OPINION: AFP perpetuates and rewards a fraud

Buddy Gomez

Posted at Sep 09 2016 01:20 AM

Did you know that our tax money--PhP 20,000.00--is being given to Imelda Marcos, monthly and for life, for being a widow of a “Medal of Valor” awardee? This has been going on since 1994, statements made before the Supreme Court reveal. I bet you did not even know about it! There never was any public disclosure.

This was an unintended revelation that came out last Wednesday when the Solicitor General Jose Calida argued before the Supreme Court, while defending the order of President Duterte, to have the dessicated remains of the late deposed dictator President Marcos buried in the government cemetery for national heroes. (Libingan ng mga Bayani), at public expense. 

The Solicitor General advanced the fact that the Armed Forces of the Philippines recognizes Marcos as an awardee of the “Medal of Valor, ”for heroic feats performed in Bataan." In fact, as if to strengthen his argument, the SolGen declared that the widow, Imelda, has been receiving the alleged hero’s monthly gratuity, as the surviving spouse. Therefore, he must be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani! 

Calida further adds: “Once the Medal of Valor is awarded….it cannot be nullified.” 

But historians have proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that the awardee, Marcos, is a certified and documented fraud! 

Evidently, the government’s top lawyer is oblivious of what “void ab initio” means. (a nullity from the beginning)

Unwittingly, Calida’s argument has likewise confirmed that the Armed Forces of the Philippines is not only perpetuating a fraud. Our tax money is even being expensed to glorify a scoundrel.

THE MEDAL OF VALOR

The Medal of Valor is the highest military award given to members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines for “acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.” In the particular instance of President Marcos, it was conferred upon him by President Carlos P. Garcia in 1958, 16 years after the occurrence of the alleged exploits he was awarded for! 

The award recommendation was signed by then-AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen Alfonso Arellano, supported by affidavits based on a recitation of falsified claims, prepared long after the war! These supporting documents are in the custody of the AFP today. I am confident, these documents will not survive a cursory read-through by an amateur historian.

This award became a major ingredient of an elaborate retrospective myth-making that Marcos engaged in for political aggrandizement objectives. History tells us that he was able to successfully parlay this fiction towards his campaign for the Presidency in 1965 which he won.

READ: Marcos' 'Major' Escapade

More than a major military ritual, it appears that the award was a political accommodation given to then Congressman Ferdinand E. Marcos of the 2nd District of Ilocos Norte. It is common knowledge that Marcos’s claim of war time exploits, medals, awards and accomplishment has long been subjected to various exhaustive researches by scholars and skeptics over the years. 

There is absolutely nothing that has been able to overturn nor refute the volumes of proven false claims and attendant skullduggeries committed by Marcos. Yet, the AFP persists upon keeping Marcos in its roster of veterans as a major in rank and as an awardee of the Medal of Valor. 

PUBLIC MONEY FOR PERSONAL VANITY

Borrowing a leaf from the Supreme Court’s wisdom as expressed during the interpellation of the Solicitor General last Wednesday (“You cannot use public money for a political promise”), we likewise pose a query following the same thread. Why must public money be expended for the personal and private aggrandizement and memorialization of a proven war fraud? Can the AFP prove Marcos is not a fraud?

The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Department of National Defense have an obligation to the Filipino taxpayers to openly inform the country what is the basis, what are the documents in their possession, to justify recognizing the dead President with the rank of a major and as an awardee of the military’s highest award, and pay his widow a life-time gratuity of PhPesos 20,000.00 a month of public money!

Would the military authorities be gallant enough to volunteer and share all the Marcos documents they have in their archives? Will they yield to a Freedom of Information request or will they play hard ball and wait for a lawsuit duly filed in the proper court of justice to enforce full disclosure?

NOT CONTENT WITH SURVIVING THE BATAAN DEATH MARCH 

There is absolutely no doubt that Ferdinand E. Marcos survived the Bataan Death March. As a matter of record, he was a “provisionary 3rd Lieutenant” when he was called to active duty in November of 1941 at the very outset of World War II. He was still a Lieutenant when they reached the concentration camp in Capas, Tarlac. 

Furthermore, no one in the batch of ‘provisionary 3rd lieutenants’ called to active duty at the same time had been promoted to a rank higher than ‘Lieutenant.’ Beyond that, everything but everything else about Marcos’ war claims is hallucinatory and fictitious. And in many instances, criminal in nature.

READ: Marcos, according to Marcos

It is time that the leadership of the Philippine military come to terms with and be able to handle the truth. Only then can they exorcise themselves of Marcos’ ghost. 

DESTROY MARCOS' MYTH

The military must destroy Marcos’ retrospective myth.

The recitation of events and supposed supporting affidavits upon which the Armed Forces of the Philippines continues to venerate Marcos as a “Medal of Valor” awardee are patent falsehoods. 

There is absolutely no record that will show Marcos was ever promoted to captain. So why does the AFP persist in keeping him as a “major?” 

Marcos was never, repeat never wounded during the entire Bataan debacle. Yet he claimed multiple Purple Heart medals.

Must public money be expended to perpetuate and reward a fraud?

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.