By RUDY D. LIPORADA
“I got the Scouting Spirit right in my head…to stay….”
The Boy Scout song above kept drumming in my head with me seething, disturbed with a recent picture released by the National Youth Commission of the Office of the President. Last January 5, 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte, in Boy Scout of the Philippines (BSP) uniform, posed with boy scouts and their two scoutmasters raising the Duterte signature clenched fist greeting, salute, or whatever you call it.
The youth brigade of Dictator Mass Murderer Adolf Hitler saluting the Fuhrer flashed into my mind. I could not just reconcile in my mind how the scouting spirit is being circumvented to carry a message where it is okay to be a dictator, to be a mass murderer.
I mean what happened to the scout three finger insignia and salute signifying service and honor doing one’s best?
Starting from the cub scouts, I grew up with the scouting spirit until I graduated in high school as an explorer scout. Bragging, I earned my scholarship award for exemplary leadership as president of the Saint Louis University Scouting Family in Baguio City composed of two Explorer Posts, four Boy Scout Troops, and eight Cub Scout Kawans. Even in college, I served as an associate adviser for the posts I came from. I met my future wife who was then a Den Mother for a Kawan in the same outfit. I even served as a scoutmaster for our church here in the United States.
Needless to say that, as a right of passage for most boys, I was into scouting activities that I apply in my life to this very day. I was into camping, knot tying, first aid, etc. earning merit badges along the way – learning how to cook at an early age and knowledgeable with survival techniques like producing fire by friction. Privileged to be invited to a US Far East Camporee, I even earned the Order of the Arrow. Bragging, I was ahead of my peers during freshman ROTC in map reading and finding directions with the mere use of stars at night and the sun at day. To this day, if Iphones and glitzy communication gadgets should conk out, I could still message with semaphore flags and fingerspell if need be.
Needless to say that I am still imbued with the scout motto, slogan, and law. Yes, law which I could still blurt within 10 seconds. For those who might have forgotten, the law goes A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, clean, reverent. I still live by the Explorer Motto of “Our Best Today for a Better Tomorrow.”
Needless to say that, although I understand that as president, Duterte is also the head master scout of the BSP, I am really alarmed at what is being imbibed with the kids with that Hitler-like gesture with him. Moreover, this president is not trustworthy. He lied himself to the presidency, not fulfilling his promises to eradicate corruption, fulfill land reform, industrialize the nation so OFWs can come home, and many more.
He is only loyal and helpful to his cuddled drug lords and corrupt officials – even those he released from prison. He is only friendly to China imperialists to whom he as already sold the Philippines. He is courteous to Donald Trump to whom he even dedicated and sang a song to signify his subservience to the US imperialists but not courteous to women who he has bragged to have fingered and the like.
He is kind only to those corrupt officials he has fired only to shuffle them into other government positions. He is obedient to the wishes of the military forces around him. He is cheerful in making others and himself laugh with his below the belt statements. I do not know being thrifty as his personal budget and expenditures have surpassed most of the previous presidents. I also do not know about his being clean as no known toothpaste or mouthwash appears to be able to clean his mouth. And reverent? Ask the Catholics or his maid who must now be feeble to really come out.
As to doing a good deed daily for the slogan, I don’t see him really. So, I could not judge that honestly.
I guess he is beefing up his Armed Forces of the Philippines 25 hours a day so they can destroy his enemies whose numbers are growing immensely everyday. That way, he could always be prepared.
For a headmaster scout, I will not really be surprised if people will rise up sooner to fashion a simple knot around his neck.# nordis.net