RETIRED NAVY CAPTAIN DANILO “KA DAN” VIZMANOS:
A MUCH BETTER HUMAN BEING THAN TODAY’S GENERALS
Dr. Dante C. Simbulan, PMA Class 1952
(This is Retired Colonel Dante C. Simbulan’s eulogy during the Huling Parangal Para kay Ret. Navy Captain Danilo , Shrine of the Sacred Heart, San Antonio Village, Makati, 8PM, June 27, 2008. Dr. Simbulan served with the original units of the Philippine Scout Rangers organized by then Capt.Rafael Ileto during the anti-Huk campaign. He served with the Corps of Professors and taught at the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City till his retirement in 1967. He has a Doctorate in Political Science at the Australian National University, and is the author of the book, THE MODERN PRINCIPALIA, THE HISTORICAL EVOLUTION OF THE PHILIPPINE RULING OLIGARY published in 2005 by the U.P. Press)
During my last visit to Ka Dan three weeks ago, he was in intense pain, but I could see that he was very glad to see me. When I and my son, Roland bade goodbye, he handed me a CD of the “Parangal” recently held in Makati and a copy of his latest book, ” A Matter of Conviction”. On the first page he wrote: “To Ka Dante, my ‘classmate’ in Camp Crame (CSU-Constabulary Security Unit), Fort Bonifacio and Bicutan.
Indeed, Ka Dan and I were both political prisoners, “classmates” in the prisons of the Marcos dictatorship. Like Ka Dan, I was arrested at about the same time and jailed for 2 1/2 years without charges.
I would have been honored to be his real classmate, to be his ‘mistah’ or my ‘cavalier’, but he went to Kings Point in New York (U.S. Merchant Marine Academy-USMMA) and I went to PMA in Baguio, he graduating in 1950 (same year as Pres. Fidel V. Ramos graduated at West Point), and I , two years later in 1952 in Fort Del Pilar, Baguio.
Unlike many generals of the AFP and PNP today (who are mostly graduates of PMA), Ka Dan has observed the Code of Honor inculcated in us Peemayers for four years: that we must not cheat, lie , nor steal nor tolerate those who do among us. Though not a PMA graduate, he also lived the PMA ideals of “Courage, Integrity , and Loyalty”, the so-called CIL embossed in our class rings. Indeed, he could have been one of the few among us who still believe AND PRACTICE these. He could have been, and I believe he will be, an excellent role model of both cadets and young officers of the AFP and PNP.
Many generals today have not only abandoned the honor system and the ideals of CIL, but have also flaunted their ill-gotten wealth, living in mansions in Ayala-Alabang, Corinthian Gardens, Valle Verde, Green Meadows and such high-class and gated communities of the wealthy few, rubbing elbows with the high and mighty in our society. They have lied and cheated for their superiors — including their fake Commander-in-Chief — in order to be promoted or to get coveted assignments. On the other hand, they have jailed and court-martialed those PMA graduates who still follow the straight path, who still want to tell the truth no matter what is the consequence. In short, these generals today have become part of the problem –part and parcel of the corrupt ruling oligarchy!
In contast, Ka Dan Vizmanos refused to follow this pattern. He did not serve the dictator Marcos nor did he benefit from such service. Instead, he fought the dictatorship which trampled on the constitutional rights of citizens. He protested against the violation of human rights by the military and the police minions of Marcos.
But Ka Dan did not only protest but also showed enormous COURAGE in defying the dictator and his minions during Martial Law resulting in his incarceration; he demonstrated a strength of character, the HONESTY AND INTEGRITY to live within his means (even though, like the others, he had the opportunity to enrich himself while holding responsible positions in the AFP). Today, like Rep. Crispin ‘Ka Bel’ Beltran, he lived and died in the same old house with just the bare necessities that his meager income could afford. Ka Dan, like Ka Bel died a poor man. What a contrast to the lifestyle of the generals of the present dispensation!
Most important of all, Ka Dan Vizmanos showed his LOYALTY, not to the ruling elites and the corrupt system they represent, but he gave it wholeheartedly to the Filipino people, especially to the suffering and oppressed masses of our unjust society.
He was against the mendicant and beggarly attitude of both our civilian and militlary leaders to our erstwhile colonial master, the United States. He criticized the long-standing dependency of the government and the military on the Americans. He ridiculed the junk, the ‘surplus’ equipment that the U.S. is giving us, to ‘modernize’ our armed forces. He caricatured the expressions of gratitude of our so-called leaders to the ‘generosity’ of the Americans for giving us 40-year old helicopters!
He wanted our country and our armed forces to be self-reliant and not be a tail of the U.S. kite. He wanted to see the Philippines attain real independence and exercise our sovereign rights as a respected member of the world community of nations. Last but not least, Ka Dan’s vision is to see our empowered people participate in government and not just the few political dynasties who lord it over us all in determining our future and in shaping our destiny.
I salute you, Ka Dan, and am truly proud to have known you.
Kami’y iyong iniwan, ngunit ang iyong diwa, adhikain at paninindigan ay hindi namin kakalimutan at aming ipagpapatuloy ang ating layunin hanggang hindi makamtan ang paglayan ng ating bayang minamahal.
Paalam, kaibigan at kasama. Tinitiyak kong darami sa ating mga kasundaluhan at opisyal ng military ang makakakita sa iyong maningning na halimbawa at darating ang araw na ang AFP ay magbabagong anyo. When that time comes, it will no longer be the protector and defender of a corrupt ruling system, but will be transformed into a true armed forces of the people, the protector of our people’s interest, a defender of our national independence and sovereignty, and the reliable guardian of a true and authentic democracy.
The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip in July 9th 2008