WHILE the government is giving funds to “former enemies of the state,” it continues to neglect the retired military officers and soldiers who fought to defend the state, retired generals lamented on Thursday.
In a meeting with Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., officers and members of the Association of Generals and Flag Officers (AGFO) expressed their displeasure as they gave their inputs on some issues particularly the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
Marcos said the retired officials’ suggestions and observations will be used in the crafting of laws.
One issue raised is the government’s funding of the BBL, which the former generals said should have been given to soldiers.
“I think the point was made. Tama naman ang sabi ng ating mga retired generals. Nagbibigay tayo ng malaking pondo para dito sa mga lumalaban sa gobyerno, pero hindi natin mabigyan ng mga retirement benefits sa mga nagtatanggol sa Republika ng Pilipinas noong gingeyera nila ang ating estado (They are right when they told me that the government is giving funds to those formerly fighting the government but it cannot give the retirement benefits of those defending the state),” Marcos said.
“So that would seem to be a very unequal and inequitable and dishonorable way to treat our former commanders and generals who sacrificed much in the defense of the country,” he added.
Another issue discussed was the perspective of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on the peace process.
“They have important points on the decommissioning process which is something to be strengthened and accelerated because clearly, if there are no weapons in the hands of rebel groups, then there will be no war. So it is something we are trying to incorporate and it is very important in making the final version that we presented in the Senate, a version that will guarantee success,” Marcos said.
He added that there is a chance that the BBL will be passed this year.