The House finally approved the amnesty bill for the military protestors who are better tagged as “conscientious objectors” rather than “mutineers.” This brings the nation closer to an act that is long overdue: A recognition of the protest actions of the Bagong Katipuneros (a.k.a. Magdalos) led by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and Para sa Bayan (PsB) of Gen. Danilo Lim as just and courageous.
These soldiers are finally getting the justice they deserve even as the truly guilt-riddled Gloria Arroyo generals such as Reyes, Esperon, Ebdane, Mendoza, Espinosa, et al. remain scot-free for their gang rape of the Constitution in 2001 and their continuing transgressions thereafter, including the 2004 “Hello Garci” episode and their rape of the national coffers by partaking in the feeding frenzy throughout nine-and-a-half years of Arroyo’s misrule.
Instead of helping and supporting these conscientious and patriotic soldiers, a mainstream newspaper has joined the ranks of some Joker Arroyo factotums in Congress, i.e. Edcel Lagman and company, to demand an apology as condition for the amnesty.
But amnesty, as distinguished from a pardon, has never required an admission of anything. Even as the latter can only be granted after a conviction, the former is unconditional and erases whatever charges there are. Every lawyer worth his salt confirms this — most notably Alan Paguia, who backs up competence with proven integrity. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, probably the only Cabinet member who enjoys some degree of credibility, has likewise buttressed this position.
The fact is, this grant of amnesty, albeit political, is a recognition of the overwhelmingly moral justification for what Sen. Sonny Trillanes, Gen. Danny Lim, and their men did as part of their bounden duty as citizens — and even greater responsibility as “soldiers of the people” — to defend our nation from the treason committed by the corrupt and rapacious usurpers in government.
The people had already twice “amnestied” these patriotic soldiers: First in the electoral victory of Senator Trillanes in 2007 and secondly in the most recent elections where Gen. Danilo Lim obtained a sizeable number of votes but obstructed from actual victory by the “Hocus PCOS.” All that was lacking was a formal amnesty by the “institutional” authorities that the military, police and government organizations recognized.
The Inquirer, hewing to the line of those factotums, issued an editorial on Nov. 24, 2010, saying: “We wonder if he (Gen. Danilo Lim) is aware of the irony of it all. The protector-of-the-people provision was one of those post-Marcos innovations in the Constitution, designed precisely to prevent the use of the Armed Forces for political or partisan purposes. Lim joined the service at a time when the AFP had been completely corrupted by Marcos, when officer and men, like Lim himself, thought it was only natural for them to take an active part both in government and in business. The new provision was designed to help reorient the thinking of the military, to remove them from the exercise of political power and to demilitarize the political culture. Now, Lim cites this very provision as his justification for attempting to seize political control.”
But what supreme irony! The Inquirer conveniently omits the fact that it was that very same provision used by the Edsa II coup plotters to oust a popular and duly-elected president, a historic transgression which that leading Yellow army paper had stoked, supported and reveled at.
The leading role of the military generals in the Edsa II coup was openly boasted, as Gloria Arroyo was caught on video acknowledging the generals involved, from Espinosa, Mendoza, to Ebdane and many others, one by one. Then, there’s that infamous statement from Angelo Reyes, confirmed by witnesses, who told the busload of generals he waylaid to the Edsa shrine: “Gentlemen, we are committing treason.” The SYM (Sorry Yellow Movement) confirms all these.
Unlike the Yellows and the Arroyo generals, Trillanes and Lim never went against any legitimate government. And in Gloria’s case, her regime was not only an illegitimate government twice over but one that was horrendously corrupt and had gravely impoverished the nation. Trillanes, et al. raised the issue of corruption in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that opened a Pandora’s box of cases, including Gen. Carlos Garcia’s multi-hundred million scams.
The Magdalos focused our attention on the plight of officers and men who died in the frontlines for lack of communication as well as medical equipment and supplies while higher officers diverted funds to graft and arms to insurgents who could pay for them. The indignation of the idealistic Magdalo and Para sa Bayan soldiers grew even more after the miscarriage of the 2004 elections which Arroyo generals Esperon, et al. stole in broad daylight for their principal.
The Inquirer harps that Lim “subverts the fundamental principle of civilian supremacy over the military… effectively trains the guns the people have provided the military, not on enemies of society, but on the people themselves… Not least, it gives unelected men and women like Lim the right to intervene.”
Yet the unelected and unelectable elite participated in 2001 with their treasonous and corrupt AFP generals to subvert the will of the people that saw the overwhelming victory of President Joseph Estrada in 1998.
In May 2001 at the gates of Malacañang, unarmed Edsa III protesters were fired at in defense of the illegal (and Yellow) Arroyo regime, bloodying and killing dozens. The SYM has already said mea culpas for these. But the Inquirer, instead of showing integrity by apologizing, still attempts to coddle the treasonous and corrupt by perpetuating the lies.