THE MAKING OF A FILIPINO MILITARY GENERAL
When a person enters the military academy and has been drilled and trained as a soldier later, he no longer looks at the far end of his personal future anymore. He must have to live as a warrior and if need be, offer his life in the furtherance of his soldierly mission. That is how it should be. Fear of death no longer haunts him. To hear a soldier express angst on dangers to his life, is like hearing a mechanic complaining that he might get dirtied by greasy parts of the automobile he is fixing. It is just that the argument does not hold water.
The reason why General Palparan eluded arrest is precisely, according to him, there is danger to his life once detained. And after his arrest and the subsequent issuance by the Malolos court on his transfer from NBI custodial center to Malolos jail, we hear of the complaint that his life would be endangered once transferred in jail. Hearing this from a foot soldier, although I have as yet to hear one, is understandable. Hearing this fearful plea from a General at that is beyond comprehension, it is even comical. He should not have entered the military academy in the first place if what he is fearful about is dying. He should have opted to sell pan cakes instead as his life long profession.
I have countless occasions to see up close former military officers serving time in prison. A lot of them would even be conscripted into gangs! I have as yet to see a military man holding on to dear military principles notwithstanding the crime for which he would be penalized. My understanding is that a warrior is a different class all by himself. I would even admit that gangsters are far better trained and disciplined, principled even and fearless than their counterparts in the law enforcement world.
Sadly, soldiers are no longer trained to be warriors but as enrolees for the privileged class. This is one class where advantages, compensation and rewards are abounding. This is the milieu on which every neophyte student of the military academy would cast their penurious eyes. That someday, after undergoing scholarship courtesy of people’s taxes, they would graduate to become administrators or high paying functionaries of government. Never mind the war; it would just be a flimsy interlude in their course. They are never even interested in winning in the first place. Succeeding and making it big in government or business is the final career fulfilment that is aspired for.
That should explain why most military officers are accustomed to a life of superiority. When at the very back of their credentials, there are no entries of achievements. If at all there are spots where their ruthlessness is shown, it is never on the battle field. They are more aggressive and belligerent only against unarmed civilians. And records of their victims would yield that they are never their enemies in the first place but accidental pedestrians which they would report as their malingering foes.
Insurgency and war would never end if this is the kind of military officers who are engaged in the resolution of conflicts in the vast countryside. The rebel leaders do not fear reprisal, hardship and death. Military officers on the other hand are more designed to a sedate activity, easy going life and painless tasks. No wonder, nothing is accomplished.
Our Military academic institution, unfortunately, is teaching a different value system. It is teaching how one should dress up and how to look good. It is concerned more about posture and drills. It is focused on rank, manners and poise. It is also encouraging one to be a part of a culture where everything great and attractive abounds. Its extracurricular is an exercise in avoiding war. It seems more like a fashion school. If this should be the case, those who graduate are more fit in beauty parlours!
But , of course, we need real warriors to protect our values.