"I want to give an example to my people that, I write not for myself nor for my glory but for my country. Hence, I prefer truth to fame. May my countrymen also sacrifice their passions for the welfare of the country, may they not seek their good in honors, employments, bribes, and adulations but in virtues that distinguish and adorn free peoples.”
Dr Jose P Rizal
The Philippine Army core philosophy focuses on values that are the basis of the soldier's daily existence. It is the foundation of all his acts and deeds. These are the ties that bind. With the country moving forward in nation building, these values have shown their enduring quality and have provided the soldier with the time-tested tools for the future.
2.1 Love of Country
Foremost among these values is the soldier's unwavering love for his country. General Gregorio Del Pilar, when writing in his diary and pondering his fate in defense of Tirad Pass, was resolute to the end in his love for the Philippines:
"The General (Aguinaldo) has given me the pick of all the men that can be spared and ordered me to defend the Pass. I realize what a terrible task has been given to me. And yet, I feel that this is the most glorious moment of my life. What I do is done for my beloved country. No sacrifice can be too great."
It is the foremost nature of an Army soldier to love his country. The country is the land of his birth, the cradle of his people. It is for the country that a soldier willingly commits to a life of service. This is the highest value that the Filipino soldier possesses. It is not measured by money or rank or possessions, and it endures through him and is kept alive by those after him. It is the energy that drives the soldier as the defender of national sovereignty. He stands by his oath of service with a stout heart, knowing that even if he is ultimately left standing alone or when dying in the battlefield, he rests content with the thought that his reason for existence has been fulfilled. It is this love of country that pervades every citation of valor for deserving soldiers, valor that further uplifts the spirit of the nation.
Valor flows naturally from one's love of country. It is the power and strength, courage and ability to overcome fear in carrying out one's mission. Courage is beyond bravery. It is pursuing a mission against all odds. It is calculating but not suicidal. With courage, you do what is right. Captain Conrado D. Yap, awardee of the Medal of Valor showed how:
On 22 April 1951, overwhelming superior forces assaulted the PEFTOK position resulting to the capture of Lt. Artiaga's position with many killed, wounded or captured. Captain Yap in a desperate effort to rescue the lost unit, ordered covering fire from the unit under his command and personally led a counter-attack to regain the hill position and rescue the beleaguered unit, despite receiving authority that he may withdraw. He succeeded in recovering the body of Lt. Artiaga and three enlisted men, and proceeded to assault an enemy fire emplacement about 800 yards away, despite the hail of enemy fire.
It also means moral courage in continuing the fight for a principled cause. Indeed it was both the physical and moral courage of the Filipino soldier, whose fierce resistance against subjugating powers in the past and despite the enemy's superior arms and number, which defined the road map to independence and to freedom. Such courage beyond measure exhibited by valiant Filipinos rebelling against Spanish, American, and Japanese forces determined the course of Philippine history and provided an important role in shaping the Filipino soldier's identity. Even beyond valor, one could also see the strong sense of honor that resonated with the call to arms in the past.
Honor is the military's crowning value, the hallmark of military conduct, the quality of the soldier's consciousness of personal dignity and self worth. From prelude and campaign to the aftermath, the solider carries his honor in meeting the military imperative:
On 06 April 1990, Capt. Arturo B. Ortiz, as Commander of five 12-man joint teams of SF and CAFGU elements initiated a raid against a large CT camp of about 300 NPA rebels in hinterlands of Murcia, Negros Occidental. Under cover of darkness, Capt. Ortiz led his troops in a grueling 11-hour cross-country foot march and dangerously scaled a 1,000-foot steep cliff to infiltrate the enemy territory. Disregarding personal safety, he darted from one team to another, directing their line of fire. Risking the cross fires, rushed towards a group of hysterical women and children and ensured their safety. Lead his men in hot pursuit against rebels, the troops overwhelmed the enemy and completely overran the 28-hut NPA training camp. The 2-hour gun battle resulted in 84 terrorists killed, 8 captured, and several others wounded. Only one was wounded on the government side.
