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Palace finds coup attempt ‘corny

 

By GENALYN D. KABILING

 

Presidential Spokesperson Atty. Harry Roque announces during a press briefing in Malacañang on March 20, 2018 that the dollar remittances from overseas Filipinos have risen to 2.7 billion in January this year according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. YANCY LIM/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

PRESIDENTIAL Spokesperson Atty. Harry Roque (Malacañang photo)

THE military does not have to be “corny” and launch a coup attempt against President Duterte if it is unsatisfied with his performance, Malacañang said Monday.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the President has de­clared he would not cling to power and instead step down if he no longer enjoys the support of the people.

“Ang Presidente naman po ay hindi niya pinaggigiitan ang sarili niya sa Hukbong Sandatahan, kung ayaw talaga ng Hukbong Sanda­tahan. Ang sabi nga niya, huwag na tayong magpa-corny, huwag na kayong magku-coup. Sabihin ninyo lang sa akin, bababa ako,” Roque said in a radio interview.

The President earlier declared said he does not need the loyalty of the military and police, saying they should instead remain to the flag and the Constitution. Duterte maintained he has no problem stepping down from office if Filipi­nos do not support him anymore.

Duterte gave the statement when asked if he would conduct a loyalty check on the military and police amid rumors some mem­bers were concerned with revoca­tion of amnesty given to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

Trillanes earlier claimed that some uniformed personnel have expressed support for him since they were “extremely bothered” and “conflicted” by Duterte’s am­nesty recall.

Roque said Trillanes may have a “master’s [degree] in destabili­zation” but would unlikely get the military and police to support his cause.

He asserted that the President has carried out measures to im­prove the plight of soldiers and policemen, including doubling their salaries.

“Dahil ang Presidente lang ang tanging Presidente na talagang nakapangalaga ng mga interes ng ating mga kasundaluhan at kapu­lisan, dinoble ang kanilang mga sahod, ay mahihirapan po itong si Trillanes – bagama’t masters in de­stabilization siya – para makakuha ng suporta sa ating kasundaluhan at mga kapulisan,” he said.

Duterte earlier issued a procla­mation voiding the amnesty given to Trillanes by the previous admin­istration for failure to comply with minimum requirements. He also argued the amnesty granted to Trillanes was defective and fatally flawed since it was former Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, not then President Benigno Aquino III, who approved the amnesty.

For his part, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez, Jr. assures there are no divisiveness and rumblings with­in their ranks.

Galvez said the entire military submits to the majesty of the Su­preme Court (SC) and yields to its wisdom as it tackles the petition pertaining to Presidential Proclama­tion 572 (PP 572) filed by Trillanes.

“I assure our people that, as in many times in the past, the AFP will be one and undivided as an orga­nization. Let me then, as the AFP Chief of Staff, take this occasion to warn persons or groups that at­tempt to divide the AFP by sowing intrigues and discord among its Of­ficers and Enlisted personnel. You will not succeed,” he said.

In an official statement sent through Colonel Romeo Brawner, Jr., deputy commander, Joint Task Force Ranao, Galvez said that in deference to the SC that has taken cognizance of the case, the AFP will not comment on its merits and ex­pressed hope that others will also do so.

Galvez also reminded every sol­dier, airman, sailor, and marine not to meddle or take part in partisan politics

“Our loyalty is to the Constitution. I command the troops to adhere to the rule of law and always obey the Chain of Command. Violation of these intructions will be dealt with severely and personnel who will get involved will be immediately re­lieved from their posts and investi­gated”, warned Galvez.

“While I am aware that the troops have individual views on many is­sues, those merely hallmark an in­telligent and matured organization like the AFP. But we always put the interest of the organization and the nation above our own.”

Galvez has commissioned the General Court Martial (GCM) to con­tinue hearing the case of Trillanes. When the GCM resumes, he said, it shall proceed from where it stopped in its proceedings when Presidential Proclamation 75 was signed.

The proceedings, however, will be held in abeyance until the SC has ruled on the merits of Proclamation 572, stated Galvez. (With a report from Erma Edera)

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