The military for BBM

By Antonio S. Lopez

A first in Philippine history, more than 123 ranking former officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, and nearly all the country’s 14 living Medal of Valor awardees, March 15 issued a manifesto expressing their “full support for the candidacy of former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as President of the Republic of the Philippines.”

In backing Bongbong Marcos Jr. (BBM) as their 17th president and commander-in-chief (CIC), the officers said:

“We invite everyone to rally around Senator Marcos as the best candidate to initiate true and genuine reforms in the institutions of our country, foster national healing and unity, and most of all, provide the support for the vast majority of our people who are most dependent on the service of the National Government. We believe Senator Marcos will care for the people, the military, the police and their families and can rally a sense of patriotism towards the national interest in light of the escalating concerns affecting the peace and security of our people.”

Citing the Constitution in issuing their declaration, the officers urged:

“At the same time, steeped as we are in our Constitutional duty to be protectors of our people, we call on all sectors of our society, irrespective of partisan preference—to preserve and respect the sovereign will of the Filipino people in the upcoming 2022 national elections. For the future of our country, of our children and our children’s children, it is incumbent upon all sectors of our society to rally behind and support whoever is chosen by our people through free, fair and honest elections. It is our Constitutional duty as citizens of the Republic to resist any and all efforts to subvert the democratic will of our people.”

They added:

“Should our people choose Senator Marcos as our next President in the elections on May 9th, we commit to him our full support for unity, peace progress—and we call on all to do the same so that he can fulfill the sovereign will of the Filipino people, and of God.”

The manifesto is an amazing development in the race to elect the 17th president.

In effect, the military wants as their next CIC the son of Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, who was ousted in 1986 in the first ever coup against a sitting president despite his having served as their commander-in-chief for 20 years.

The manifesto is a warning shot for those concerned to do these things: do not mess up the elections, do not cheat (Marcos), do not destabilize, and please count BBM’s votes. The battleline has been drawn.

The military’s declaration of support for BBM was triggered by two things: one, the Left’s attempt to disqualify before the Comelec, Marcos Jr. as candidate for president; and two, Vice President Leni Robredo seeking the support of the Communist Party of the Philippines, and its military arm, the New People’s Army which could provide warm bodies for her rallies and the crucial votes on election day.

Citing his sources, Bobi Tiglao wrote in his Manila Times column on March 14: “The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is supporting and has mobilized its forces to support the presidential bid of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo.”

Tiglao, a former communist leader himself, said “The CPP is also demanding that the Robredo camp issue a formal statement that it commits to opening peace talks with the communists, immediately when it assumes power.”

“The communist support would likely backfire against Robredo, with most Filipinos knowing the bloody track record of the communist insurgency in the country,” Tiglao predicted.

True enough, the military has been agitated by the possibility of their CIC being in bed with the communists.

The former chiefs of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the PNP and the Philippine Coast Guard who signed the pro-BBM manifesto: General Roy A. Cimatu, AFP Ret.; General Benjamin P. Defensor Jr., AFP Ret.; General Dionisio R. Santiago, AFP Ret.; General Avelino I. Razon Jr., PNP Ret.; Admiral Damian L. Carlos, PCG Ret.; Admiral Danilo A. Abinoja, PCG Ret.; and General Felimon T. Santos, AFP Ret.

The Medal of Valor Awardees who signed: Ariel O. Querubin, Noel S. Buan, Roberto Salvador, Hilario Estrella, Bienvenido Fajemolin, Leopoldo Diokno, Lucio Curig, Roy Cuenca, and Francisco Granpil.

The other generals and top officers:

Former Service/Area Commanders: Lieutenants general Raul S. Urgelio, Jaime S. delos Santos, Eugenio V. Cedo, Emmanuel R. Carta, PNP Ret.; Ireneo C. Espino, John S. Bonafos, and Vice Admiral Rene V. Medina.

Majors general Alphonsus P. Crucero, Prospero C. Noble Jr., PNP Ret.; Rear Admiral Amable B. Tolentino; Oscar F. Valenzuela, PNP Ret.; Benito T. Ramos Sr.; Andres G. Caro II, PNP Ret.; and Pete S. Soria II;

Rolando B. Tenefrancia, Romeo V. Calizo, Charles T. Calima Jr., PNP Ret.; Dan M. Servando, Francisco Don Montenegro, Cipriano E. Querol Jr., PNP Ret.; 

Getulio P. Napeñas Jr., PNP Ret.; Lysander A. Suerte, Rear Admiral Aurelio A. Rabusa Jr., MNSA, CESE Ret.; Alexander F. Balutan, Remigio C. Valdez, AFP Ret.; Raul M. Farnacio, Eduardo S. Garado Jr., PNP Ret.;  Arnel B. Escobal, PNP Ret.; Tyne T. Bañas, Ariel R. Caculitan, Edgard A. Arevalo, William L. Ilagan,

Brigadiers General Edgardo L. Maristela, PNP Ret.; Godofredo D. Rabara, Carlito F. Gamit, Wilfredo V. Garcia, PNP Ret.; Errol T. Pan, PNP Ret.; Brigadier General Rodulfo D. Diaz, and Commodore Rafael V. Dacanay.

Brigadiers General Felizardo M. Simoy, Arnolfo B. Palmea, Commodore Raul B. Leyritana, Mariano R. Veloria, Pedro P. Biasbas, Guillermo C. Paguio, PNP Ret.; 

Brigadiers general Ernesto R. Aradanas, Ricardo B. Butalid Jr., Romeo F. Fajardo, Arthur P. Ang, Inocencio M. Mayangao, Jose Ernesto E. Fernandez Jr., Alex Capiño, Rodrigo T. Diapana, Allan F. Martin, Ronald N. Albano, Diosdado G. Ramos, PNP Ret.; Rafael A. Sera Jose, Jesse A. Alvarez,

Pedro A. Sumayo Jr., Joselito E. Kakilala, Robert E. Ganzon, PNP Ret.; Franklin R. Mabanag, PNP Ret.; Johnny L. Macanas, Ricardo L. Nepomuceno,

Rolando C. Manalo, Virgilio B. Bartolome, Commodore Alberto A. Cruz, Antonio Lastimado, Romeo Ver, PNP Ret.; and Brigadier General Ralph L. Mamauag.