Category Archives: Heroism

Women Who Are So Loved By Their People

Filipinos have Cory as their icon of democracy. Burmese on the other look at Suu Kyi as their inspiration in their struggle for freedom and democracy. But where Cory has already succeeded (restoring Phlippine democracy), Suu Kyi is still trying for over twenty years now. In fact she is under house arrest, as she has always been.

She has another 18 months again to serve having been found guilty of violating her house arrest by allowing an ill American, who swam his way to her home, to stay. Suu Kyi, a 64-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has already been in detention (house arrest) for 14 of the last 20 years.

Her detention under house arrest for another 18 months is crucial for the Junta organized-elections next year. At least she’ll be out of the political scene, a move which is perceive to undemine free and honest elections in Burma.

Of course the sentence drew outrage around the world specially from Western Government and international human rights groups. Members of the Association of South-east Asian Nations is also disappointed on the said action of one of their government member tagged as the Asean’s problem child. The European Union is now considering economic sanctions against this erring nation.

Suu Kyi has always been seeking for a peaceful means to change the nature of Burmese government into democracy. Though detained (in her own home) by Burmese authorities, she’s still a potent political power to reckon; feared most by the Military Junta. The kind of supports she gets from the people places is feared most by the Military Junta.

Burmese generals know pretty well that among their ranks are young and idealistic military men who are only waiting for the right time to topple this decades long military government. Suu Kyi provides the inspiration for the transfer of power in the hands of civilian authorities.

“I hope we can all work for peace and prosperity of the country,” Suu Kyi said in a soft voice to diplomats seated nearby who attended this 90-minute court session. She’s still composed and commands great respect and authority.

Cory is gone, mourned by millions of Filipinos who admire and revere her commitment to freedom and democracy; but Suu Kyi is still alive to continue with her struggle for her country’s freedom and democracy. As Cory had the backing of people behind her, Suu Kyi too has the support of millions of Burmese people in her ideals and quest for freedom and democracy.

It’s a matter of time, no guns and cannons can stifle the resilliency of people to fight for their freedom. Suu Kyi will always be there to give them that inspiration while the Military Junta trembles upon their destruction.


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Filed under democracy, Economic Survival, government, Heroism, Justice, Myanmar Struggle for Freedom, Philippine government, politics, UN Security Council, United Nations, Wealth, Poverty, women

Gays in the Military, Time is Changing

Gone are the days when the military organization was a close system. Time has changed and they are adopting now to the changing landscape of the socio-political environment they operate. First they recruited women to serve in the military not only to do light duties but to become combatants as well. And now they want the gays, yes the gays to become part of the human component that comprise the military establishment. 

This is a welcome development to the socio-political and economic environment where the military exists. The constitution guarantees the right of every person including his sexual preferences. His/her right to serve his/her country as a soldier is also part of that constitutional right. It’s a long time overdue that the Philippine military has only thought of to comply  recently.

Here is a portion of that report from (03/04/2009):

Gay men can go to war with brave Filipino soldiers, a military spokesman said as he announced Wednesday that members of the third sex can apply for enlistment in the Philippine Army.

“We welcome them. We welcome everybody. We don’t discriminate [gay] people here,” Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner Jr., Army spokesman, told ABS-CBN’s morning show, “Umagang Kay Ganda.”

Brawner said as long as an applicant is physically, emotionally and mentally fit, the Army would be proud to enlist them, including gay people.

“They are allowed [and] of course they will have the same assignments. They can also go to war,” the Army spokesman added.

Brawner clarified that the Army or any other units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines does not discriminate gay people, including bisexual men.

Over the year I have seen various people who are gays serving the government and the private sectors holding sensitive positions as CEOs and lower level officials. They are doing good. Many of them are sincere, dedicated, well motivated on their jobs, and with unblemished reputation in public service. It’s a civilian job alright but can’t they do the same given the change of leadership in the military?

