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Trillanes: Duterte ‘dangerously close’ to politicizing military

09:39 AM September 28, 2016
Army

Members of the Army’s mechanized brigade parade in a military camp. INQUIRER FILE

Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV on Tuesday raised the alarm over President Rodrigo Duterte’s visits to military camps across the country, expressing fear that soldiers might be used for political purposes.

In an INQ&A interview, Trillanes said Duterte was “dangerously close” to politicizing the military especially that the Armed Forces was “very supportive” of the President.

“Highly suspicious ‘yung frequency ng visits. You don’t need to visit every camp in the Armed Forces to deliver your point,” Trillanes said.

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“You don’t need to overdo it. You can deliver your message and express your support sa isang ano lang,” he added.

Since assuming office in June, Duterte has frequently made speeches in military camps across the country, reiterating the government’s all-out war against drugs as he promised soldiers of weapons and raise in pay.

Trillanes said Duterte’s frequent visits to military camps and the claims of confessed hitman Edgar Matobato linking him to summary executions were a “dangerous combination.”

The soldier-turned-senator said it was also possible that Duterte’s visits were related to military resistance to the ongoing peace negotiations between the government and communist rebels.

“Pwede ‘yun one of the objectives, kumbaga sleight of hand ‘yan. Na-entertain ‘yung mga sundalo natin habang pinapakawalan ‘yung mga (rebel) leaders,” he said.

Trillanes said Duterte might be courting the military’s loyalty “for other purposes” amid reported destabilization plots against him, which Malacañang said would not be taken lightly.

The presidential palace previously claimed having received information from credible sources of alleged threats to oust Duterte.

In several instances, Duterte previously said he would not declare martial law, even as he declared a state of national emergency on account of lawless violence following a deadly blast in Davao City. CBB

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