Republic against internal and external threats of agression. If Lim resigned, he would be turning his back against his oath of duty. We call that COWARDICE!

We must also consider how Lim resolved the huge dilemma that was facing him - it was not a spur of the moment (unlike Angie Reyes' mutiny). As a soldier, a decorated fighter, an officer, a PMAer and a West Pointer to boot, he weighed the dilemma options - the moral duty of his rank and command to his country, to the Republic and to the Constitution, outweighed the "follow chain of command" tenet of the military.

Lim had identified the enemy of the State. To Lim, Gloria and her government are the enemies of the State; he accuses her first and foremost of having tampered with the elections and does not believe that she is the legitimate commander in chief; furthermore, and most importantly, he must have put on balance an equally and perhaps, even more damming criminal act - her having committed a far more serious crime when she willfully, wrongly, morally breached the chain of command in 2001; he accuses her of breaking that principle that you hold dearly, DJB and which you now defend: the military chain of command; he accuses her of continuing to breach cohesion in the military by willfully destroying the last remaining moral fibers that bind the military to its oath of duty by continuing to corrupt the military.

When a military officer with his record is forced to grapple with a dilemma of such proportions, he has no recourse but to call on his moral oath to be his guide and which he did.

By resigning and becoming a mere private citizen, he would no longer be duty bound to honor the same oath of duty a military officer has been sworn into (although why not but this is not the question). We must understand that following the chain of command is NOT the only principle that underlines a military oath and duty; it is not the overriding principle that guides a military officer with a superb career as his to do what he has to do. If George Washington and several other officers and soliders who were in the service of the Royal Armed Forces under of King George at the time had placed the military chain of command above and beyond their sworn duty, America would not exist today.

Angie Reyes' mutiny did not have the same basis. As a military officer, Reyes does not have the same military record, never had, never will! Moreover, the circumstances were not at all the same: there was no election fraud, the impeachment was ongoing! The Constitution was WORKING!

Our Constitution is not working DJB. There are enemies, armed and not that are prepared to bring it down and with it the Republic and it's people. The enemies are at the doorstep. Therefore Lim did the right thing in order to uphold his oath as guardian, guarantor, protector of the Republic and its people.

His error is that he failed in performing that duty!


Yep, Karl you are right...

President is commander in chief and gives command to CSAFP who enforces it down the line - MILITARY chain of command starts with CSAFP.

The major service commanders may be called upon by the CIC directly to abide by the constitutional provision on chain of command but in principle, it is the duty of the CSAFP to ensure that that chain of command is intact. If he fails to do that, he should be sacked.

It was Senga who should be sacked if indeed there was a breach of the chain in command; obviously, Senga should have sacked Lim and Querubin too. Senga's failure to put them under arrest (his duty not the CIC's) immediately after their act of INSUBORDINATION is proof that this chain of command thing is BULLSHIT!

john marzan said...

Awesome post, rizalist.


Moreover, DJB, you must remember that Lim's attempt to call for the military's withdrawal of support would have prevented bloodshed.

That was technically one of the best ways to prevent a COUP D'ETAT.

That could be Angie's only saving grace and the only point when history might judge him less harsh for being the ULTIMATE COWARD!

You must not forget that Gloria herself had formed an alliance with a military component of the Philippine Marines under BGen Espinoza for the violent overthrow of the Republic if there had not been a peaceful withdrawl of support. You must not forget that this woman had broken all the principles provided for the military chain of command - herself being the Vice-President and no. 2 in the order of political and constitutional hierarchy - when she willfully espoused a COUP D'ETAT.

People are forgetting this part of history.

That she now is in virtual (not legitimate) command politically and constitutionally does not exempt her from being accused of a COUP D'ETAT ATTEMPT and is considered a criminal at large and technically must be considered an enemy of the State!


One more thing DJB, Narcing Abaya, sadly a West Pointer, is a complete creep.

He was one of the most active proponents of militcs during his time. Prior to the selection of who would be CSAFP after Benjie Defensor, this creep, whose wife had worked closely with Gloria on her PMS staff had been lobbying for the position overtly.

In a meeting with some members of Class 69 and in the presence of Joey Syjuco, a retired member and a West Pointer, he actually BOASTED that he would do all it takes to make sure that Gloria won the 2004 elections.

