Grumblings in the AFP

IT appears that there is a “systematic grounding” of still in active duty members of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1978 in the AFP, and this does not sit well on some of their subordinates/followers in the military institution.

We may ostracize some of them for being close allies and a mistah of former President Gloria Arroyo, but many say there are also a lot of them who are professionals with very good service reputations

Nobody knows if the new Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, the former Presidential Security Group chief during the late President Cory Aquino’s administration, is getting orders from President Noynoy Aquino to do the “systematic grounding” or he’s just making his own “diskarte” to appease the new dispensation.

DND and AFP observers say Gazmin’s thrust is to “float” some active PMA Class 78 officers; assign them to far-flung commands; or give them non-sensitive posts right inside Camp Aguinaldo.

“Ang bagong thrust ay ilabas sila sa malayo o kaya’y ipasok sila sa Camp Aguinaldo para mabantayan,” one insider explained.

Right now, members of the PMA Class 77, who are very few and many of them retiring soon, and PMA Class 79, are allegedly being used by the current defense officials to “thwart” the grumblings and other complaints from members of PMA Class 78. The current AFP chief, Gen. Ricardo David, is a member of PMA Class 1977 while Maj. Gen. Boysie Pangilinan, current Nolcom chief and PMA Class 1979 member, is being groomed to succeed the former, thereby “closing the door” for another PMA Class 1978 member to be the next AFP chief.

The current top DND officials, I was informed, also have some reasons to doubt some members of the PMA Class 1978 for their loyalty to the present dispensation.

Before the May 2010 elections, there were unconfirmed reports that former AFP chief, Gen. Delfin Bangit, got orders and offer from GMA to support another leading presidential candidate in exchange for P30 million (each?).

The reports alleged that Maj. General Felciano Angue, Lt. Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu, and Marines Chief, Maj. Gen. Juancho Sabban, including some of their mistahs who are commanders of six divisions in the AFP, declined the offer which is supposed to be distributed at the AFP’s “White House.” They all reportedly told Bangit: “Kapag kinuha mo iyan, lahat tayo dito sa serbisyo ay masisira.”

Prior to the May 2010 elections, sources from the AFP said Lt. Gen. Raymundo Ferrer, of PMA Class 1977; and Maj. Generals Carlos Holganza and Ralph Villanueva, both members of PMA Class 1978, took sides with the camp of President Noynoy Aquino.

Angue, the current chief of the anti-coup unit NCRCOM, has earned the ire of top defense officials when he decried the actions of some military officers for political partisanship. He said all military officers should be apolitical, but those who “sided” with the Aquino camp during the May 2010 polls are being rewarded while those who went to the other losing political groups or went neutral are now being penalized or punished.

Based on his argument, all those who sided with the winning and/or losing presidential bets and other politicians should all be punished or penalized for violating the AFP’s code of ethics.

The “cannons” of the present dispensation are now trained on Angue and his other mistahs and there are now moves on how to “float them or defang them.”


Here’s a funny rumor emanating from the DND. Reports said the DND offices at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City had been turned into a “home for the aged,” a refuge for long retired military and police generals who are either mistahs or upperclassmen of Gazmin (with an average age of 70) now assigned as Undersecretaries, Assistant Secretaries and consultants of the department.

Those who saw the ageing military officers assuming top positions at the DND do not want to insult the mental and physical capabilities of the new appointees. “Pero maawa ka sa kanila pag nakita mo silang hirap na naglalakad o kaya’y paakyat sa hagdanan in going to their respective offices,” one observer said.


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