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Home Columns Reinventing the Philippines Reinventing the Philippine Military to Prevent the Coming of a Junta
Reinventing the Philippine Military to Prevent the Coming of a Junta PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Reinventing the Philippines
Tuesday, 15 May 2007 09:31

Part One of "Reinventing the Philippine Military" Series 


An alumnus of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) asked hypothetically this writer the possible reaction of the United States government if a military junta were to take over the Philippine government? He asked me also the probable reaction of the Filipino-American community to the rule by the Philippine military?


I answered also hypothetically. I said that the United States and Filipino Americans would not support a military takeover of the Philippine Government. But . . .  


Overseas Filipinos, especially American citizens of Philippine descent, are fed up with the apparent inability of Filipino civilian leaders and the top brass of the Philippine military to eradicate corruption in the Philippine bureaucracy and provide the basic needs of the people (housing, employment, security, economic opportunities, etc.)


The Overseas-Filipino World (OFW) may not offer much resistance to the imposition of military rule in the Philippines. I said that if the OFW, especially Filipino Americans, will not protest vehemently military rule in the homeland, American politicians might probably take a wait-and-see attitude before it “recognizes” the new Philippine government.


I said that this would be so, especially if the three PMA alumni who ran in yesterday's election for the Philippine Senate (Sen. Panfilo Lacson, and alleged coup leaders Gregorio Honasan III and Antonio Trillanes IV) were to win or even make a very strong showing. The political mandate generated by these three PMAyer-candidates would be tantamount to an argument that the military has the support of the people in moving for reforms.


But I said that a military junta is not the solution to the pressing problems of the Philippines. I opined that it would be better if the soldiers would stay in the barracks and a “reinvention” of the Philippine military were to take place in an orderly and constitutional process.

The Lesson of “Black Jack” Pershing

In reality, making the Philippines into a huge military camp would not solve the country’s problems. Military solutions have not worked in defusing the Moro rebellion in Mindanao and eliminating the threat of the New People’s Army (NPA) communist cadres. Why? Even during the American occupation of the Philippines, some of West Point’s best and brightest graduates could not defeat the Moro warriors. Gen. John J. “Black Jack” Pershing, with his training in West Point and in the Indian Wars, became the top leader of the American forces in Mindanao (actually the island's military governor) in the 1910s during the Muslim phase of the Filipino-American War. (The Christian phase of the Filipino-American War that started on Feb. 4, 1899, ended on July 4, 1902.) But he failed. General “Black Jack” could not earn a 21-gun salute and defeat the native Filipino-Muslim warriors. And there was no way of turning the pacification campaign into genocide. General Pershing failed to make a name in Mindanao. He became, however, the celebrated American hero in Europe during World War I, where he was sent after his undistinguished career in Mindanao.


Yes, General Pershing and his soldiers could defeat the Prussian and the Ottoman empires but they could not win against the Sultanate of Sulu and other Moro tribes in Mindanao.


On the other hand, President Ramon Magsaysay was able to defeat the Hukbalahap (communist) rebellion in the early 1950s by winning the hearts and minds of the rebels. Starting as the Defense Secretary of President Elpidio Quirino, Mr. Magsaysay won the psychological warfare (psy war) and brought the rebels who surrendered to Mindanao, which was then made into a Filipino version of the Biblical Promised Land. In Mindanao, the former rebels were given agricultural land and opportunities to lead new productive but peaceful lives. (Unfortunately after President Magsaysay died in a plane accident on March 17, 1957, Mindanao slowly became the Land of Broken Promises, or at least the land of promising politicians who never delivered on their promises of socioeconomic reforms.)


With due respect to the armed-forces leadership of the Philippines and to retired Gens. Fidel V. Ramos (a former Philippine President) and Panfilo Lacson and Honasan (a former senator), Trillanes and Company, military solutions have never worked in Mindanao.


Resort to military formulae has not worked either in the barrios in LuzonVisayan Islands where the communist rebels operate. The Spanish and American colonizers tried but failed to subdue the Moro Filipino freedom fighters for almost 400 years. 
 

According to Sen. Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr., the Moro leadership had assured him that one of two workable solutions is the adoption of a Federal System of Government (FSG). The other solution is to grant outright independence to the secessionist movement in Mindanao. 



The civilian leaders of the Philippines may wish to address the reforms needed for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP). If I were a top legislator of the homeland, I will file several urgent bills to “reinvent” the Philippine military. The first bill needed in reinventing the military is to change the Philippine criminal-justice system (please go to http://www.mabuhayradio.com/content/view/34/90/  if you have not read it yet).




(Click here to read Part 2 . . .)




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Last Updated on Thursday, 24 July 2014 21:26
 
Comments (2)
1 Monday, 13 December 2010 18:39
mabuhay
Dear Manong Fred and Fellow Members of our E-forum:

Thank you, Manong Fred, for letting us know of the said tidbit about Philippine history.