Max Soliven wrote about it in 2003. Creep Narcing called Max and DENIED that he said it and asked Max pointblank if it was Joey who had ratted on him - well, it wasn't Joey who ratted on him so how could he deny that he had said it and point to Joey as being the rat if he hadn't said it all?


DJB, Since you are close to Narcing, ask him please, will you?

mlq3 said...

stop using my name in vain. that's what gives sassy the naughty idea i'm interested in political office.



People don't have to be interested in political office to be persuaded to lead. If joining politics is one efficient was of leading, why not?

You will be a very, very USEFUL and QUALIFIED leader in that morally depraved political arena that is our nation's - your moral stand and persuasions are your legitimate political backbone! We need moral leaders in our country. YOU WILL WIN!

I would be honored to be able to join your campaign team (well, even if I only have to put up posters and bring glasses of water around, lick stamps on envelopes, if you wish) should you one day, decide to get a crack at actually LEADING the nation outside of print.

Rizalist said...

hb, I've only met Gen. Abaya one time. But I looked him straight in the eye when I asked if he would have done what Angie Reyes had done. And I thought he was sincere in his answer that he would not have done so without resigning first. It's a position I happen to agree with because what Angie did has set the example for a long time to come. We may think it would be good for the military AS A MILITARY to rebel or mutiny against the chain of command in the same way that Angie did because it might get rid of a President we don't like and whom we think deserves ouster. But what happens in another situation when the Military does want to get rid of a President we DO like and doesn't deserve ouster.

How do we remain consistent if we vote for the Angie Reyes Solution?

Rizalist said...

HB, further...I think both you and MB misunderstand my position a bit. I'm saying that Generals like Danilo Lim are allowed to agitate for MASS RESIGNATION of entire units as a sign of withdrawal of support. But such a mass demonstration or protest of perceived immoralities or corruption must be done not anymore as soldiers but as civilians under the usual conditions of peaceful assembly for redress of grievances.

What you guys seem to be saying is that citizens may protest and demonstrate BEARING ARMS AND AMMO.

Is your position equal to that?


That won't happen DJB when a government has the respect of its population!

The military is THE LAST in the chain of the constitutional agencies that will do anything of the sort when DEMOCRACY is at work!

You don't have to believe me but you may believe in history - history will tell you that...



On your mass resignation call AFTER a military officer has resigned CANNOT and WON'T WORK, precisely because of what you rightly defend: the military chain of command.

The ONLY remote way of doing that is by being WITHIN THE MILITARY CHAIN OF COMMAND and not when one is already a civilian, DJB.

Was Golez able to do that, Ping Lacson for instance? Not even BIAZON, respected as he is can do that! BECAUSE HE IS OUTSIDE OF THE MILITARY CHAIN OF COMMAND!

Not even FVR can do it today - he can rouse them to break their oath but he will have to course it through the existing military leadership!

The military is LAW unto itself... it follows a different set of moral rules.



Re Angie's solution

We are talking in riddles here. The basis of Angie's act was perhaps the last-minute solution at the time because of the real threat of a COUP D'ETAT by Gen Espinoza (RMEMBER ESPINOZA threatened to launch a coup d'état and was on his way to Manila with a MARINE BATTALION as he said to overthrow Erap's government by armed means).

However, Angie had already sown the seeds of corruption in the military long before that last minute decision when he had entertained and encouraged Mike's and Gloria's mutiny plot.

There is your dilemma DJB. Whose act is moral and whose is not? Angie's or Lim's?


Darn, darn and a million darns! DJB, your fault (heheh!!)

a friend called to ask me why I'm not at lunch with them (group of women's monthly lunch) - totally forgot because of your dilemman thingy.

Was so engrossed in this friggin dilemma that I forgot all about it. Darnation!

Rizalist said...

MLQ3--Sorry for taking your name in vain. I only did it once, so like the Bishops with one child I think I'm allowed. Besides I think it was Sassy who started it.

HB--That's why I love DILEMMAS, especially moral ones. Because it exposes the ETERNAL PRINCIPLES of democracy.

Let's rewind and talk about Edsa 2...What would you do again if you were Angie Reyes?



If there is anybody today who should be resigning in the military is the Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines - remember, he is a political appointee.

That the commander in chief illegitimus is FORCED to declare emergency rule on the basis of an act of insubordination by a FIELD COMMANDER shows how BAD and INEPT this Chief of Staff at doing his job!

This commander in chief illegitimus doesn't understand the job of a commander in chief. She's playing bahay kubo! Stupid woman!

