After the fatal bungling of the Quirino Grandstand hostage negotiations, the last thing that President Noynoy Aquino needs are restive members of the military chain of command.
What the Quirino Grandstand hostage taking shows (along with the Oakwood mutiny) is the ease with which the police and military can just take out their grievances on the public at large.
The Aquino administration was caught by surprise by the Quirino Grandstand hostage taking, but then again, how could anyone have known that such a thing would happen? The answer is that you don't know when such things will happen, but it is best to assume that such a thing is bound to happen -- given certain events in recent history. Perhaps the key is to find these legitimate grievances enough so that it can be appropriately addressed.
President Noynoy Aquino is now in a position to grant promotions to officers in the military and how he hands out those promotions will have a direct impact on the next few months of his administration. Promotions are ideally rewards for the merit that an officer has demonstrated consistently and Aquino should cleave to this ideal.
Towards the furtherance of Professionalism
By: General Ed Cabanlig
The ascendancy of a dispensation that would manage the affairs of a nation customarily follows the designation of people to important positions in government. The Armed Forces is not an exception because of the civilian authority clause in the constitution which empowers the President, as the Commander in Chief, to exercise. This axiom must be fostered in the profession of Arms to insure national stability.
To further emphasize this institutional tenet, the constitution provides in Art XVI sec 5 (3) that “Professionalism in the Armed Forces shall be a prime concern of the state……….. The Armed Forces shall be insulated from partisan politics”.
The nation’s legislatures enacted RA 291 as amended, to insure that the selection for promotion of officer in the AFP would undergo rigid institutional processes that would dispel perceived abuse of power thereby sparing the process from political intervention.
Latest events unfortunately brought to fore certain perceptions that the selection process did not conform to the intent and letter of RA 291 as implemented by AFP SOP number 10. The association is alarmed by this development. RA 291 and its implementing regulation SOP 10 has been perfected through years of thorough review and corresponding change. Any violation or deviation from the prescribed provisions would severely affect the character that marks military professionalism. A call is therefore in order for decision makers specially if they are members of the association, to uphold the principles enshrined in our laws. The mark of professionalism is the ability to uphold the institution of law.
May we also suggest to our fellow Alumni to support the enactment of a law that will fix the term of the AFP Chief of Staff. This will further ensure professionalism in that the position of the Chief of Staff will not be subject to undue manipulation to exact personal loyalty. This is one legislation that is long overdue.