For all we know, Marine Captain Nicanor Faeldon’s escape was really just about a young man’s affair of the heart and not the business of the rebellion. It’s so stupid of him to dress like a woman and go around in the metropolis cavorting with a woman, a military one at that. He should have known better. From the very start, government intelligence knew everything about his relationship with that lawyer-military girl. He should have known that the first thing government troops would do is to tail her. They did and—voila!—Faeldon recaptured. I wonder how he looked in a woman’s clothes.
If he really valued his freedom, his “cause,” and his blog, he should just have maintained reasonable distance from her. You know what Mao Zedong said? Revolution is no picnic. Certainly it’s not romantic tryst. Faeldon did not heed that lesson. He wanted the best of both worlds so he paid dearly. What now, Captain? Now you are also going to ruin the career of your love. I’m sure it’s not your idea of collateral damage.
But then again, Faeldon’s misadventures may simply reflect the bigger truth about military coup plotters’ legendary capacity for bungling. Remember Gringo Honasan and his group in 1986? Had it not for people power, Gringo and his politician benefactor, Juan Ponce Enrile, may have been bombed to kingdom come by Marcos henchmen. When Cory Aquino assumed power, Gringo and his kind tried several times to seize power and they failed all the time. Save for the presidency of Fidel Ramos, every administration after Marcos had faced military coup attempts but all those efforts went bonkers. So it appears that Faeldon simply played his part in this continuing tragicomedy called Philippine politics.
It seems like guys like Gringo and Faeldon are not studying history. Is it because they were always on “maneuvers”? They should have known that coups d’etat and armed revolutions are no longer in fashion. Pervez Musharraf of course has succeeded to take power but he is gradually democratizing Pakistan, knowing that the era of the men on horseback, of colorful caudillos are now relics of a bygone era. (For a less political take on the world, please visit Photographs and Memories).