If I had been CIC, I would relieve Senga, ordered the arrest of Lim, Querubin and sacked all my major service commanders!

Of course she can't do that because she is just one stupid, idiot commander in chief illegitimus!


If I were CSAFP (in coward Angie's shoes), first of all I would not be a coward...

Goddamit, DJB, I wouldn't entertain friggin politicking by goddamn civilian politicians most of all by the holder of the 2nd highest office in the land.

I would perform the constitutional duties I had sworn to do protect the Republic even if it meant protecting asshole Erap because he is the president - the impeachment was going on, the CONSTITUTION was at work!

Goddamit, I would have had Espinoza charged for attempted coup d'état and recommended his execution right then and there and would advise my CIC to order the arrest of Gloria and all those plotters.

Erap was willing to go by the Constitution so goddamit, what gave this goddamn 2-bit desk officer the right to breach the chain of command?

Rizalist said...

Sorry you missed your lunch! But let me recalibrate this discussion. A moral dilemma is one where there is not usually a black and white clarity as to what a "good" person is supposed to do.

Dilemmas are interesting because our CHOICE of solution usually leads to very different sets of CONSEQUENCES.

Personally, I like to solve dilemmas by looking at the consequences of each choice in ALL conceivable situations covered by the Dilemma. Remember you can have this dilemma, IMHO, irrespective of whether the President is good or bad, because the soldiers and officers themselves come in "good" and "bad" flavors. You could have a good President with a bunch of power hungry military types. Or you could have a bad president with good military guys.

Whatever choice we make in our solution to the dilemma it must apply to both cases.

I'm also a physicist and to your point about history, I do like looking at the past to predict the future.

Well look at the history since Angie Reyes chose the MUTINY solution instead of RESIGN first. His is an example that future coup plotters and reformists both will refer to and possibly emulate. When the "good" guys do it, okay! But what happens when the "bad" guys do it. Ok?

In effect Angie Reyes and Hilario Davide chose our next president. Not having won her mandate democratically, she has ruled as an autocrat since then, with the miliitary to which she was beholden as her only constituency.

That's not democracy.

Edsa 2 was military judicial coup. It would not have succeed without Reyes and Davide doing what they did.



Never mind, I'll just make myself a peanut butter sandwich instead of having a beautiful lunch with equally beautiful minded women with beautiful hopes for a beautiful European Union.

Yeah, I think you ane eye meet i to i on the moral aspects of this dilemma.

But please re-read my previous two entries then we will talk - I gotta grab that peanut sandwich before I faint on my keyboard.

Rizalist said...

HB--You're making us all feel guilty here. I'm imagining you right now with a PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH! in Belgium, land of the best waffles! Or is that like pizza and really a New York invention, belgian waffles I mean?

I guess the background on Angie Reyes mutiny is that he had been courted for months by ta da VICTOR CORPUS! Talk about left right tactical alliance. There it is all in ONE TWISTED MIND.

In Doro's book, he reveals the existence of a safehouse in Corinthian where he would meet with Gloria or the FG and Vic to negotiate his defection. In fact, in one early January 2001 dinner meeting to screen possible future Cabinet officers for Gloria (and many o9f her future cabinet WERE there, upon hindsight), Vic showed around the table a letter, ready to be signed by Angie Reyes...we didn't see the back page though where the offers of SecDef were probably spelt out.

But right there, I was aware of this moral dilemma, without realizing how important it is.

It is you know, because 5 years later, there it is staring us in the face again.


Yeah, the guy who committed treason! FVR was nuts to bring him back on. Complete stupidity!



Where were we?


I actually asked FVR that question once. He said some gibberish about making up for the past (suppose he was referring to FM) and that Corpuz was a good soldier, etc.

I blasted and asked him how a traitor who had committed treason, slept with a foreign enemy with ambitions of bringing down the Republic be a good soldier... That he should pin a medal on him "to make up" is almost acceptable although I thought was a load of nonsense but he should have despatched the guy to the civilian world and taken him on as a consultant of some kind but NEVER again to wear the military uniform.

Obviously, FVR was just wink, wink... and gave me a cigar instead. Dumb thing to do coz I don't smoke!

Rizalist said...

okay, we're looking at two apparently very different solutions to the moral dilemma of the citizen soldier.

