My news feed today was flooded with familiar news snippets but one particular link caught my attention. It was a link to Daily Tribune's online article about a manifesto issued by Reformist Officers United (ROU).
Google did not yield much information about ROU; nothing that is not a repost of Daily Tribune's post today, September 12, 2013. I have the impression that it is a newly formed group of disgruntled military personnel or it is an old group that has no penchant for posting their activities online.
While reading this, I have to remind myself that the manifesto is actually hitting on PNoy's administration and not on Gloria's. My mind wanders carelessly into thinking that they are describing the era that was PGMA's. Where are they when the scam that was "Hello Garci" broke? When the ZTE Broadband Deal was exposed?
I am looking for an online copy of the Manifesto as featured in Daily Tribune. Unfortunately, I only saw reposts of the same news. Why is it not made available to other media entities? Why only in Daily Tribune? Or did I miss a website that posted ROU's manifesto?
If this manifesto is genuine and not just a creative writing project of some bright scholars to poison the minds of the Filipinos, it is but a threat to the Filipino nation. We shall be thrown into, God forbid,a state of war. The timing of its release is impeccable: Think of Zamboanga and Basilan and MNLF, BIFF, MILF, and Abu Sayyaf vis–à–vis the pork barrel scam investigation, Janet Napoles, Benhur, Jinggoy, Manong Johnny, Bong, and Gringo. There are too many conspiracy theorists in the Internet. Count me in.
I am reposting the entire article here:
"Signs of unrest have again manifested in the military ranks as a group which called itself the Reformist Officers United (ROU) issued a manifesto yesterday declaring a stand to “save the country from further ruin and continue the unfinished revolution of our forefathers, the true nationalists of the 1896 Philippine Revolution.”
"The manifesto, called an “Article of Faith,” carried the signatures of representatives from all the military commands, the Philippine Army, the Philippine Air Force, the Philippine Navy, the Philippine Marines and the Presidential Security Guard, and civilian security agencies Philippine National Police, Coast Guard and the National Bureau of Investigation. The names in the manifesto, however, are all likely pseudonyms.
"The ROU said it reached a “crucial decision,” which it did not state clearly, after many of its supposed members attended the recent rally at the Luneta Park or the Million People March on Aug. 26.
"The decision was arrived at “after much contemplation of the political, social, economic and national security situations that turned from bad to worse, after we have vetted our organization, purged its ranks of opportunists and fake nationalists and after we have consulted some of our elders in the military, legal profession, farmers and those from the business, church, academe, labor and civil society groups.”
“Rest assured, together we will win this battle if possible with less bloodshed,” the ROU said in the manifesto.
“We are very much aware of the colonial and neo-colonial circumstances which have denied us the chance to discover our national self and to establish our identity and discover how much our dignity is really worth,” it stated.
"The group added that the government and many of the country’s leaders have been “weak, corrupt, venal, insensitive and self-serving.”
"As a result, foreign powers in the name of friendship and business partnership have interfered in our affairs with impunity, manipulating us, playing with our lives, our country and our destiny, the ROU added.
"The group was clearly critical of the administration of President Aquino saying that his government “is no different from his mother’s regime, characterized by callous shamelessness propped up by endless popularity surveys.”
"It added that the Aquino administration stages spurious public shows of piety and compassion.
“It goes through the motions of apologizing for numerous blunders in public yet committed the unforgivable sin of blasphemy to shield its depravity,” the group said.
"It described the Aquino administration as being in the shameful tradition of the Makabebes, who betrayed the Philippine Revolution of 1896, and the even more notorious Makapilis who sent many Filipinos to their death (in World War II).
“Pnoy’s government has repeatedly frustrated the honest aspirations of our people by offering its fanciful and deceitful brand of democracy, economy and political lifestyle to unscrupulous foreigners and appealing directly for their intervention to save it from the wrath of long-suffering populace with legitimate grievances,” the ROU added.
"The group added Aquino has been deceiving the armed forces into “fighting its battles of self-aggrandizement while undermining the military at every turn. It tells its armed service to fight terrorism without credible laws to protect them and the people.”
“Many of our men have already died of loss of blood fighting a war they do not even understand,” the group added.
"It said occasionally, Aquino throws the military a bone to chew on, like guard dogs to be placated from hunger and reject.
“More than 70,000 of our men in uniform are living as squatters in the urban centers as well as in the countryside,” it added.
"The Aquino administration has reduced the once-proud military and police organization into a private security force, dedicated to perpetuate its status quo.
