A Courageous, Principled Public Servant and Freemason It takes courage to stand for principles and be counted and more, to stand tall when many would rather hide their identity to keep their jobs and/or avoid religious prejudices. Not with the current Secretary of National Defense (DND), Gen. Hermogenes E. Ebdane, Jr., 2005-2006 Grand Master of Masons of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the Philippines. Whatever governmental entity Secretary Ebdane is associated with, he stands tall and never hides his being a Freemason. No wonder, when he was Chief of the Philippine National Police, uniformed men knocked at the door of the Craft. It is known that those at the Department of Public Works and Highways who were shy to make known their membership in the Fraternity came out openly and boldly despite the dominant Church’s renewed warnings against Freemasonry. Birth, Family MW Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr. first saw the light of this world on December 30, 1948 in Candelaria, Zambales. Married to the former Alma Cabanayan, he is gifted with three children and three grandchildren. Civilian Education MW Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr. is a holder of a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Master of Arts in Criminology, and Doctor of Philosophy in Peace and Security Administration. A believer in continuing education, MW Ebdane, Jr. broadened his intellectual horizon despite myriad activities that go with his work. Police Education and Training MW Ebdane, Jr. graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in 1970. From then on, he honed his skills by attending various courses, such as: PC Officers Basic Course, Philippine Constabulary Training Center; Basic Airborne, FT Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija; Tactical Survival and Adventure Training, Australian Army Jungle Training Centre; Tropical Warfare Technique, TANTC Intelligence Officers Basic Course Special Intelligence Training School (SITE); Military Intelligence Collection Course; VIP Security and Dignitary Protection, National Intelligence Training Center; Intelligence Officer Advance Course, SIT Incident Management. USCTTG; Command and General Staff Officers Course (1988-89). FT Leavenworth, Kansas, USA; Jump Master Course, PC Special Action Force; Senior Police Officers course, Singapore Police Academy, Senior Police Executive course, international law Enforcement Academy, Thailand; and Senior Crises Management Course, US State Department. The above-enumerated courses toughened MW Ebdane’s resolve to put muscle into whatever assignment given him. Courage to ready one’s self for life’s challenges stems from rigorous training. Government Posts and Assignments MW Ebdane’s phenomenal star speaks of his ability to steady his course. From Operation Officer of PC Region 3, Camp Olivas, Pampanga, he became the Provincial Commander of the Nueva Ecija Constabulary Command. After his stint as Provincial Commander, he was assigned as Commander of the Presidential Guard Battalion and much later Commanding Officer of the Philippine Constabulary Special Action Force. He was later on assigned as Provincial Director of the Pangasinan Provincial Police Office. Returning to Manila, he was assigned as Director of the Western Police District and rose to become the Regional Director of the National Capital Region Police Office. There was no stopping the rise of MW Ebdane, Jr. when he was assigned as PNP Director for Human Resources and District Development to Deputy Chief PNP for Administration and Chief, National Anti-Kidnapping Task Force. From July 2002 to August 2004, MW Ebdane was Chief of the Philippine National Police. His watch was not without criticism but he stood tall in pursuing his vision. It was not a surprise that after his assignment as PNP Chief, President Gloria Arroyo appointed MW Ebdane, Jr. as National Security Adviser and Director-General, National Security Council and concurrently Vice-Chairman of the Anti-Terrorism Task Force and National Anti-Terrorism Coordinator during the same period. When MW Ebdane, Jr. was appointed Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways on February 15, 2005, jaundiced critics doubted his credentials. Our Grand Master is not only a military man but a civil engineer as well. Awards Awards, our Grand Master has aplenty. To mention a few: Distinguished Conduct Star, the Philippine Legion of Honor, Degree of the Commander, two Distinguished Service Stars. PNP Distinguished Service Medal, Medalya ng Katangi-Tanging Gawa, Bronze Cross Medals, Military Merit Medals, PMA Cavalier Awards for Leadership and Command Administration and Master Parachutist Badge. Grand Master Ebdane, Jr. earned his reward, award and honor because he deserved it. He is an achiever par excellence. Masonic Career MW Grand Master Ebdane, Jr. was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in 1978 and was elected Worshipful Master of Dapitan Lodge No. 21 in 1995 and 1998. He was appointed Grand Lodge Inspector in 1997 and District Grand Lecturer of Masonic District No. 5 in 1998. In MY 2000, he served as District Deputy Grand Master of District No. 5. MW Ebdane, Jr. served as High Shereef, Saigon Shrine Oasis and High Priest, Royal Arch Mason. He is a Knight Commander of the Court of Honor (KCCH), A&ASR. Awarded Outstanding Mason in the Field of Police in 1995, MW Ebdane, Jr. was given the highest gift that his brethren could give on April 29, 2005, namely, his election as the Grand Master of Masons of the Republic of the Philippines, an honor only a few can attain. He is proud of his membership in the Fraternity albeit his being a Cabinet Secretary, a five-star General, Doctor of Philosophy, and an achiever of no mean note. He is a towering figure not only as a civilian but a Freemason whose influence is contaminating. Those in the dark have knocked at the door of Freemasonry because our Grand Master has set his light on the hall for everyone to see. He stands tall in practicing the Masonic tenets, amidst ages-long ecclesiastical denseness and naiveté. To MW Hermogenes E. Ebdane, Jr., Freemasonry is not a secret society but an open dynamic entity which draws good men to her fraternal bosom. He is a Grand Master who wants to revisit the past for the future.