First on the "moral" decision making--in the Reyes Solution, the top brass, the General Staff were persuaded by COSAFP to joint him in a mutiny. I don't think the rank-n-file soldiers ever had any say in that except standby. The whole act was played by Angie, and of course he got all the rewards plus those he took with him.

At Ft. Bonifacio last Sunday, there was a 9-6 vote taken by the company or platoon leaders, we never decided which . Presumably there have been other such votes before. Querubin was not a dictator to his men, but rather an idealistic well-loved leader.

What I want to know is if people here think this second solution is "good enough" or if a third solution to the dilemma must be found.



Good question well put!

Are we talking THE solution given the prevailing conditions or are we talking from a pure perspective of MORAL HIGH GROUND?


i meant pure military perspective

manuelbuencamino said...


I would agree with you if your argument were based on Estrada's case. But we are talking about GMA, an illegutimate president, so that changes everything.

Hillblogger took the words right out of my mouth so I won;t repeaat his arguments.

And I share completely his views about Angie Reyes.

What I meant by the chain of corruption -
The chain of corruption I don't mean to limit only to stealing. I was talking about the corruption of character/morals going from the fake CIC to her handpicked CSC and service commanders. I was referring to a corrupted system. That starts from the fake CIC all the way down to all those who will follow her orders.



Hillblogger is a she!

Rizalist said...

MB, I believe Hillblogger is a WOMAN.

We are really asking what are the principled options of a soldier in the realm of national politics. We know for example that is against the constitution for any active military officer to participate in partisan politican activities (like secretly eavesdropping on elections commish). That's is one benchmark we have to accept right?

The dilemma arises when military men ARE OF THE OPINION that the President must be replaced (and we cannot presume to know if those reasons are legit or not).

I am saying that whatever we decide the best solution is, it must be a principle or tenet that can be applied no matter what those reasons are, and whether it is erap or gma. to your question MB, what would you prescribe to angelo reyes to do if you did not know whether today is 2001 or 2006, if you didn't know whether the president that COSAFP is making a moral decision about is GMA or Erap.

Also it must be applicable to every soldier, officer or rank and file, because all may be involved.



I totally agree with you 101%: CORRUPTION does not only refer to money. I have referred to that too in an earlier posting (DJB's? or Ricky's don't know anymore).

MB's put it very very accurately. Gloria's corruption of the military is far worse than financial corruption - she has gone down to the the deep bowels of the military to plant her seeds of corruption.

NO Republic can remain democratic when that kind of corruption has sifted through the military.

Remember, the military is the guardian, the guarantor, the protector of your democracy. Without it, you cannot sustain democracy.


DJB, a minor detail - it's CS AFP or CSAFP and not COSAFP...

I think I've asnwered your question DJB on the Angie Dilemma re ERAP, GMA.

I believe that even during Erap's reign, Democracy was grinding and was reaching its summit - the Constitution was working - Impeachment was in progress: I WOULD DEFEND THE REPUBLIC AND THE CONSTITUTION and not do an Angie (that was the ultimate in cowardice!)


During the terse moments or in the wee hours of 20 (21st?) of January when Angie was haggling like a talipapa vendor with his major service and field commanders - to mutiny or not to mutiny, the only military officer who was not a coward was one of the major service commanders: Benjie Defensor, Commanding General, Philippine Air Force PMA Class 69, who challenged Angie and refused to mutiny.

He was prepared to uphold his Consitutional oath to protect the Republic and the Constitution - obey and follow the chain of command.

He even sent Col Yap to fly a plain over Edsa in anticipation of Espinoza's attack on Manila but when he saw the gathering and he knew there would be civilian casualties, he ordered Yap to return to base.

Funny that Gloria claimed that the plane was circling Edsa on a reconnaissance for her - to support her ! Stupid woman! She was bullshitting everybody! She was dreaming!



Where are you? Am talking here on my own! Darnation!

john marzan said...

So frustrating to see how easily the world can be fooled by a govt determined and smart enough.

kabisado natin ang pagiisip ng mga western media eh. hindi ba tumagal ng 20 years si marcos dahil considered siyang isan ally ng US in the War on Communism?

Rizalist said...

I ate our last bagel, waaaah and watched the news a lil just now sorry.

Okay, what about danilo lim and querubin. What should happen to them if you were CSAFP Senga (not GMA!)?

Rizalist said...

john--funny you mention that. Read the VERY FIRST ENTRY of the New Philippine Commentary. (first thing in the archives section.) It's speech by bush at the Natonal Endowment for Democracy. He talks about America's support for dictators during the Cold War. And says America CAN never again support such dictators if it wants the moral high ground in the world. It's what got me blogging again, because I believe him.