"The group added that a Gestapo-like counter intelligence organization is being maintained by the government “not to spy on the real enemies of the State but to spy endlessly on the office corps, rank-and-file, their families and other innocent targets.”
“From the first day, Pnoy, using useless advocacy of Matuwid na Daan, has actually steered by one direction alone, that of private gains and mindless arrogance,” the ROU added.
"For more than three long, unhappy years (Aquino) has drifted with neither will nor ability to govern, muddling through all our national crises, setting a record of corruptions and plunder, incompetence and clumsiness, it said.
"The solutions offered “have been short-sighted, meaningless palliatives and rhetorics that leave the people more frustrated than ever.”
"The ROU said the Aquino administration excelled in only two things: the enrichment of its clique and self-congratulations.
“What is more unconscionable is that (Aquino) even lionized Janet Lim-Napoles, who stole public funds and enriched herself and unscrupulous politicians. She cannot deny this because there are witnesses and highly incriminating pieces of evidence that will send them to jail the rest of their lives. This is not the right time to read a bill of particular. That will come later,” it added.
"The group said that only a few days ago while the political crisis was evolving, (Aquino) apologized to the nation and appealed to the public to support his presidency and the rule of law.
“His conscience has become so compartmentalized he does not realize that the very men and women he asked for help were the same men and women victimized by his government’s corruption, plunder, arrogance and incompetence,” it said.
"Daily, the public “contend with (Aquino’s)mismanagement, extravagance, arrogance and sexual escapades, it claimed.
“They suffer the high prices and the low wages. They suffer the scarcity of jobs. They suffer the absence of transportation, water shortage and high fuel prices. They suffer the breakdown of law and order, moral decay and endless salvaging,” it added.
"The group also lamented that the Aquino regime has the gall to ask for help from the very people they continued to deprive of their rights and their dignity.
“Pnoy even asked the men in uniform to die for his government and his brand of illiberal democracy. But will they, these people on whose tongues linger the acrid tastes of disillusion, betrayal and greed?,” it added.
"The ROU said it has “allies in the civilian sectors” and will offer the country, “not the tarnished version of EDSA 1986, cheapened and exploited beyond recognition, but the revolutionary spirit of 1896 and its noble dream, a dream filled with a fierce yearning for change: true independence, a sovereign nation, a just and wise government, genuine nationalism, respect for the rule of law, freedom in its best sense and reconciliation.”
“In short, genuine democracy as the Filipino revolutionaries of 1896 installed but only fleetingly enjoyed before decades of subjugation, tyranny and pretense that saw our resources exploited and our values warped and perverted,” the group said.
"It called on “friends and guests from foreign lands” who the group said it gives respects to their “sovereignty, culture, individuality and business interests.”
“We implore you in the name of our country not to interfere anymore with our internal affairs,” it said.
"It also appealed to media “to be fair and responsible in your reporting.”
“We will not hesitate to fight fire with fire those who will stand in our way and undermine our determination to protect the State and to create a just, wise, efficient and stable society throughout the land,” the group warned.
"It said that its members will remain anonymous, for the meantime, “but in time we will get to know with one another as some of our forces are still busy garhering intelligence information, infiltrating centers of power of the Aquino Government and carefully assessing its loyal forces on the basis of their morale, command system, fighting capability, intelligence and material supplies.”
"It said that since the 1986 EDSA Revolution, the Filipino masses “still huddled in their hovels, exploited, hungry and dispossessed. Our bureaucracy is corrupt and inefficient.”
“There is systems failure everywhere. The entire country is deregulated in favor of the elite and their crook foreign partners. Prices of basic commodities keep on rising while workers’ wages remain the same,” it added."The group also said there is no peace and order. “The simplest public services cannot be delivered. Our military is demoralized and shot through with politics. Our judicial system does not work. The guilty go free; the innocent are framed.”"The ROU said the country’s strength is vitiated by corruption, plunder and ignorance in high places. “When we protest, the government responds with arrogance and brutality. Our elections are farces, contests of force and money, or sleight-of-hand spewed by computers and automated machines,” it added."
So it would be less bloody if possible. Are we ready for a revolution ala-1896 with less bloodshed, "if possible"?
While reading it, I sensed a faint smell of poison in the air. People, did you detect it?
By the way, am I the only one who noticed that ROU sounds like "AR-RO-YO"? Clever. Very clever. Or is it just a coincidence? Meh.
Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Be safe, everyone!