If the President would ask support for a military junta, this general would say no

76TH AFP ANNIVERSARY Various military units parade in Camp Aquinaldo to celebrate the 76th anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

A ranking military official assured legislators on Wednesday that he would reject a junta even if ordered by his Commander-in-Chief. 

The issue of a possible military junta was raised by Senator Panfilo Lacson during the confirmation hearing for Lt. Gen. Arnel dela Vega at the Commission on Appointments’ committee on national defense.

“My question is purely hypothetical. You are summoned by the Commander-in-Chief, one-on-one, no other officer of the AFP (Armed Forces of the  Philippines) is present,  you’re asked to support a military junta, how would you react?” Lacson asked.

“In such case that the current President is the one to ask me, I would…” Dela Vega said but he was cut by Lacson.

“It doesn’t matter who the President is,” said the senator, reiterating that his question   was hypothetical.

Responding to the question, Dela Vega  said: “I would deny the instruction, Sir, as it’s against the laws of the land, Your Honor.”

Lacson thanked the nominee and said in jest that opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros would recommend his confirmation to the plenary.

Hontiveros, who was at the hearing , said she was nodding her head “with full  appreciation” when she was listening to Dela Vega’s response.

“Your response this morning gives me that much more hope kahit sa kaguluhan na maya’t-mayang kinalalagyan natin, that the AFP will help  stay the course for democratic and civilian led government so maraming salamat po sa sagot ninyo,” she said.

The panel later recommended Dela Vega’s nomination along with other military officers.

The recommendation has yet to be adopted in the CA plenary.   /kga