(Don't like bagels - prefer my peanut butter sandwich)

I answered that already - I was two steps ahead!

Look up my entries or anyways, here it is again:
"If there is anybody today who should be resigning in the military is the Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines - remember, he is a political appointee.
That the commander in chief illegitimus is FORCED to declare emergency rule on the basis of an act of insubordination by a FIELD COMMANDER shows how BAD and INEPT this Chief of Staff at doing his job!
This commander in chief illegitimus doesn't understand the job of a commander in chief. She's playing bahay kubo! Stupid woman!
If I had been CIC, I would relieve Senga, ordered the arrest of Lim, Querubin and sacked all my major service commanders!
Of course she can't do that because she is just one stupid, idiot commander in chief illegitimus!"

I wouldn't be Senga in the first place because I couldn't be with GMA - I would simply resign!

This is when you field that question on ethics: either lead a withdrawal of support or if you don't believe the military should do that, then you resign. And knowing Senga, I don't think he would resign - catch 22.

Rizalist said...

Remember the old ideal of a philosopher king? What combo is that? Wisdom and Power, right. I guess if the Military could ALWAYS be counted upon to be WISE, I would vote for permanent martial law. Given that that isn't true, humanity itself has not found something that works better than democracy, though they've tried various, disastrous alternatives.



You don't get my point!

In a democracy, the civilian government must rule supreme. To make sure that happens, the Republic must have a military whose duty is to to guard, protect, guarantee the survival of that democracy.

It is ONLY one of the many constitutional components that will allow that democracy to work but it is just that - a component albeit an ARMED component.

When that democracy is threatened, i.e., the Rpublic is on the verge of being overthrown, the military steps in either way - for or against the constitutionally elected head of the Republic.

That is their only moral duty. They ARE NOT constitutionally mandated to perform the tasks of the civilian government under which they serve unless of course, you have a military republic like Libya or like Fidel Castro's, etc.

Therefore your premise that by allowing Lim today to perform his oath - by withdrawing support for an illegitimate CIC who's hell bent on dismantling the institutions of the Republic - the military would place the country under martial rule is pure speculation.

Obviously, there is a risk that the military might take it upon themselves to replace a government. But this is remote for as long as the nation has a semblance of democracy. I believe, the nation still has a few remaining democratic fibers around it. (Besides, the Philippines only has a small armed forces.)

If you do not have faith that the military still possesses some moral fibers in its corps, then you have just condemned democracy in the Philippines.

Have no fear! Martial Law is usually a tool that is used by the civilian component of the Republic to tame its civilian population - the military even in that environment is only the little soldiers that execute a civilian command!

Moreover, I've always found that there's a higher degree of honor in the military than in the civilian component of a Republic!

What a paradox eh, DJB!!!

Rizalist said...

Agree wholeheartedly HB on the higher degree of honor in the military. That is also why their dilemmas are so much more complicated. Honor is a life and death thing with them. Not so in the carefree, relatively oath free world of civilians. And I think I do get your point now...but having mentoned the civilians, this reminds me about the next post and what the civilians ought to do if and when GMA lifts 1017. I guess they have a dilemma too don't they? To people or not to people, power that is!


DJB, you remember when were discussing the rape issue against those US Marines boys?

I was already batting for a US court martial on a US ship because I thought that was the only way to try the case if only for the sake of the alleged victim herself. I would have more faith in the US military justice than in the Philippine civilian justice.


Precisely because of that higher degree of honor in the military! (The Philippine military has a long way to go but Lim is perhaps one of its hopes!)



See what happened? MB's told that hillblogger is a she and he went away - oh la la! Hope he ain't thinking, what the heck am I discussing military matters with a woman for!

Heheh! Anyway, if any consolation, I was the first woman to apply to PMA but they laugh at me coz I was a woman, then I went to West Point - they said no dice. Heck, I would have been a 4 star general today if they'd allowed me in and you wouldn't have been in this mess had I been the CSAFP (heeheheh!)!



