A reservist of the Philippine Army urged actor Dingdong Dantes to leave the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) if he’s not in favor of the anti-terrorism policies being pushed by the government.
In an open letter, John Paolo Nartatez introduced himself to Dantes as a reservist who underwent the right process by being a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) officer during college and finishing military training.
Dantes who’s a navy reservist with a rank of Lieutenant Commander said that the anti-terror bill (ATB) was ‘causing fear’ to the people.
Nartatez said that the statements of Dantes against anti-terror law were disappointing.
“I’m so displeased with your recent pronouncements against the Anti-Terrorism Law. You made an oath to our flag that you will protect our motherland and its people from threats to our sovereignty. I hope you can be man enough to walk your talk and not let yourself be influenced by any political color,” said Nartatez.
The army reservist urged the actor to think about the soldiers who sacrificed their lives to fight terrorism and the people who got victimized by terror groups.
“If you still can’t see the bigger picture, you are dragging the entire Armed Forces with your shallow thinking. You are utterly neglecting your duty to the State by adopting the same mentality as the rebels,” the army reservist told Dantes.
He then lectured Dantes about his role as a reservist, saying that his statements and actions could affect the AFP.
“The enemies don’t rest even in this time of pandemic. The ATL is an instrumental tool into keeping peace and order, not a threat to freedom. I honestly don’t mind your obvious affiliation with a political party as long as your political stand does not get in the way of fulfilling your duties,” he said.
“However, you need to understand that as an individual, your actions will reflect to the AFP. Whenever you speak, you are not only speaking for yourself but for us too. So please, if you really can’t live by the military codes of conduct, do us all a favor. Renounce from the AFP. Stop disgracing us!” he added.
This is not the first time that Dantes has been criticized by a member of AFP.
A retired official of the Philippine Air Force also slammed Dantes for his statement against ATL.
“Bilang isang reservist, as you claim to be. Dapat sumuporta ka sa program ng gobyerno hindi kontrahin ito. It only shows na hilaw pagiging reservists mo at mababaw ang foundation mo bilang Navy Reserve. May spokesperson ang AFP at youre violating the protocol by branding your reserve status at the same time being a civilian, an actor at that. You are well covered by a court-martial kaya shut the hell up.” Captain Ulysses Ignacio told Dantes.
Meanwhile, Dantes introduced a new group of Filipino actors to fight actions against creative freedom and expression in the country.
“Ipinapahayag namin ang mariing pagtutol sa anumang batas at kautusan na sumasagasa sa aming malayang paglikha. Tinatanggihan namin ang anumang panghihimasok sa mga proseso ng industriyang walang tunay na konsultasyon sa mga manggagawa nito,” Dingdong read.