AS THE BAMBOOS SWAY | AFP – cradle of noble heroes – not


So, what happened to “Ang mamatay nang dahil sa iyo?”

When I started my elementary schooling, every morning was punctuated with the singing of the Philippine National Anthem in English. The words within the hymn that dug deep into my heart were “…Cradle of noble heroes…Ne’er shall invaders trample thy sacred shores…But it is glory ever, when thou art wronged for us, they sons to suffer and die.”

Later on, I guess to become more nationalistic, we started to sing the anthem in Filipino. Same translated loosely words dug deep into my heart – “…Duyan ka ng magiting. Sa manlulupig, di ka pasisiil…Aming ligaya na pag may mang-aapi, ang mamatay nang dahil sa ‘yo.”

Recently on March 31, 2019 at Koronadal City, South Cotabato, President Rodrigo ‘Digong’ Duterte reiterated his line that he could not go to war with China on the South China Sea dispute. He said he was not prepared to go to war and lose government troops in a massacre. “China Sea na ‘yan sige ako binabanatan nila. [I am being criticized about the South China Sea]. Am I prepared to go to war? I am not. Will we win the war? No. It will just create a massacre. Maubos lang sundalo ko pulis diyan [I would lose my soldiers and policemen].”

In the first place, Digong is not being urged to go to war with China. He is just being asked to assert Philippine rights over the Philippine Seas against encroachment of China. The Philippine rights are backed up by an International Tribunal ruling which China and Digong ignore. Ignoring this resulted to China being able to set up military bases on disputed islands within the sphere of the Philippine maritime rights, disabling Filipino fishermen to fish within Philippine shores, and allowed China to creep upon rich natural resources within the area which should benefit the Filipinos.

If this is not already ‘trampling’ the Philippine shores, I don’t know how else to call it. And where is the spirit of “Ne’er shall invaders trample thy sacred shores” or “Sa manlulupig, di ka pasisiil” within the soul of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)? And true, we do not want war, but should invasion come to fore which is actually apparently happening, should not be the president, as commander-in-chief, be the foremost son, for the ‘glory’ ever of the nation, when wronged, ‘to suffer and die?


It should be noted that during the Spanish regime in the Philippines, tyrant Spain conscripted locals and created the guardia civil, mercenaries from among the indios. Likewise, the United States, after subjugating the Flips (Fucking Little Peoples), established the Philippine Constabulary on August 8, 1901, by authority of the Act No. 175 of the Philippine Commission. The constabulary was created to assist the American troops in combating the remaining Filipino revolutionaries.

Captain Henry T. Allen was entrusted to the Philippine Constabulary’s creation and he was later dubbed as the Father of the Philippine Constabulary. Constabulary soldiers then were trained at the Philippine Constabulary School which was established in February 17, 1905 at the Santa Lucia barracks within the walls of Intramuros. In 1908, the school was transferred to Baguio City and was seminal to the evolution of the current Philippine Military Academy.

In short, the Philippine Constabulary and the future AFP was originally designed, like the guardia civil, to suppress Filipino rebellion, not to defend the Philippines against foreign invaders.

You say the AFP with the American forces defended against Japan, you say? Consider this.

Numerically, the US and Filipino soldiers outnumbered the Japanese invaders. At the start of the war, MacArthur had under his command: 11,796 American troops; 20,000 Filipino regulars; and 100,000 raw reservists. When the Japanese Lt. General Masaharu Homma landed ashore at Lingayen Gulf on December 22, 1941, he only had 43,000 troops with units of tanks and artillery.

Instead of facing the Japanese on the shores, the troops were moved to Bataan, raw, short supplied – in hardly indefensible terrain. In the end, the forces that were concentrated in Bataan and Corregidor only served as a shield used by MacArthur and the Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon and his cabinet to be able to escape to Australia.

So, we pose the question: When did the AFP ever defend the Philippines?


During the guerilla warfare against the Japanese, the AFP forces who joined the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) were ordered by McArthur not to  engage the Japanese until his return. The peasant-based Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa Hapon (Hukbalahap or Huks) who engaged the Japanese and, through the process of attrition, almost finished the Japanese forces when McArthur ‘liberated’ the Philippines. Branded as communists, the Huks were then massacred. Those who escaped and fled to the mountains were hunted down as bandits until tail end of Dictator Marcos’s regime.

So, when did the AFP ever defend the Philippines?


Instead, they protected tyrants like Dictator Marcos, the landlords against the peasants, capitalists against the workers, the presidential regimes against those who exercise their rights of freedom of speech and seeking for redress.

And now, the AFP is protecting Digong who protect drugs lords in his sham war on drugs, killing peasants, activists, journalists, the poor even not drug users, and others who exercise their rights of freedom of speech and seeking for redress.

After all, Digong calls them his soldiers and police, not as of the people and have claimed to have doubled their salaries.

So never mind if the Philippine shores are being trampled by the Chinese or other foreigners.

Nonetheless, there is hope that there are still members of the AFP who keep in their souls the words ‘ang mamatay ng dahil sa iyo.’ It is hope that they would share the new visions of a real fighting force aligned with the old visions of those who really fought against foreign invaders like Lapu-lapu and Andres Bonifacio.

Then they would be truly in the ‘Cradle of Noble Heroes’. #


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