Could you re-post Austin Bay's link pls? Can't find it. Thanks.

john marzan said...

yeah, i remember that first post, riz.

btw, alam ko kung bakit in-announce ng arroyo admin sa publiko na magkakampi raw ang mga communista, mga military rightists at political opposition.

most filipinos know that that's a lie, but hindi naman yan ang target audience ng arroyo admin kundi ang foreign media, lalo na ang US media, na hindi masyadong kabisado ang sitwasyon dito sa bansa natin.

it's to scare the international community from supporting us katulad nang ginawa nila sa "orange revolution" ng ukraine.

katulad nang sinabi mo na "So frustrating to see how easily the world can be fooled by a govt determined and smart enough."

mabilis nga silang utuin ng isang arroyo admin na media savvy at alam ang mentality ng US admin.

baycas said...

another one of your great threads, thanks, djb...and others, esp. anna, too.


Hey DJB,


MLQ3's blog is empty. There's a note that says he couldn't locate any of the blog entries and to tell him if the error continues.

I found the following blurb on his site: WordPress database error:

[Got error 28 from table handler]
SELECT DISTINCT * FROM wp_posts WHERE 1=1 AND post_date_gmt <= '2006-03-02 21:16:59' AND (post_status = "publish") GROUP BY wp_posts.ID ORDER BY post_date DESC LIMIT 0, 12

Rizalist said...

hb--send me email right now at


got it djb?



Here's a refrain but it's quite a propos:

When a commander in chief goes on TV and declares emergency rule based on security threat - he or she must also include in that televised proclamation a semblance of presentation of evidence and decisions she's made (prior to going on TV) to address the imminent threat! But heck no...she didn't do that so what gives?

The only, real, concrete, physical evidence that they could have presented to the public as basis for declaring the Emergency Rule (remember, Querubin's insubordination happened AFTER the SOE) - and which they failed miserably to present at a time when it should have been made it - that would come remotely come closest to a potential coup conspiracy charge is BGen Lim's insubordination when he spoke to Senga!

And now to support their spin, they gotta produce "evidences" - to do that, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is sacrificing a few men in the military - young, gallant, brave officers and label them as Communist lovers.

Imagine declaring a State of Emergency on the basis of a senior military officer's INSUBORDINATION?


Gloria and her government are insane!

john marzan said...

you're right HB. Mlq3's blog is empty na!

john marzan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rizalist said...

Thanks for this thoughful comment John. She has indeed tarred and feathered all her critics in Red. But she has made a mortal enemy of the Media and that if you will remember is also the mistake that Erap made!

As for the US Govt, this is their problem only in a philosophical sense, and ought not to interfere really (either way!)

john marzan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
john marzan said...

(i had to re-edit some things for clarity)

rizalist: So frustrating to see how easily the world can be fooled by a govt determined and smart enough.

john: kabisado natin ang pagiisip ng mga western media eh. hindi ba tumagal ng 20 years si marcos dahil considered siyang isan ally ng US in the War on Communism?

rizalist: john--funny you mention that. Read the VERY FIRST ENTRY of the New Philippine Commentary. (first thing in the archives section.) It's speech by bush at the Natonal Endowment for Democracy. He talks about America's support for dictators during the Cold War. And says America CAN never again support such dictators if it wants the moral high ground in the world. It's what got me blogging again, because I believe him.


minadali ko yung sagot ko sa iyo kahapon, rizalist.

i'm sure the US will never support arroyo kung dictator siya. but the problem is that, the US doesn't consider her a dictator... YET. it's our job to expose arroyo for what she really is: a corrupt and illegitimate ruler with marcos-like tendencies.

re the way the arroyo admin is handling the western media.

we filipinos are more familiar with the American's way of thinking and their culture, while most americans are not familiar with ours, except for a few.

Alam natin kung ano ang gusto nilang marinig. alam natin kung ano ang kinatatakutan nila.

The reason why the US tacitly supported the dictator marcos for 20 years back then was because Marcos presented himself as a staunch US ally against the War on Communism. So the guy was the "lesser evil" in the US' eyes.

Fast forward to 2001, after edsa dos, we keep hearing many reports na baka bumagsak rin ang arroyo admin dahil many are questioning her legitimacy.

then 9/11 happenen, a "blessing" in disguise i think to the beleaguered arroyo admin who saw that as an opportunity to use the US as big brother to protect arroyo from any attempts to remove her (by having the US troops back on our soil) and present herself as a "strong ally" in the WOT. hindi ba she courted the US heavily by being one of the first to annouce her support for the WOT and send troops to iraq. she even had bush mention the RP as a "major non-NATO ally".