But in a highly masculine dominated system where the highest ranks in service are relegated only to the male servicemeni, it will take time before an enlisted personnel or a junior officer will get use to saluting and taking orders of command from a gay officer or a general.

But the way is already paved,  gay soldiers will soon be a common sight in the military. Gays the time is here.


Filed under education, gays as military NCOs and Officers, gays in the military, gays rights and protection, Heroism, military service, politics, Religion and sexual behavior, Sex and Politics

Praise be with You

“Give credit to where credit is due.” I heard such statement several times from friends who had been frustrated in the awarding of special recognitions to certain individuals or groups perceived to have done great things to their society and environment although they do not actually deserve. They just don’t have the right to be awarded. A sad reality in life there are champions whose winning is questionable. There is a term for this in Filipino, “lutong Makaw.” A half-baked victory?

As far as giving credit is concerned, this is a real one. Lately Maj. Ferdinand Marcelino of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency has been praised by a lot of Filipinos from all walks of life, particularly senators and congressmen, for his refusal to accept millions of pesos as bribe for the alleged release of narcotics suspects popularly known as the “Alabang Boys.” Although he has come under fire for exposing an alleged bribery of state prosecutors handling the “Alabang Boys” drug case which was dismissed for what is termed as “mere technicality.”

Similarly a group of former government officials praised the Marine officer assigned at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency for being an “exemplary public servant.”

Here is an excerpt of that news form

“He serves as a dramatic example of the kind of selfless service the majority of government employees offer that put national interest above personal interest. May others like him continue to be living proofs that, as Ninoy Aquino put it, the Filipino is worth dying for,” the FSGO statement said.

Marcelino earlier said he was offered millions of pesos in bribes to release three scions of rich families who were arrested for peddling narcotics in Alabang, Muntinlupa City and Cubao, Quezon City. He said state prosecutors were also offered up to P50 million in bribes to drop the case against the so-called Alabang Boys.

A National Bureau of Investigation probe, however, absolved state prosecutors in the bribery issue and recommended the filing of obstruction of justice charges against Marcelino.

The FSGO, which includes Cabinet members who have resigned from the Arroyo administration, also commended thousands of career public servants who are committed to strengthening the country’s democratic institutions in the service of the people.

They said these nameless government employees, particularly teachers, soldiers, and police officers, have remained true to their oath of office, defending the Constitution, protecting and promoting the public good, refusing to accept bribes of any kind, doing their jobs as best they can, even going beyond the call of duty.

“These public servants form the bulk of our country’s bureaucracy and represent our government at its best. During our stint in government, we met most of these outstanding Filipinos and remember with gratitude and admiration their steadfast integrity in the face of corruption and immorality,” the group said.

Praise be with You

Having served briefly the government in various capacities, I know how difficult it is to work in a system where you are not only overworked but under compensated too. No wonder the culture of corruption thrives in such a system because there are some employees and official who want to make money and increase their income even in illegal ways. Corruption on the other hand is not due to money and wealth alone, it is also of greed, lust, and vices. And corruption like a disease is also communicable. Young and old alike in the government service are susceptible for corruption in the same manner as those who work in the  non-government institutions.

I praise every individual who has the light and lead an honest and righteous life in the service. I praise also every citizen in this country who is willing to sacrifice himself in the quest for justice and battle against corruption. Major Ferdinand Marcelino is just one among the many Filipinos who sacrificed themselves to clean this society and government from corruption. Like the rest of Filipinos whose integrity and commitment in public service is without blemish and beyond question, I salute you!


Filed under government, Heroism, Philippine government, politics, Salvation, Wealth, Poverty

The Lost of a Hero

The world is blessed with thousands of heroes all over the World. They all have one thing in mind, to sacrifice themselves that others may live. And this is exactly what Irena Sendlers did. She saved some 2,500 Jewish children from the Nazi Holocaust by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto. She died at the ripe age of 98.

