AFP, PNP reject Alvarez’s call to turn back on gov’t

AFP, PNP reject Alvarez’s call to turn back on gov’t

AFP, PNP reject Alvarez’s call to turn back on gov’t

Pantaleon Alvarez. Photo by NOY MORCOSO/INQUIRER.NET

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police have rejected calls from Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez to withdraw their support from President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to force him to step down.

“The AFP remains to be a professional organization. We have a very clear mandate. We will protect the Constitution and we will follow the duly constituted authorities. In other words, we will follow the chain of command.


The President is our commander in chief,” AFP chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said on the sidelines of a forum hosted by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines on Monday.


READ: Solons: Alvarez liable for sedition for withdrawal of support remark

READ: Alvarez to Marcos: Stop escalating WPS tension or yield presidency

The Davao del Norte representative made the call on Sunday during a political rally in Tagum City as he expressed concern over the situation in the West Philippine Sea.

“When trouble breaks out in the West Philippine Sea, there will be countless dead bodies. There would be unimaginable destruction, famine, hunger,” Alvarez said. “If you withdraw support from him, he will have nothing else to do but step down.”

For Alvarez, Marcos’ stance on the West Philippine Sea was “making us go to war with the world’s superpower, China. And that war will kill us all, Filipinos, especially our soldiers.”

The President has shifted from the largely pro-China foreign policy of his predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, to strengthening the country’s alliance with its oldest ally, the United States.


PNP’s appeal

PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo, for her part, maintained that their loyalty was to the Constitution and the Filipino people.

“Let us spare our uniformed personnel from such political matters … There is no basis right now for us to remove or withdraw support from the duly constituted authorities and we should respect this,” she said.

Fajardo said they would look into Alvarez’s remarks to see whether it could be considered “seditious.”

“Our legal officers will study … if those statements are considered seditious. But for now, we won’t have that kind of conversation,” she said.

Seditious statement

But Camiguin Rep. Jurdin Jesus Romualdo on Monday urged the Department of Justice to investigate and possibly file charges against Alvarez for his “seditious statement.”

Romualdo added that the former speaker could also face a probe by the House of Representatives ethics committee.

“Clearly, what former Speaker Alvarez remarked during a rally in Tagum City falls within the purview of sedition,” he said.

For his part, Lanao del Norte Rep. Khalid Dimaporo reminded Alvarez to choose his words carefully, describing his statement as unbecoming of a House member.

Duterte, on the other hand, was silent about the South China Sea issue during the Hakbang ng Maisug rally in Tagum City on Sunday night amid Marcos’ call for him to reveal the extent of the deal he made with China.

But at least two of his allies raised the specter of war with China even as they asked the crowd gathered at the Davao del Norte sports complex to withdraw their support from the present administration.

Aside from Alvarez, former Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez also defended Duterte from his critics, saying that being antiwar did not necessarily mean being “defeatist” and that avoiding armed confrontation with a foreign power did not mean being a traitor to one’s country.

In his short message, Duterte talked about the term limit of the President provided by the Constitution—and the moves of the administration to change the Constitution.

He warned Marcos to recall what happened to his father, former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., who was ousted from power through a people’s popular revolt.

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“Be happy and finish your term in six years,” Duterte urged the President. “Be content that you’ve been given time by God Almighty to serve the country as President despite the history of your father’s ouster.”

TAGS: AFP, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Pantaleon Alvarez, PNP‎, seditious statement, WPS

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