A GROUP of a dozen and a half retired generals and colonels calling themselves “Advocates for the National Interest” issued a statement a week ago that tried to spread the colossal lies the Yellows and former magistrate Antonio Carpio have been spreading on the South China Sea dispute.
This mostly septuagenarian lot should do what retired generals of integrity anywhere in the world do, which is to shut their mouths on an incumbent president’s policies and on issues they either know nothing about or are too lazy to study – unless their intention is to spread rumors that there is a coup d’etat in the works.
But that, in fact, may be its aim – wittingly or unwittingly though on the part of its members – or at least to portray President Duterte as a puppet of China among our uniformed men.
The cabal behind this “association,” however, has been so amateurish a few weeks before its statement was released on May 17 that it spread rumors “retired and active generals” were withdrawing their support for President Duterte for his allegedly weak stance against China. That Viber group even claimed Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Cirilito Sobejana were with them.
The “association’s” statement was then released which was simply a long exposition for the justification for the military’s alleged withdrawal of its support from Duterte, signed by retired generals to bolster its credibility. This “association” is nothing but the newest propaganda weapon of the forces pushing the Philippines into conflict with China, designed to focus on the military – which makes it a dangerous group.
Acedillo was one of the 11 officers first convicted in 2008 by a military court together with Gary Alejano, for leading the short-lived Oakwood Mutiny in 2003 and being kicked out of the military. He spent seven years in the Villamor stockades until his conviction.
I was told by one of those listed in that group’s manifesto it was Acedillo who was behind its organization and appeared to be financing it.
Why else would a lieutenant who had defied the military chain of command, was convicted of mutiny and discharged dishonorably, be included in an exclusive club of retired generals and colonels who had been loyal to the Constitution? Of course, he would be there if it was he who had recruited the retired generals into the “association.”
There’s more info that should make us very suspicious.
After serving a term as the Magdalo (aka Antonio Trillanes’) party representative in Congress, he became assistant vice president for cybersecurity of Smart Communications. Smart is a subsidiary of the Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co., owned mainly by the Indonesian tycoon Anthoni Salim. It was the ambitious project of that firm, together with tycoons Enrique Razon and Roberto Ongpin – to extract gas in the disputed Reed Bank in 2011 – that was blocked by Chinese vessels and triggered the Aquino regime’s hostile stance against China. A board director of Smart Communications is former foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario, one of the top anti-China figures in the country today.
Did Acedillo get a tasking from First Pacific that wasn’t in his job description? Amazing, isn’t it, a mutineer who was with a group that tried to topple a duly constituted government heads the cybersecurity operations of one of the two biggest cellphone firms in the country? Duterte’s officials, just to be safe, should stop using Smart phones.
That Acedillo deliriously hates Duterte is quite obvious in his recent Facebook post, part of which reads:
“Welcome to this s-it show called Pilipinas, featuring…
A HUNDRED MILLION COWARDS AND ONE SON OF A BITCH!
Sadly, your protestations, your bravery, and your patriotism – they are all irrelevant. Because it’s only that SOB in the Palace (or in Davao, I suppose) that matters still, and his sick bunch of sycophants, flatterers, and murderers – cowards all of them – cowards in the face of a virus’ onslaught and the menacing presence of an enemy in our waters.”
Has that old bungling Magdalo gang of mutineers led by Antonio Trillanes 4th, probably with the help of oligarchs and by the US intelligence services, started plotting to portray Duterte as a Chinese puppet, to justify a coup d’etat against him.
The opposition obviously has become desperate to win power through an election. Less than a year before the May 9 elections and five months to the last day for the filing of certificate of elections, there isn’t any opposition figure at all that could compete with Duterte’s anointed. Even the Yellows’ last hope, Vice President Leni Robredo, has all but given up, announcing she prefers to run as governor of Camarines Sur. Trillanes, through social media, asked that wacky group called 1Sampayan claiming to lead the opposition to take him in as its presidential candidate. The group didn’t even bother to reply to him.
A coup is the only way to stop a Duterte 2.0 regime and bring the country back under the American eagle’s wings.
The US indeed is now under a Democratic Party president, Joe Biden, who would drastically reverse Trump’s distancing his country from any involvement in Asia.
Biden in fact appointed as his right-hand man to deal with Asia Kurt Campbell, architect of the Obama administration’s “Pivot to Asia” that was a thinly disguised campaign to contain the rise of China as a superpower in Asia.
Campbell was the diplomat who fooled ambassador Jose Cuisia and Foreign Affairs Secretary Rosario into believing China had agreed to a simultaneous withdrawal from Scarborough Shoal in June 2012. I bet Campbell is confident he can fool the Philippines again in at least reversing Duterte’s rapprochement policy with China.
It is so ignorant, stupid and disgraceful for these retired generals to claim in their statement we are in “conflict with China.” Don’t they realize the import of such a statement when uttered by retired generals? It is a message: “We are at war with China.”
We are not in conflict with China. We merely have a territorial dispute with it, just as we have such disputes with other claimants in the Spratly – Vietnam, Taiwan and Malaysia. There are currently 150 unresolved territorial disputes in the world and only a handful – including that between the Palestinians and the Zionists – have led to military conflict.
Aquino and the Yellows merely chose to worsen our disputes with China, first to clear the way for an oligarchic group’s* gas extraction project in the disputed Reed Bank and to provoke China to a stand-off in Scarborough Shoal, both of which led to some public opinion to support the arbitration suit against China in 2013.
What for? For the US, which had wanted to demonize China as a creeping invader in the South China Sea and to provide its navy some justification for its patrols in the area, which it got when the arbitral tribunal ruled as illegal China’s nine-dash line.
The generals who issued the statement should stop calling themselves “Advocates for National Interest.” They are advocates for national insanity.
Tell these retired generals and colonels they are being fooled by convicted mutineers. They include: Ramon Farolan, Renato de Villa, Rodolfo Biazon, Plaridel Abaya, Plaridel Garcia, Niceto Festin, Renato Valencia, Recaredo Sarmiento, Guillermo Cunanan, Mariano Santiago, Melchor Rosales, Alejandro Flores, Eliseo Rio Jr., Emilio Marayag Jr., Alexander Yano, Eduardo Oban, Emmanuel Bautista and Edilberto Adan.
In a succeeding column I’ll expose as lies each and every allegation they (or Acedillo) raised in that statement.
*See my column: “Salim (aka MVP), Razon, Ongpin’s project behind Aquino’s discord with China,” May 10, 2021.