No matter the arena, honor is respected in one's self as in the other. In outward form, honor is seen in cleanliness of the person, courtesy in manners, decency in daily living and prudence in the use of personal or country resources. It shows in the candor, honesty and straightforwardness in speech as well as in actions. When one leads an honorable life, he is perceived of good reputation; deferred to because of his credibility and sincerity; and emulated for his uprightness and transparency in all his dealings. Facts are identified as facts just as one's opinions are taken for what they are.
Honor also means integrity. Integrity is the foundation of the character that is embedded in the soldier's thinking, feeling or doing. It is a requirement in both leadership and esprit-de-corps. It is expected in one and sought for in the other because it cements the bonds of professionalism between and among commanders and the men under them. For those in positions of authority, one leads by example especially in this respect.
Loyalty underlies the soldier's Oath of Service. It demands obedience to "the legal prerogatives of duly constituted authority and functions of such offices" in the pursuit of the nation's interests, observance of the Chain of Command, and compliance with the orders to the best of one's ability as all orders must be obeyed. Loyalty while itself a cause, reaps the harvest of military unity. It fosters cohesion, sincere concern for the welfare of each member of the Army and those they work with, and is best expressed in each member's adherence to the military value system as herein explained, Just as he is bound to follow the rule of law and the declared policies and principles of the country. But it must not be forgotten that soldiers must be astute and inquisitive, and therefore the leaders must be equally prudent and enlightened in their orders.
Loyalty is indivisible. One cannot serve two masters and remain whole in himself. Well did President Manuel L. Quezon state that, "My loyalty to my party ends where my loyalty to the country begins," for it is a continuing allegiance, a steadfast commitment and an unwavering support of all who serve in the military service. As the soldier follows, so the leader must faithfully represent his subordinates' interests, deal with concerns fairly and thoroughly, and ensure their proper training necessary to maintain his team in combat-ready status. In turn, the loyalty of those under him comes as a matter of course. For both leaders and subordinates, loyalty is a continuing quality whether one is off duty or at work because as in honor, any breach thereof instantly affects both the person and the organization. In terms of resources, more may have to be committed to repair the damage done, which otherwise could have been used for equally pressing needs such as equipment, training and benefits for military personnel. Clearly, loyalty is both given and earned in the dynamics of the army life and is continuously sustained by the expression of the foregoing core values, through the conduct expected of a soldier. Indeed, the soldier is perceived as much through his demeanor as his dedication to duty, for it is the product of such diligence that armies are able to be harnessed at a moment's notice and missions achieved according to the training and preparedness of each soldier.
Duty is not imposed. It derives its authority from the soldier's steadfast commitment to the service of the country. Any civilian and any person intending to join the military service must understand that the soldier's dedication to the military life is incomparable to a civilian's job, for a soldier makes himself available for duty at all times. His is not a commercial transaction or a 0800H to 1700H job because he wills himself to put the interest of the country and the service above all others, including his own personal agenda. Duty is a continuous process that is cultivated by both the challenges faced on the job as well as the discipline in the service. Duty is exercised in peace when in support of all legal initiatives of the civilian authority, more so in war that may take the very life of the person himself.
While serving as Detachment Commander of Salvacion Patrol Base, 29th 113, 4th ID, during a fierce firefight against 100 armed communist terrorists at Barangay Salvacion, Tandag, Surigao del Sur on 30 October 1991, it was steadfastness to duty that made Staff Sergeant Roy L. Cuenca a model soldier:
Despite being wounded, Sergeant Cuenca ferociously fought the enemy, rallied his men and ordered strict adherence to fire discipline to conserve ammunition. Staff Sergeant Cuenca repeatedly repulsed and subdued the enemy's continued attempts to overrun their detachment. Although outnumbered, he was able to hold his ground for almost three (3) hours of heavy firefight and was able to repel the enemy that caused their to withdraw, leaving behind nine (9) dead bodies.