Remember when the arroyo talking point then was: the RP-US alliance is strong. that means more US investments. more aid. if you remove arroyo, you'd break that "strong" alliance.

but lumabas ang totoong kulay ni arroyo after she "won" the 2004 presidential elections. the iraq war was already getting more unpopular among the filipinos in 2003 (no WMDs) at apektado rin si arroyo dito for being closely tied to the Iraq war and for being a weak link in the first place. So the moment may nakidnap na isang filipino worker sa iraq, she immediately surrendered to the terrorists and pulled all troops out of iraq. so why did she do that, despite the fact na this will be seen as a MAJOR setback for the coalition in the War on Terror at magagalit ang US sa kanya for pulling out prematurely? because hindi na kailangan ni arroyo ang "protection" ng US dahil "naipanalo" na raw niya ang presidential elections, so may "legitimacy" na siya sa tao.

And while the US doesn't trust her, the arroyo admin knows what the US fears and what it wants to hear.

So this time, she presented herself to the US as a "lesser evil", and painted all of us arroyo critics as "destabilizers", "communists" or "miltary coup plotters". while it is true that there are some leftist congressmen who want her out (i do recall a tactical alliance between arroyo and these same leftists to oust estrada in 2001), that is not the driving force behind the move to recall arroyo for stealing the elections. Yung majority ng mga masa at middle class filipinos ang gustong magpatalsik sa kanya.

And while there are the magdalo types who want to remove arroyo too, almost all of those who are opposed to this admin want no part of them. IMO, some of the Magdalos are pretty much "pakawala" ng admin to confuse the public.

so most filipinos know that the Arroyo claims are bogus, but hindi naman yan ang target audience ng arroyo admin kundi ang foreign media, lalo na ang US media, na hindi masyadong kabisado ang sitwasyon dito sa bansa natin.

it's to scare the international community from supporting us. katulad nang suporta ng international community sa people power "orange revolution" ng ukraine.

besides, why is this admin complaining about commies like beltran, satur ocampo et al when they were allies back in the 2001 effort to oust erap? and wasn't the military part of edsa dos too?

at least erap was a legit president, no? arroyo was never elected to the presidency at all.

Rizalist said...

John, it's just a blog. no need to apologize for erasures and stuff.
But now I realize if even YOU have to change things around for "clarity" then it really is a complex situation and no wonder most people are apathetic: they don't really know what's going on but what the admin wants them to know through the headlines.
you said something here that makes me think. You see I'm concerned about the Fil-Am community. I think the US govt takes their opinions about the philippines into account more than those who are in the Archipelago (since they ARE voters and taxpayers!). Generally speaking they are "conservative" relative to Arroyo's removal from office. I wish there were more concrete actions we could take to change this situation and educate our brethren over there. I still get about half and half visitors from here and in the Continent, but that says I'm not getting to enough of the Filam since there's a lot more of them online.

Got any ideas? Do you have contacts in the OFW community?

john marzan said...

hah. nakita mo yung edits ko every time nag-send ng mail ang

buking ako.

john marzan said...

You see I'm concerned about the Fil-Am community. I think the US govt takes their opinions about the philippines into account more than those who are in the Archipelago (since they ARE voters and taxpayers!).

any luck with wretchard though, rizalist?

anyway, i don't know if the US is paying attention to the filams more than the locals, and i don't know if most filams are pro arroyo.

in general, most filipinos living in the country have a better understanding of what is happening in the country than filipinos living overseas. and this applies to citizens from other countries too.

i think a frenchman living in france has a better understanding of what is happening in his country france than a french expat who has been living in Africa for a few years.

just like most chinese living in china has a better idea of what is happening in china than those who are living outside the country. just like an iranian dissident living in iran has a better grasp of the situation in iran than an iranian dissident who has migrated to europe to escape the mullahs.

isa pa, it's not as if filipinos in the philippines cannot understand or speak english (kahit na hindi sila fluent). it's not as if the US needs to learn farsi or arabic or mandarin para lang nila maintindihan ang mga locals. lahat ng mga major pro and anti-arroyo newspapers ay english. if they want to understand the situation better, then talk to the people inside the country. or read the local papers. or send people here to analyze the situation.

if the US thinks the mostly out-of-touch (even with internet) filam community in general are more knowledgable about what is happening inside our country than the filipinos living in pinas, then that's pathetic.

but i don't really know if the US GOV'T really takes the filams more seriously than the locals.