Thursday, April 30, 2009

‘Militarization’ reaches diplomatic posts abroad

Press Release
30 April 2009

‘Militarization’ reaches diplomatic posts abroad;
PGMA incessantly paying back to former loyal military officials

An alliance of overseas Filipino workers’ organizations based in the Middle East today said for her political survival, Mrs. Arroyo is paying back her loyal military officials by appointing them to government offices after the latter appointed two highest ranking military officials to diplomatic posts only to bypass the appointment of some of the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) career officers.

“Mrs. Arroyo is continuously appointing former military officials in her Cabinet; thus no stopping to ‘militarization’ of the government, even foreign posts abroad has now been ‘militarized’,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator.

Monterona slammed the Arroyo regime for its policy of militarizing diplomatic posts abroad by appointing retired military officials; “These military officials have been ‘loyal’ to the President during their military career; Mrs. Arroyo is paying them back for their loyalty to her, an concrete manifestation that ‘patron’ politics exist between her and her trusted military officials,” he continued.

“It only shows the Arroyo regime is overtly engaged in politicizing the Military establishment which should remain apolitical and should have its loyalty to the Filipino people where sovereignty resides and governmental power emanates from them under a supposed democratic government, and not to their Commander-in-Chief,” Monterona averred.

Monterona said Mrs. Arroyo’s appointment of AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Alexander Yano and AFP Vice Chief Staff Lt. Gen. Cardozo Luna as Ambassador to Brunei and the Netherlands, respectively, is an act converting diplomatic posts a ‘war room’, a ‘militarized’ diplomatic posts that would set aside its foreign service functions to the assistance of Overseas Filipinos abroad especially OFWs who are vulnerable to abuses and maltreatment, racism and other forms of discrimination.

“The two top military officials who have failed to stop persecution and political killings of political activists in which the AFP is widely accused and condemned do not deserves to lead a diplomatic post abroad, same with their predecessor Gen. Jovito Palparan who is now a party-list representative of a pseudo marginalized group,” Monterona opined.

Monterona said Migrante chapters in the Middle East and the millions of OFWs around the world would their strong support to the petition made by the DFA Rank and File Association and DFA Personnel Association urging Mrs. Arroyo to reconsider its appointment of the two (2) mentioned military officials citing the appointments as the “latest instances of a disturbing trend that has caused demoralization and weakened professionalism in the merit system in the DFA and foreign service”.

“Foreign Service requires high degree of expertise and experience in diplomacy and strong dedication to do public service to Overseas Filipinos and OFWs; thus in no way the training and experience by retired military officials, not to demean their capabilities and knowledge, would not much the requirement for foreign service functions,” Monterona opined.

Monterona further said if it is often observed our diplomats abroad have been remised on their duty on providing assistance to OFW-victims, it would make even worse if they will be replaced by former generals who have no match to the acquired expertise and experienced of DFA’s Foreign Service career officers.

“Instead of sending legal attaché to RP posts abroad to render legal assistance to those who have been charged abroad and those on death row with no exemption to the case of OFW Cecilia Alcaraz where the Manila Economic Cultural Office in Taiwan under the direct supervision of the Office of the President failed to provide, the Arroyo administration had sent Police attaché at the Philippine Embassy in Saudi Arabia; now it complimented such deployment by appointing retired military officials as Ambassadors; this is clear militarization in the diplomatic posts abroad which need to be opposed and strongly condemned,” Monterona ended. # # #

For reference:
John Leonard Monterona
Migrante-ME regional coordinator
KSA Mobile Phone: 00966 564 978 012
Philippine Mobile Phone: 0915 396 4658
Email address:

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