This is another classic example of the dangers of playing with other people’s money. Greed along with its twin, avarice.
Long before the news of Major General Carlos F. Garcia's plunder of the military funds came into focus, soldiers were already complaining, albeit silently, about failures of their military arsenal in the midst of battle along with the lack of or inferior military gear. This was proven when a report from a leading network, covering the war effort, made a broadcast on the conditions of soldiers in
I may not be a destitute or that fully padded, but what little I have, I worked my ass off honestly for. My former job had me exposed in handling millions of pesos, in cash, which I could make disappear in a flash and still appear accounted for, but I was never tempted to do so. Not even during the hardest of times. And I'm proud of that fact. There was even a running joke in the office when I bungled up making a check, they said: "Ayan kasi, ayaw sa intsik, gusto lagi encash." So, it is hard for me to be impressed or even jealous of sons or daughters of other military officers most especially if said sons or daughters are known bums and just living off their family's questionable assets. I may be startled a bit at first, but that's just about it. There are still lots of them here in
June of this year, another Major General and a Staff Sergeant faced a court marshal. Major General Jose T. Barbieto and his co-accused Staff Sergeant Roseller Echipare was charged and investigated for possible violations of Article of War 55 (Officer Making Unlawful Enlistment), Article of War 96 (Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman), and Article of War 97 (Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order and Military Discipline). MGen Barbieto was relieved as commander of the Army's 4th Infantry Division on March 6, 2008 following an order from the Ombudsman. To simplify, they are scamming money off recruits in the thousands of pesos per person just to be enlisted or re-enlisted in the military without the need of passing all the stringent tests required for enlistment and/or re-enlistment. Great! First, we had failure of equipment now we have failure of personnel. As of this writing, the case is still on going and both of the accused are confined to quarters.
A soldier is a formidable living, breathing and thinking machine. His ingrained skills are tools he can call upon in life or death situations, while his weaponry increases his chances of surviving or successfully completing his given mission. How can he be confident knowing his equipment or lack thereof, may fail him at any time? How can his morale be bolstered knowing that his supposed adversaries are carrying far modern equipment than what he has? And the fact that his family is living in near slum conditions while his generals, officers and their dependents are living la vida loca? All these and still, be expected to perform brilliantly and to ultimately make the greatest sacrifice, if he has to, for God, for country and freedom.
A soldier friend of mine, the son of a late Colonel, is on his second tour of duty in
-Pictures are from the web-