Editorial: To live up to a soldier's creed

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014


THE photo shared by davatoday.com in its website of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte and freed Corporal Rogelio Rosales of the 60th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army shows the mayor smirking at the soldier. Disgust clear in his face.

What's the mayor apparently angry about? The claim that the soldier was captured while escorting illegal logs, and being caught with a sachet of shabu in his possession.

Of course, Cpl. Rosales should have his day in court regarding these allegations, but everyone by this time should know the deep-seated anger the mayor has against illegal drugs. Throw in illegal logs in typhoon Pablo-devastated Compostela Valley, where the typhoon's devastation was made worse by the deforested mountains, and you can now imagine how that photo came to be: a smirking mayor, disdain in his face.

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The mayor said that he never wanted to work for the soldier's release, except that the soldier's mother sought him out. It was the mother's plea that softened his stance. But the disdain cannot be denied.

For his part, the corporal said that he only had a few 2x2 lumber for his house and that these were for his house. Small logging, he referred to it.

The fact remained that a sachet of shabu was found in his possession. The soldier himself admitted having it, claiming he was depressed but further claimed he was not a regular user.

Sad.

Being a soldier, a man who has sworn to defend the people and authorized to be carrying guns and ammo, the least that people can expect from them is that they are in good mental states. Drugs, especially meth reputedly muddles ones brains. It's definitely not cure for depression.

As what drug use does often to the user, the corporal is now in deeper trouble than when he got caught, let's just hope that his superiors would know how to handle him and his depression.

This is a warning bell on the military to check on its people regularly, to make sure that not only are its men in high morale, but are also following the strict and straight path required of their uniform. Idealistic, yes, but that is what the uniform is really all about. They simply have to live up to it.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 21, 2014.

Opinion

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