HONESTLY, I am hard put to decide if “Red October” should be classified as a comedy, a tragedy, a badly written potboiler or the trailer for a horror yet to fully unfold.
In the same vein, it is equally difficult to say whether the Armed Forces of the Philippines – or its leadership anyway – is hell-bent on protecting the commander-in-chief or deadest on helping boot him out.
One thing, however, that the AFP has consistently been reaffirming since their warnings of a supposed plot to kick Rodrigo Duterte out of office on September 21 proved to be nothing more than so much hot air is that military intelligence is, indeed, an oxymoron.
Otherwise, they wouldn’t have followed up that flop with another, if anything, even more asinine concoction as Red October?
Of course, Malacañang hasn’t been helpful in propping up its steadily plummeting image like when Duterte mouthpiece Harry Roque contradicted – citing his principal’s delusions – the denial of AFP chief Carlito Galvez that the Liberal Party and Magdalo were party to the supposed ouster plot, insisting that the “dilaw” are in deep with the “Reds” in wanting to kick his boss out.
Personally, though, I do feel kind of sad that Galvez has chosen to play this utterly inane game. My brief encounters with him covering Mindanao some years back left me with the impression of a thoroughly professional officer and gentleman who was serious about his task of helping build peace with secessionists.
And I was hoping he would continue to be so as AFP chief. It seems that was too much to hope for.
Seriously, though, the claim of Galvez and his deputy chief for operations, Brigadier General Antonio Parlade, that close to a score of Metro Manila universities are supposedly in on the Red October plot bears close watching.
Not because they are accurate. They even included a non-existent school – Caloocan City College.
If their intelligence was worth a peso of the billions government throws their way, they could have done a quick Google search and learned that there is a University of Caloocan City that used to go by the names Caloocan City Community College and Caloocan City Polytechnic College.
It’s equally ludicrous for them to say the plot involves showing films on the evils of the Marcos dictatorship and equate these to the current administration.
Here are just two reasons why:
First, universities and colleges worth their salt SHOULD make it their task to educate their students on the evils of the Marcos regime, not only, as in this case, to mark the dictator’s declaration of martial law in 1972.
Second, it doesn’t take rocket science to realize that the Duterte administration can, in many ways, be said to be worse than Marcos’. Hell, the sheer scope alone of the extrajudicial killings committed in the course of the war on drugs, egged on by Duterte’s “kill, kill, kill” mantra should be enough to convince all but the willfully blind.
Besides, isn’t it absurdly redundant to be a warning of a rebel plot to – gasp! – undermine and overthrow the government, something they have openly espoused ever since the founding of the Communist Party of the Philippines on December 26, 1968?
It is just as preposterous as the generals’ claim that the continuing protests against the abuses and misgovernance of Duterte are meant to goad him into declaring martial law, although to be honest, I see this is an ingenious stroke that actually undermines the commander-in-chief and makes it unlikely he will do what he is supposed to so as not to appear overreacting to provocation.
I think it is clear that Messrs. Galvez and Parlade are laying down the grounds for a crackdown on dissent while, at the same time, driving a wedge between the forces arrayed against Duterte by “clearing” the LP, Magdalo and the like.
That way, they can hedge their bets, seeming to shield their current commander-in-chief while, at the same time, ingratiating themselves with what they see as the most likely replacements should things come to a head.
One word of caution, though, for Galvez and Parlade and, yes, the AFP, PNP and government in general. Be careful what you wish for. The best way to spark and stoke revolution is to pain all youth as rebels.
I do hope I am wrong and that this, in the end, will only be one man’s opinion.
I am really beginning to hate it when I get it right about the increasingly worsening mess we are in.
October 05, 2018
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