Below is a complete story from the Associated Press:

Polish Holocaust hero dies at age 98

By MONIKA SCISLOWSKA, Associated Press May 12, 12:35 PM ETWARSAW, Poland 

Irena Sendler — credited with saving some 2,500 Jewish children from the Nazi Holocaust by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto, some of them in baskets — died Monday, her family said. She was 98.

President Lech Kaczynski expressed “great regret” over Sendler’s death, calling her “extremely brave” and “an exceptional person.” In recent years, Kaczynski had spearheaded a campaign to put Sendler’s name forward as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Sendler, among the first to be honored by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial as a Righteous Among Nations for her wartime heroism, died at a Warsaw hospital, daughter Janina Zgrzembska told The Associated Press.

Sendler was a 29-year-old social worker with the city’s welfare department when Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, launching World War II. Warsaw’s Jews were forced into a walled-off ghetto.

Seeking to save the ghetto’s children, Sendler masterminded risky rescue operations. Under the pretext of inspecting sanitary conditions during a typhoid outbreak, she and her assistants ventured inside the ghetto — and smuggled out babies and small children in ambulances and in trams, sometimes wrapped up as packages.

Teenagers escaped by joining teams of workers forced to labor outside the ghetto. They were placed in families, orphanages, hospitals or convents.

Records show that Sendler’s team of about 20 people saved nearly 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto between October 1940 and its final liquidation in April 1943, when the Nazis burned the ghetto, shooting the residents or sending them to death camps.

“Every child saved with my help and the help of all the wonderful secret messengers, who today are no longer living, is the justification of my existence on this earth, and not a title to glory,” Sendler said in 2007 in a letter to the Polish Senate after lawmakers honored her efforts in 2007.

In hopes of one day uniting the children with their families — most of whom perished in the Nazis’ death camps — Sendler wrote the children’s real names on slips of paper that she kept at home.

When German police came to arrest her in 1943, an assistant managed to hide the slips, which Sendler later buried in a jar under an apple tree in an associate’s yard. Some 2,500 names were recorded.

“It took a true miracle to save a Jewish child,” Elzbieta Ficowska, who was saved by Sendler’s team as a baby in 1942, recalled in an AP interview in 2007. “Mrs. Sendler saved not only us, but also our children and grandchildren and the generations to come.”

“I kept silent. I preferred to die than to reveal our activity,” she was quoted as saying in Anna Mieszkowska’s biography, “Mother of the Children of the Holocaust: The Story of Irena Sendler.”

In 1965, Sendler became one of the first so-called Righteous Gentiles honored by theYad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem for wartime heroics. Poland’s communist leaders at that time would not allow her to travel to Israel; she collected the award in 1983.

Despite the Yad Vashem honor, Sendler was largely forgotten in her homeland until recent years. She came to the world’s attention in 2000 when a group of schoolgirls from Uniontown, Kan., wrote a short play about her called “Life in a Jar.”

Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev said Sender’s “courageous activities rescuingJews during the Holocaust serve as a beacon of light to the world, inspiring hope and restoring faith in the innate goodness of mankind.”

Zegota, an underground organization helping Jews, paid a bribe to German guards to free her from the prison. Under a different name, she continued her work.

After World War II, Sendler worked as a social welfare official and director of vocational schools, continuing to assist some of the children she rescued.

“A great person has died — a person with a great heart, with great organizational talents, a person who always stood on the side of the weak,” Warsaw Ghetto survivor Marek Eldeman told TVN24 television.

Anyone caught helping Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland risked being summarily shot, along with family members — a fate Sendler only barely escaped herself after the 1943 raid by the Gestapo.

The Nazis took her to the notorious Pawiak prison, which few people left alive. Gestapo agents tortured her repeatedly, leaving Sendler with scars on her body — but she refused to betray her team.

There Will Always be a Sendler

Irena Sendler has now rested in peace but her memory will continue to inspire young people today. There were always be an Irena Sendler to come. At the opportune time some brave people will just do what she did, to risk her life that others may live. With all the global problems the world is experiencing today, we are still blessed with inspiring stories like this. 



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