1.0 Arnaldo Dumindin must have referred only to the Christian phase of the Filipino-American War (from Feb. 4, 1899-July 4, 1902).

2.0 We at the Philippine History Group of Los Angeles (PHGLA, as cofounded by Ka Hector Santos and Victor Nebrida) have actually reclassified in the late 1990s the FAW into two phases: the Christian FAW and the Muslim FAW (that started sometime in 1899 to 1913 or even longer). The Muslim inhabitants of Mindanao never actually surrendered to the American colonial authorities even during the time of Gen. John J. Pershing. And to date, Christian historians of the Philippines and even the self-proclaimed historical buffs (short for buffoons) of the Filipino-American National Historical Society (FANHS) never bothered to take into account the war waged by our Muslim brethren in Mindanao against the Americans.

2.1 Proof of the Muslim phase of the FAW? Please just Google the biography of Gen. John "Black Jack" Pershing and you will read (during his second stint in the Philippines) his role in Mindanao as the military governor and in-charge of the war against the Muslim nationalists, to wit:

QUOTE: Upon returning to the United States at the end of 1909, Pershing was assigned once again to the Philippines, an assignment which he served until 1912. While in the Philippines, he served as Commander of Fort McKinley, near Manila, and also was the governor of the Moro Province. (UNQUOTE). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_J._Pershing

2.2 Here is what I wrote in passing about General Pershing in this article,
Reinventing the Philippine Military to Prevent the Coming of a Junta

URL: http://www.mabuhayradio.com/reinventing-the-philippines/reinventing-the-philippine-military-to-prevent-the-coming-of-a-junta

QUOTE. Even during the American occupation of the Philippines, some of West Point’s best and brightest graduates could not defeat the Moro warriors. Gen. John J. “Black Jack” Pershing, with his training in West Point and in the Indian Wars, became the top leader of the American forces in Mindanao (actually the island's military governor) in the 1910s during the Muslim phase of the Filipino-American War. (The Christian phase of the Filipino-American War that started on Feb. 4, 1899, ended on July 4, 1902.) But he failed. General “Black Jack” could not earn a 21-gun salute and defeat the native Filipino-Muslim warriors. And there was no way of turning the pacification campaign into genocide. General Pershing failed to make a name in Mindanao. He became, however, the celebrated American hero in Europe during World War I, where he was sent after his undistinguished career in Mindanao. UNQUOTE.

3.0 Perhaps, Ms. Amina Rasul and Sultan Rudy Dianalan, our good friends in the Filipino-Muslim community, and Ka Alex Kho, a Tausug-Filipino leader, can make the proper representations with the Philippine National Historical Commission to change formally the official account of the FAW, so as to divide it truthfully and factually into two phases, i.e., the Christian and the Muslim periods.

3.1 Ms. Amina and Sultan Rudy are given BCCs of this e-mail. Ka Alex is a member of our e-forum.

4.0 Please check the PHGLA website at this URL:
http://www.bibingka.com/phg/default.htm

For the record,

Lolo Bobby M. Reyes
Editor, www.mabuhayradio.com,
Charter Member, PHGLA, and
Co-founder, Philippine-American National Hysterical Society (PANHS, the satirical nemesis of the FANHS)

BCC: PHGLA Founders and Members

In a message dated 12/13/2010 8:55:34 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it writes:
Thanks for sharing. I may have seen this before - I am not sure. Still, being a student of Philippine history, I will find it interesting to look it up. I sent this blind to others, too. A look at our past does not hurt our plans into the future.

Fred Natividad
Livonia, Michigan

=Say nanlapuan lingawen pian antay arapen.
=Alamin ang pinang-galingan upang malaman ang paro-roonan.
=Know where we had been to guide us where we are going.

--- On Mon, 12/13/10, NestorPalugod Enriquez < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > wrote:


From: NestorPalugod Enriquez < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Subject: Philippine American War-1898-1902
To: "A N" < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Date: Monday, December 13, 2010, 11:02 AM


This is the largest photographic collection of this period in 1899-1902 that I have seen. It will take you from Ilocos to Jolo just in case you have not seen it yet. Anyone interested should check this site.




http://philippineamericanwar.webs.com/

Philippine-American War, 1899-1902

by Arnaldo Dumindin
2 Saturday, 07 September 2013 07:10
mabuhay
RE: On my series on "Reinventing the PH Military," pls read an ongoing dialogue with my Friend, Benjamin A. Samonte, a retired PMA alumnus, in this thread: https://www.facebook.com/groups/179507562157319/474575562650516/?comment_id=474577239317015 Now that there are rumors of a "Morsiquino Egyptianization" (sic) of the PH scenario, this dialogue may interest those who are in favor -- & those who are opposed -- of an idea of having a military junta take over temporarily the reins of gov't. Pls be reminded that Mr. Samonte & I & others are just discussing -- from the philosophical angles -- the topics raised in the thread. We are not advocating this or that political step.

Posted by Bobby M. Reyes in his Facebook Timeline & Other Facebook Groups to which he belongs.

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