Incompetent but loyal

We have long held the view that the purported management skills of generals, both retired and active, were a myth nurtured by Ferdinand Marcos as part of his overarching authoritarian ideology. The country needed to be force- marched to prosperity and military men – trained to obey – were seen as the perfect implementers of the whip-and-lash-the-people strategy.

But even during the early years of martial law, Marcos knew enough about the nuts and bolts of actually running the government that no generals were actually tapped for Cabinet positions. And in areas where military men held sway, they were held under tight rein by civilians like defense chief Juan Ponce Enrile, the current Senate President.

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