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Columns - JGL Eye
Written by Joseph G. Lariosa   
Thursday, 10 June 2010 19:10

 

JGL Eye

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

(Journal Group Link International)

Philippine General Bangit Must Go!

 

Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.—Gen. Douglas MacArthur

 

C HICAGO (JGLi) – When legendary Gen. Douglas MacArthur spoke before the joint session of the U.S. Congress after he was fired by President Harry Truman for insubordination, he was best remembered for his quote, “Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.” He later admitted that this quote was not his original but from one of the popular "barrack ballads" he had heard as a cadet at West Point, where he graduated at the top of his class.

 

General MacArthur would later become commander of the Department of the Philippines (1928-30) before a mainland posting as Army chief of staff (1930-35).

 

I am bringing this matter up of one of the best-known and revered American military leaders of World War II because he casts a giant shadow over Philippine military leaders, notably Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Delfin Bangit, who is placed in an unpleasant dilemma whether to follow the dictates of his outgoing commander-in-chief or the incoming commander-in-chief.

 

General Bangit should realize that if the incoming commander-in-chief in President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino would express his ideas, using his spokesman, he should realize that it was as if President-elect, who was the one actually speaking, unless Mr. Aquino was misquoted.

 

If General Bangit does not get the drift by misinterpreting the import of the unmistakable message, he does not deserve to stay in his post any longer. This means he does not have the trust of President-elect Aquino and he has lost his delicadeza (sense of propriety).

 

Ditto with the incoming Philippine Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, who along with the reported more than 4,000 appointees, are considered midnight appointees of outgoing President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

 

OBEY BEFORE YOU COMPLAIN

 

A good soldier obeys before he complains.

 

General Bangit should realize by now that the incoming President Aquino has a unique, unflappable demeanor. He is not wishy-washy.

 

When Mr. Aquino said he wants to be sworn in by an associate justice of the Supreme Court, not the Chief Justice, because of the unconstitutionality of the CJ’s appointment (let’s remember that the Supreme Court is not above the Constitution), he sticks by it.

 

By keeping his word of honor, that is, by doing what he says and saying what he does, Mr. Aquino is just being pragmatic.

 

When President-elect Aquino says that General Bangit cannot stay as military chief for one more year or until his retirement in July 2011, it speaks volume.

 

Its translation means, he should now – not next year – tender his resignation as Philippine Armed Forces Chief of Staff like what General Jesus Verzosa did and never expect if his incoming boss will keep him or not.

 

When my parents would tell me to stop, I always tried to listen. I did not want to get my ear pinched.

 

He should never second-guess his new boss, who has the power to “fire-and-hire” for a position that he holds. Civilians are always superior to the military in a constitutional democracy.

 

A mistake that General MacArthur committed.

 

General MacArthur was an appointee under President Franklin Roosevelt Administration as commander of the United States Allied forces in the southwest Pacific.

 

But after Roosevelt died and a new President – Harry Truman – took over, the equation had changed.

 

MACARTHUR’S WATERLOO

 

A ccording to historical records, after North Korea invaded South Korea, President Truman ordered Air Force and Navy forces into Korea on June 27, 1945 in what is called a “bastard war” (an undeclared war).

 

U. S. Forces, under General MacArthur landed at Inchon and inflicted great losses on the North-Korean forces. UN forces (U. S. and Allies) pursued North-Korean forces to the border of China on Nov. 20.

 

To the great surprise of General MacArthur, Chinese forces crossed the border into Korea on Nov. 26, routing UN forces and putting them in jeopardy. After a re-gathering of forces, Gen. MacArthur advocated attacking Chinese bases in Manchuria, blockading the Chinese coast, and reinforcing the UN command with Nationalist-Chinese troops from Taiwan.

 

When denied permission by President Truman to risk war with China, Gen. MacArthur tried to bypass the President by writing the Speaker of the House of Representatives, thinking he could obtain Congressional support for his mission.

 

Awakened of the news of MacArthur's "sabotage". At that moment he could no longer tolerate his insubordination, Mr. Truman had considered firing MacArthur many times previous to this, but this was the last straw. Actually, the order of Dec. 6, which General MacArthur had disobeyed, was explicit enough to warrant court-martial proceedings.

 

The Foreign Secretary complained that MacArthur wanted a war with China, and his leadership could no longer be tolerated. On Apr. 6, a meeting was held with President Truman to determine how to get rid of MacArthur. Mr. Truman insisted, "I'm going to fire him right now.”

 

General MacArthur was ordered to turnover his command at once to Lt. General Matthew Ridgway. General Omar Bradley warned Truman that if MacArthur heard about the orders before they reached him officially he might resign with an arrogant flair. Truman exclaimed, "He isn't going to resign on me, I want him fired.” General MacArthur's dismissal was announced on late-night radio.

 

Mr. MacArthur accepted the unsurprising news impassively. He said that he had never disobeyed orders, and that his dismissal was a plot in Washington to weaken the American position in the Far East. # # #

 

Editor’s Notes: To contact the author, please e-mail him at:

 (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

 

Please read also two full-length articles written by Jose Caedo of San Francisco, California, about Gen. Douglas MacArthur:

 

The MacArthur Experience (Part I)

 

MacArthur’s Philippine Experience (Part II) 

 

 


Last Updated on Thursday, 10 June 2010 19:45
 
Comments (1)
1 Sunday, 13 June 2010 22:11
I just want to remind the author that until LACIERDA, or AQUINO for that matter assume leadership, Bangit IS the AFP Chief of Staff. Aquino is not YET the C-in-C. There's no honor in resignation, and people should understand that beyond all facade, Bangit is still a soldier, not a police.

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