Aquino brushes off call for his oustingAgence France-Presse
MANILA, Philippines—Philippine President Benigno Aquino’s office on Sunday brushed off calls by a navy colonel for his overthrow, saying the officer was not backed by anyone else in the 120,000-strong armed forces.
The video appeal by Generoso Mariano was an “isolated” case, said presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte as she hinted the political opposition was behind the footage.
“We are not alarmed. The (armed forces) leadership had said that these are only his own sentiments and not the sentiments of the others,” Valte said in an interview aired on government radio.
“There are no others that share his views or his opinion (on) his call even to replace (Aquino.) We are confident that the soldiers know that they are here to uphold the constitution… and not to engage in politics,” she added.
Valte said Mariano seemed to be “saying the same thing” as the political opposition and joked that he could work for them openly after his retirement from the military.
Mariano was stripped of his post and put under investigation over a video in which he called for Aquino to be overthrown.
The video was circulated on social networking sites on Saturday and one copy was delivered anonymously to navy headquarters, the military has said.
Mariano was set to retire on Sunday when he turned 56 but could still face charges of sedition and conduct unbecoming of an officer, the military said.
The Philippine forces have been wracked by periods of unrest since a military-backed bloodless “people power” uprising toppled the 20-year rule of dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.
Two of the five presidents that followed him survived a series of military coups, including Aquino’s late mother Corazon Aquino, who had to seek the help of the US Air Force in a bloody attempt in 1989.