02/25/2008 08:49 AM
Saying the present situation is worse than the Martial Law days, soldiers detained for the February 2006 standoff urged soldiers to assert their Constitutional duty and join "communal actions" that are aimed at ridding the ills facing the nation.
In a statement posted on the "Sundalo" website, the officers said soldiers are also citizens who can distinguish right from wrong.
"It would be the height of insensitivity and callousness to let alone the people do the cleaning when we, ourselves, were so much a part of it. Going out of barracks to join the people in communal action to rid the ills that befell our nation is a Constitutional duty. In fact, it is demanded of us, as soldiers, by the very people whom we failed. Let us not, this time, fail them. Let our voices be heard from the barracks. Let our sense of community be felt from the barracks. And let our actions be seen in and out of the barracks," the officers said.
Signing the statement were former Marine commandant Maj. Gen. Renato Miranda and ex-Scout Ranger commander Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim, who were detained for allegedly planning to withdraw support from President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2006.
"We are not faceless automatons incapable of thinking, feeling and discernment. We feel the pain of our neighbors as much as their anger. We see their oppression and sense their hopelessness. Of course, their happiness is ours too. But they are not! ... We, too, can distinguish good from evil, a truth from a lie, an honest one from a cheat and a thief. But it would be our most grievous sin if we tolerate and do nothing about it," they added.
The soldiers said the mess created in the 2004 polls, either by direct participation and/or by silent complicity, needs to be "cleaned."
They lamented that in the 2004 elections, a "misguided and partisan few" went out of our barracks not with a noble intent but to commit a crime against the people.
"They are still out of barracks trying to cover up for the crimes they committed while suppressing the truth. Sadly, more are being lured out of barracks to partake of the loot," they said.
"After everything has been said and done ... We appeal to the Filipino people to bring us back to barracks and keep us there. Keep us forever in barracks by electing responsible public officials and holding them accountable, by being ever vigilant and by strengthening your sense of community. We, your soldiers, will then march back to barracks to settle to the task of keeping your worthy trust and respect. Let that be our covenant," they said.
The soldiers also urged the public to join "patriotic activities," including the afternoon rally at Mendiola; a Mass at the EDSA Shrine led by Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez Jr., KME and Laban ng Masa; and a Mass at Baclaran Church; and a candle-torch rally at the Welcome Rotonda. - GMANews.TV