What a way for retired generals to fade away

TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag (The Freeman) - June 14, 2021 - 12:00am

They say old generals never die, they just fade away. But I have always thought that even in such a humble and innocuous undertaking, they would at least with military precision and discipline take great care in choosing how to fade into the sunset. Unfortunately, the political antics of some retired generals make them look so funny and pathetic one has to wonder if they truly deserved the stars that once upon a time made everyone shudder.

Now, I do not care about most of the other retired generals because I really do not know what distinguished them in their careers. Like most careers, the military has to have a certain number of generals as a matter of course. You cannot have an army of privates. So you start kicking people upstairs beginning at sergeant. This does not mean, of course, that no promotion is deserved. But that is an entirely different matter altogether.

Who I am really concerned and surprised about is former chief of staff Rodolfo Biazon, who went on to become a senator after retirement. In both callings, he distinguished himself in the service of his country. So how could he now embark on an undertaking that, I am very sad and sorry to say, is anchored on logic and reason that are both flimsy and stupid.

I used to admire Biazon until recently when I read this news story that quoted him as saying: "First, we must have only one position even as we continue to defend our interest in the WPS. We must not have differing stands, and that is what we are hearing now, and we would all be confused, and that would weaken us."

Everything Biazon said in that statement would have been absolutely correct if he had been speaking on behalf of the Philippine government. But Biazon, as we all know now, has allied himself with other retired generals advocating for God knows what kind of foolishness against the government. Was Biazon even aware of how ludicrous he sounded? Or has something faded ahead of the rest of him.

Let me jog his memory, if I may. The sole architect of Philippine foreign policy is the president, in this case Rodrigo Roa Duterte. When it comes to foreign policy, there is no other voice to hear except his. Now, you may not like his foreign policy. Or worse, he may be completely wrong about such policy. But until he reverses that policy, or an election comes and a new president introduces his own, that is the policy that stands for now.

Now, this is a free country, and short of advocating violence or committing some other crime, Biazon and his fellow fading stars can criticize Duterte and his foreign policy, especially with regard to the South China Sea. But please, general sir, do not lecture us about confusing positions arising from many voices on the South China Sea.

Let me repeat for everyone's sake. When it comes to foreign policy, there is only one voice to be heard, and that is the president's. If Biazon and the retired generals hear a cacophony of other voices and are getting confused, they better start looking around. And if their eyesights have not faded as well, they might not have to look far and discover it is they themselves who, by all their useless yapping, are confusing things.

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