Leave it to my former Cory Media Bureau comrade and now Makati Representative Teddyboy Locsin to fire a broadside that deserves to be heard round the world.
Before the Holy Week recess, Teddyboy delivered a privilege speech in Congress where he slammed military officers for their lack of cojones in going eyeball to eyeball with states contesting the Spratlys with the Philippines, most notably mighty China.
Of course, we can only agree with Teddyboy. Weren’t we taught that the best way to lose a fight is to resign one’s self to lose it even before it is fought?
Teddyboy’s privilege speech follows.
12 units of cowardice at the
Philippine Military Academy
By Rep. Teodoro L. Locsin Jr.
“Mr. Speaker, I rise on a matter of collective privilege. This morning, this representation read in the newspapers that Navy Vice-Commander Rear Admiral Amable (meaning amiable) Tolentino admitted that the Philippine military is inferior to the militaries of other countries. Yes, even before any fight, he said declared the Filipino military will always lose.
But in what respect is the Filipino so inferior as to guarantee his inevitable defeat in any conflict. How indeed is the Filipino inferior to other countries?
The vice commander’s succeeding remarks show in what respect.
He said, and I quote, “From a student of regional security (who enrolled this asshole? And paid his tuition?), diplomacy is still best. We avoid war as much as possible. Exploitation of resources by each country, once it overlaps your jurisdiction, there is a possibility of war. So if you have diplomacy, you have dialogues. That is better than going to war.”
But that, he said, is only his personal opinion. What a relief!
But, excuse me, who asked for his opinion? More to the point is he even entitled to have one while he is serving in the armed forces?
The tradition is that a civilian opinion by a military individual comes only after their retirement or resignation, as in the case of many distinguished US commanders regarding the Iraqi War. And more importantly, can he, as serving officer give as his considered opinion that our armed forces couldn’t put up much of a fight if it came to one?
Worse, why is he saying this and expressing a partiality for diplomacy rather than combat. He has expressed the view that the armed forces will not fight since, according to yet another officer, a certain Lt. Col. Calicutan, the armed forces will always prefer to talk rather than fight over the Spratlys. Calicutan also said that the entire military is supporting the joint exploration of the Spratlys as the win-win situation.
Mr. Speaker, this is not treason, but it will be when it comes to war and such statements give clear comfort to the enemy and abet, not to say encourage, his aggression.
Mr. Speaker, this is not yet treason indeed, but it is very much a present cowardice.
The military exists not just to fight but to declare it is prepared to fight, and not just to fight when it is sure to win, but to fight whatever the odds against victory and the certainty of defeat when the territorial integrity of the Republic is at stake.
What is our military taught these days? Is there a 12-unit course at the PMA on talking instead of fighting? On cowardice rather than courage? That it is better to sell out our country than fight for it? What does the Philippine military think our country is, a broadband deal?
The value of a military is as much in its willingness to fight as in actual fighting. Now tell us, Mr. Speaker, what is the deterrent value of a military that admits it will lose before it fights, that it would rather talk than fight, that in any case it WILL NOT FIGHT.
The value of such a military is as zero as its courage and fighting capability. No wonder his name is Amable. But what we need is not amiability but ferocity in our officers, the kind of ferocity our military regularly show our disagreeable brothers and sisters in the streets and in the hills.
I hate to say this, especially about someone my father opposed so much, but when President Marcos was presented with a similar situation regarding another piece of Philippine territory, my father took me to Malacañang, so I could see and hear and remember, Marcos and his generals discuss plans for a full-scale military option together with our old and dependable ally Indonesia for a final solution to the Sabah problem. Those were generals, that was a commander-in-chief. Not these cowards today.” (End of speech)
Last March 25, AFP Chief Gen. Hermogenes Esperon stated that he too prefers a diplomatic approach to settling the Spratlys issue. Knowing his total servitude to his Commander-in-Chief, Esperon was obviously mouthing the Palace line.