When I submitted myself to trial in August 2006, I had faith in the system then. I did so with the full belief that no matter the quality of people who man the positions of power in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the system works, and that it would work in delivering justice. I do not have such faith anymore.
Today, the court martial will rule on the Demurrer to Evidence filed by the defense lawyers. The outcome of this trial today – dismiss or continue with the trial– will not change my loss of faith, because the damage has been done.
I see Maj. Aquino and Cpt. Divinagracia mourn their terrible losses, made even worse by their prolonged separation from beloved family members, now forever gone. Col. De Leon Col. Segumalian, Lts. Estolas and Sereno are lucky to get yearly visits from their province-based families.
I look at the upstanding officers detained with me and I see careers derailed, and the country deprived of their honest outstanding service. Worse, I see undeserving people, cowardly, callous, selfish and greedy perpetrating themselves in power, at the expense of these detainees.
This trial is indicative of much that is wrong with the present governance. It shows that discipline is demanded from – and more often than not, given by – those who do not wield power. So we pay our taxes, follow orders from our superior officers, obey the laws, submit to processes. In return our officials steal from us, evade the law, lie blatantly, cheat openly and make us out for fools. When we are hurt or oppressed by such actions no restitution is forthcoming. To them, this is justice and democracy.
There is no doubt that we are all innocent of these trumped up charges. Yet my fellow officers were unjustly detained and subjected to a choreographed trial. Our lives are being continuously hostaged by unscrupulous powerful individuals.
Definitely, we can endure the severity of detention and the bastardization of the process.
Ang nakalulungkot at nakababahala lang ay: kung nagawa nila ito sa amin, paano na ang ordinaryong sundalo at mamamayang Pilipino na walang kakayahang lumaban? Hayaan na lang ba natin na mananaig ang katiwalian, pananakot at pang aabuso ng mga nasa huwad na kapangyarihan?
This is tyranny. Tyrants must be removed. A just and humane government must be established; a government of the people, for the people and by the people.
MGEN RENATO MIRANDA PN (M) AFP