SOME supporters of retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan in the 125,000-strong Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said they are ready to sacrifice their careers and even their lives in order to protect the former general.
A member of the newly-formed “Free Major General Jovito Palparan Movement” told The Manila Times that a number of military officers look up to the former general and are willing to “take the bullet” for him.
The officer who requested anonymity on Tuesday said the group resented comparisons made between Palparan and former Navy officer Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th, who also languished in jail during the administration of then-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
“When you talk of military respect, do not put the names of Sen. Trillanes and Gen.
Palparan in one sentence. They are not on the same level. They’re miles apart. For Gen. Palparan, we will take the bullet for him, we are now risking our careers and reputation.
We are ready to die for him because we all know and we believe that dying for him is dying for this country’s democracy,” the source, a military captain, said in an interview.
Trillanes has pushed for the transfer of Palparan to a military detention facility to ensure the latter’s safety.
The senator also warned that if the AFP will not guarantee the protection of Palparan, it may cause demoralization among the ranks as it may set a precedent that soldiers will have to face lawsuits for performing their duty as members of the military after their separation from active service.
But the source said Trillanes’ statement did not sit well with their ranks.
“The truth is, if the senator wants to help, then help. If he wants the general secured and safe, then make it happen. We are dismayed with media blitz and propaganda. We cannot help but think that some individuals want to be part of this because of the huge support for Gen. Palparan by the majority,” the military officer added.
“Maybe they think that by supporting our cause, they will look handsome in the eyes of our soldiers. Anyway, we in the active military service have a way of knowing if the senator is really exerting his best effort in helping the general.”
Another source, a lieutenant colonel, confirmed that many politicians have expressed support for Palparan and would want to meet with the group supporting the retired general.
“But for us military officers, we are vigilant enough to know that politicians, especially those who want to topple the administration, would try to infiltrate our ranks and agitate us further,” he said.
“We weigh things and contemplate our actions properly. We will not let ourselves be used by these people who have vested interests, Our undying support to Gen. Palparan is also our fight against the CPP/NPA/NDF,” the source added, referring to the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army and the National Democratic Front.