An advocacy group called Advocates for National Interest (ANI), chaired by retired general Edilberto Adan, has called on the country’s leaders to set aside politics and unite against China’s aggression in the West Philippine Sea.
“This conflict with China should serve to unify rather than divide us. The protection and defense of our sovereignty and territory is a national obligation,” the group’s statement said.
The group asked President Rodrigo Duterte to withdraw his statements on the West Philippine Sea issue which do not reflect with the national interest. You may visit the link here.
“We would like to appeal to the President, together with the many other groups, various alumni groups requesting the President to retract some of his statements which do not conform with our national interest.”
On that note, retired Gen. Orlando de Leon, former deputy commander of the Western Mindanao Command (WESMINCOM) took to Facebook to express his sentiment on the matter in a FB post with the title, “Patriotism or Political Opportunism?”.
From the get-go, De Leon quickly distanced himself from the group of so-called retired police and military generals but quick to own up and share the burden and blame with retired police and military generals for the state that our police and military are in now, not on the issue of discipline and patriotic fervor but lacking the capability to execute its mandate.
“I am a retired general. These so-called retired police and military generals do not represent the rest and majority of us. But I share with all of them the responsibility, accountability, blame and burden of the state of police and military that we have today, not on discipline and patriotic fervor, but on the capability to execute its patriotic duties.”
The retired Marine general went on to turn the tables around on Adan’s group by asking them to look themselves in the mirror before preaching. De Leon proceeded to ask the difficult questions to guide them with their introspection. In case they want to skip the self-assessment process, De Leon said that all of them, the retired generals will have blood on their hands if a shooting war happened between China and the Philippines for not doing anything when they were still in active service.
“Sirs, let us look inwardly first before we start to proselytize. What have we done to arrest the deterioration of the capabilities of our armed forces starting in 1986 to 2016? Pray tell the people and state individually your roles during that time. Why didn’t I hear anyone of us raising a voice when islands and shoals where being taken away from us in 1995 and 2012? Where were our voices when mountains and islands were being flattened to make one for the Chinese? Were we all busy protecting our careers at the expense of our patriotism, newfound at the twilight of our lives? Were our mouths muffled by other considerations? We all failed miserably Sirs. We failed those who came after us. Now, we are putting them to task to fight for our country with bolos and spears. They will, no doubt about it. Blood will be in our hands.”
De Leon advised the retired police and military generals to get out of their classrooms and look closely how President Duterte is tiptoeing his way to do a balancing act while navigating the difficult path of diplomacy because the retired police and military generals failed to armed the President with the best argument in international relations.
“You Sirs, and that does not include the rest and majority of us, are now trying to teach us about soft power, instruments of national security, national interest, etc. Sirs, get out of your classrooms. The president is exercising that at a very calculated pace because you and I have not armed him with the best argument in international relations, a credible armed forces.”
De Leon ended the FB post expressing his personal sentiment on former colleagues in the military whom he called croaking toads now but silent when they were still active.
“It is both disgusting and amusing to hear croaking toads now when nary a squeak was heard before.”
Source: Orlando de Leon