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Carry On, Mr. General (Updated)

June 7, 2010

Jostling for top story billing as the day end are these remarks made by Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit in connection with the outgoing Commission on Appointments having “bypassed” him ang 301 other star rank military officers:

We’ve been seeing new attempts of destroying the Armed Forces, the organization that we have worked so hard to professionalize. I therefore cannot hide my disappointment. To [tell] you honestly, this weekend, I have contemplating an early retirement. After all what they have done in fighting for a credible election and after they have proven that they are professional, very professional officers, is that what they will get? I therefore decided that I should go if that will keep the Armed Forces intact. This is no longer just about General Bangit, who they doubt despite contrary evidence. This has been about the Armed Forces of the Philippines. This has been about our politicians who do not understand what the Armed Forces is all about. This is about personalities and persons who do not understand what the Armed forces is all about, this has been about disregarding the military system that they we have worked hard to put up and strengthen for the good of the organization and for the stability of this country. Again, I am asking the public, not only the incoming administration, to treat your Armed Forces well, treat us with honor and give us the dignity that we deserve. They should know and understand that a soldier is either relieved, reassigned or has to stand to his post if his superiors want him to stay. A soldier filing a resignation is abdication of duty. In or Articles of War, particularly Article of War 58, that is punishable under our system. I don’t know why they are worried about me. I dont know. I have made my commitment (that) I am a soldier of the Filipino people. I am a soldier of this Republic. I am nobody’s soldier. (Asked if there is any reason for the new administration to fear him or be wary of him) Personally, that is the same question that I am asking myself. Why? We have received instruction from our commander-in-chief to go on, to just continue our (mission) because we are fighting every day, we are defending this nation everyday…The status quo remains as part of the order of the commander-in-chief has given us. To be honest with you, yes because we are in a quandary what would be our position.

The news report on this describes the AFP Chief of Staff as having “expressed disappointment” overr the CA’s material lack of time to convene and pass upon the promotions.

In previous interviews with the news media,, this writer has been impressed by the seemingly professional projection of Mr. Bangit as an officer and a gentleman.

But his latest statements are a wee bit disturbing.

In goose-step fashion, Camp Aguinaldo’s spokesmen are echoing Bangit while on the civilian side, incoming Chief Executive Noynoy Aquino who is hours away brom being proclaimed runaway President-elect has now made clear that the matter of Bangit staying on as CoS is no question but rather his unconfirmed promotion to 4-star general.

ABS-CBN News recapped Bangit’s news conference thus:

So what is the good general talking about “attempts to destroy the AFP”?

He even talks about having “contemplated early retirement.”

So are Filipinos now in debt to Bangit for his ‘temperance’?

Is his “expression of disappointment” actually a veiled threat???

Tell us it ain’t so Mr. General.
Walk the walk of an officer and a gentleman.

Carry on, Sir.

Postscript

General Bangit’s remarks have backfired.

Minutes after his being proclaimed President-elect, Noy Aquino had these words for the good general:

With the caveat that all of those who have been presented to the Commission on Appointments, with the exception of the chief of staff, have no issues before them, after a cursory review we will resubmit their appointments so that those who are deserving will be considered and fulfill the requirements of the Constitution and thereby get their appropriate ranks. This is with the exception of the chief of staff who, at the present time, with his comments and insinuations does not indicate a harmonious relationship with us.

There have been intermediaries.  He knows where I am coming from. I understand what he needs. We will work for the betterment of the institution and the stability of the country. He will not be the chief of staff.

So there.



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