The exacting standard of duty also requires that those in command positions discharge their responsibilities to the fullest, making the care and interests of their subordinates of paramount concern within the constraints of discipline, to elicit the high level of commitment that the service deserves.
Incorporating the core values means exhibiting conduct in accordance therewith. Military stature is the Army's brand image.
Any conduct undermining the Chain of Command, the military uniform, and the soldier is degrading to the profession and damaging to the morale. Every act in accord with the Philippine Army core philosophy, as explained herein, is unifying for both the organization as well as the country because of the stability that ensues from such perception. Indeed, the solidarity of the organization has been continually tested throughout the years and even more so because of the socio-political individualized interests that compete for national support.
Solidarity within the organization is the Army's benchmark for action, growth, and resilience as it protects the country and nurtures its development. With the internalization by the soldier of all the core values herein and the ensuing self-discipline and confidence that follows, solidarity with the organization is achieved. Solidarity is also as much a manifestation of sound leadership as it is the expression of a soldier's solid commitment to the service. It is solidarity that powers the smallest unit to the largest battalion. It was solidarity that enabled a remote 11-man detachment in San Agustin town, Isabela province, composed of 4 regulars and 7 CAA, to overcome a company-size enemy in Isabela province.
When expanded to cover a national scale, a solid Philippine Army can now provide
a model of action, and the organization can become an effective social change
agent. In this light, the solidarity of the Philippine Army is the soldier's own
protection against threats to its mission, whether internal or external and, by
extension, a formidable opponent to challenges to the sovereignty and the
integrity of the country and a deterrent to those initially intending to commit
such adverse acts. Likewise, such solidarity binds the Army to oneness with the
aspirations of the rest of the country and in the manner of conduct befitting a
Filipino who is proud of his country.
Ang sundalo ang pinakamagandang halimbawa ng isang Public Servant.
Ang sundalo ay sumumpa na ang kanyang buhay ay para sa DIYOS, BAYAN at TAO
In other words, the priority of his career is GOD first, COUNTRY next, and MAN last. Man includes his family, which means wife, children, parents, relatives and friends.
Ito ay sinumpaan niya.
Ito ay sinusunod niya nang walang pag-iimbot, walang agam-agam at walang pagdududa. Ang ibig bang sabihin nito ay hindi na siya nag-iisip, sumusunod na lamang siya na parang robot?
Ang ugaling walang alinlangan napag-sunod ay na-ingrain na sa kultura ng sundalo dahil ito ay kailangan upang maging mabilis at matagumpay ang operasyon.
When you strike at the enemy, there is no time for wrangling, questioning or debating. Movements must be swift and decisive. If you disagree - follow first and question later.
Nag-iisip ba ang sundalo?
Kung ang buhay mo ang nakataya, hindi ka ba mag-iisip? In fact, dahil buhay ang nakataya, lalo nilang pinag-iibayo ang pag-intindi sa operasyon dahil perfect timing ang kailangan. Hindi makakagalaw with precision ang sundalo kung siya ay hindi matalino.
Matalino ang sundalo. Matatag ang kanyang paniniwala sa Diyos. Bayan at Tao.
Matapang ang sundalo, buhay niya ang nakataya para sa Bayan.
Ang sundalo ang tunay na Public Servant.
Kung may digmaan, mapanganib ang kanyang buhay. Ang kanyang pamilya ay
Kung may kapayapaan, tumutulong sila sa palatuturo sa mga bata at matatanda na bumasa at sumulat, nagtatayo ng mga paaralan at mga tulay, nagtataniin ng puno sa kabundukan at nagbabahagi sa mga tao sa countryside ng kanilang kaalaman sa paghahanapbuhay.
A soldier is always a meaningful part of our society. Laging handang maglingkod, walang oras na sinasayang. At your service, Sir!
Ang sundalo ang tunay na Public Servant.
From the Senior NCO Leadership Forum (SNCOLF) manuscript of Major Gen. Rodolfo A. Canieso AFP (Ret)
Copyright © 2005. Philippine Army