Wednesday, December 5, 2007

History never ends

There are people who believe that Senator A.
Trillanes should have died during the takeover of the
Manila Peninsula Hotel last 29 November. In our
culture, self-immolation transforms one into a hero.
Salvador Allende, intellectual, former president of
Chile, died defending his position during a bloody
coup d’etat in the 1970’s. To this day, visitors want
to see the exact spot where he was killed, to whisper
a silent prayer. Unlike General Gregorio del Pilar
who died in a blaze of glory, poor Pres. Emilio
Aguinaldo lived too long. Need I mention Senator Ninoy
Aquino whose untimely death overthrew a dictatorship.

Perhaps, I am one of the few who believe that Sen.
Trillanes and Gen. Lim should try their best to stay
alive; it may be noble to die for the Filipino but
nobler it is to live for them. We have too many dead
heroes who could have done so much more had they
stayed alive. Needless to say, I will not be
surprised if people chastise me for associating
Trillanes and Lim with heroism.

There is really nothing else Sen.
Trillanes and Gen. Lim can do to change their fate.
Both will be in prison for as long as they live as
they have been meted many life sentences for alleged
crimes from rebellion to treason to economic sabotage.
They will be made to suffer all kinds of physical and
psychological indignities to break their will and
spirit.

Lt. Trillanes was allowed to run for the
senate on the mistaken assumption that he had no
chance but to everyone’s surprise, he garnered 10
million votes. Were he allowed to take his seat, I am
quite sure that the exhausting process of lawmaking
would have neutralized his “rebellious “ nature. The
present dispensation, like previous administrations,
refuse to learn from history; they forgot about Luis
Taruc et al.

What I fear most is the death of idealism. If memory
serves, during the Oakwood “mutiny”, military officers
themselves were wondering about the training and
education imparted at the Philippine Military academy.
Were the graduates becoming too idealistic? Idealism
was made to sound subversive, like some kind of
contagious disease that is best extirpated. I was
truly alarmed.

All right, so an APC (armed personnel carrier) rammed
its way through the lobby of the Manila Peninsula
which everyone agreed was over kill. Don’t they watch
the C&S series on TV? –a friend asked rather
flippantly. Even Margie Moran knows how to rappel
buildings, I once saw her do it at a Davao Tourism
fair. I doubt if Trillanes and Lim shook with fear
and awe at the sight of those APCs, battle- weary
soldiers are quite used to that; but, we ordinary
mortals got the message loud and clear.

Senator A. Trillanes and Gen. D. Lim have no other
alternative but to continue doing what they have been
doing these past years, reminding us of corruption in
government and the urgent need for drastic reforms in
the military. According to my favorite historian, we
ordinary citizens should join and/or form movements
and campaigns to promote various advocacies, be it the
environment, anti-corruption, human rights, heritage,
cultural revival and other noble causes. All these
are like ripples, waves and currents that will
eventually form confluences, conjunctures and turning
points that will bring about the moment, a period,
even an era during which we can make the structural
changes required and desired. Do not lose heart,
history never ends. (gemma601@yahoo.com)




_________________________________________

3 comments:

yusuf said...

While i agree with many of the points raised by Sen. Trillanes and General Lim, especially with regards to the ever rising levels of corruption and impunity of those responsible for this corruption, I disagree with their method. First of all, a five star hotel is not the proper venue for a coup. Though I often disagree with Sen. Enrile, he did have a point when he said today that at least he and then Constabulary chief Fidel Ramos undertook their military action in a military camp rather than in a 5 star hotel. Secondly, as a great grand nephew of General Gregorio del Pilar (my great grandfather was his first cousin), I am really quite ashamed for these Philippine military rebels who think that a coup means staging a press conference in a 5 star hotel, and quickly surrendering thereafter. Call me a romantic, but I still find the true ideal of a soldier in the 16th century samurai classic, Hagakure, which was written as a manual of bushido. It states, "The way of the warrior is found in death." These men of the AFP were not trained to be media relations experts or lobbyists. They were trained to be warriors.

Lito Gelano said...

Great chronicle of Philippne [sagwa d colonial name - must be changed for the dignity of the nation, somthing to work on soonest]life: politics, patriotism or rebellion, etc. Who else can write about these but Aling Gemma, our first International beauty queen or the first beauty queen with sustance between her ears. Hope everybody reads these wonderful accounts. More power to you Mam.

Anonymous said...

You wrote that " . . . it may be noble to die for the Filipino, but nobler it is to live for (Sen. Trillanes and Gen. Lim)." I must say that I, too, believe that they should stay alive.

A statement attributed to Gen. George S. Patton states: "Nobody ever won a war by dying for his country; you win a war by making that sorry [expletive] die for his country."

I think it's apropos for those who arrested Sen. Trillanes and Gen. Lim to die for the masters who ordered them to make the arrests. Supporting a corrupt government is tantamount to treason!