‘Nothing to worry’: Lorenzana says no monitored coup plot vs Duterte
(Updated, 1:11 p.m.) Defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Thursday assured that the military has not monitored any coup attempt against President Duterte.
“Nothing to worry. There’s no coup,” Lorenzana said in an ambush interview at the Senate.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff General Eduardo Año also assured senators during the hearing for the Defense department’s budget that there was no verified information of a destabilization plot against the Duterte administration.
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV asked Año whether the military has monitored reports of a certain military official named “General Kakilala” spreading “fake news” about a “popular politician” recruiting members of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) class of 2006 to launch a coup plot.
“We regard this as raw information. We’ve not seen any cause for a coup. The AFP is professional enough. We’ve not monitored any destabilization move of any personality,” Año said.
In an ambush interview after the budget hearing, Trillanes said reports reached his camp that the Kakilala was spreading in PMA online forums that a politician—whom he later referred to as himself—was calling out PMA members to launch a military takeover.
Asked if the Kakilala he was referring to was retired military spokesman Brigadier General Joselito Kakilala, Trillanes said: “I believe so.”
“Mayroon daw akong nirerecruit na PMA class 2006 pero categorically kinlarify ni Año na walang ganyan. Walang destabilization o recruitment na nangyayari,” Trillanes said.
(They said I was recruiting members of PMA Class 2006, but Año categorically clarified that there was no such thing. There was no destabilization or recruitment taking place.)
“Mayroon silang forum na mga PMAyers. Doon sa exchange nila, talagang ako tinutumbok (PMAyers have a forum. In their exchange, they are referring to me),” he added.
Trillanes then denied doing any recruitment for a coup attempt.
“Hindi ako nagrerecruit. Hindi kami lumalapit sa mga kampo even (I am not recruiting. We are not even going to camps),” he said.
Trillanes’ camp sent a screenshot of a Facebook user “Joselito Kakilala” posting a link of a supposed hoax article saying the politician was recruiting a certain “Captain Popoy” from class 2006 to launch coup d’état against Duterte.
Kakilala said in his post in the forum: “G*ago itong politician na ito ah. Pinaghirapan ng Armed Forces ang AFP Transformation Roadmap para ma highly professionalize ang corp. Huwag na kayo maniwala yan, bok, maraming sundalo nag sakripisyo including their families dahil na discharged sila for participating in various coups. Tapusin nyo mission sa Marawi that is the honorable thing to do in our profession.”
(This politician is a fool. The Armed Forces worked hard for the AFP Transformation Roadmap to highly professionalize the corp. Don’t believe this guy. Many soldiers and their families suffered because of their participation in various coups. Finish your mission in Marawi, that is the honorable thing to do in our profession.)
The senator, a former soldier and a member of PMA class 1995, said a military intervention, despite the “anomalies” in the administration, is still unjustified at the moment.
“Walang (There is no) justification for a military intervention. We are trying to exhaust all the democratic remedies to rectify an anomaly,” he said.
Trillanes, along with his fellow mutineers, has led two failed coup attempts against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. /idl
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