�� Navy also probing Alvarez over ‘seditious’ remark
DAVAO DEL NORTE LAWMAKER A MARINE CORPS RESERVIST

Navy also probing Alvarez over ‘seditious’ remark

Navy also probing Alvarez over ‘seditious’ remark

Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/LYN RILLON

MANILA, Philippines — National Security Adviser Eduardo Año on Wednesday called out Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez for inciting the military and the police to withdraw support from President Marcos.

“Any call for withdrawal of support when done by a public official, more so one that is also a high-ranking reservist, is not only irresponsible but also illegal and unconstitutional,” Año said in a statement.

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“Such utterances and actions can be construed as seditious or rebellious and they have no place in our society,” he added.

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Investigate Alvarez

Año urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate Alvarez and, if warranted, prosecute the former speaker who made the call at a rally on April 13.

“When trouble breaks out in the West Philippine Sea, there will be countless dead bodies. There [will] be unimaginable destruction, famine, hunger,” Alvarez had said at the rally.

“If you withdraw support from him, [President Marcos] will have nothing else to do but step down,” he said in his appeal to the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police.

But Año dismissed the congressman’s call as politically motivated and meant to divert public attention from the policy errors the Duterte administration made in dealing with China over the West Philippine Sea.

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“Rep. Alvarez, and others who may be similarly inclined, should not drag such respected institutions to serve their partisan agenda or self-interest, even if such calls are made, as he claimed, in a fit of emotion,” he said.

The Philippine Navy has also started an investigation into the remarks of Alvarez, in relation to his status as a reservist of the Marine Corps.

Disservice to gov’t troops

“His words and deeds are a disservice to our men and women in uniform who risk their lives daily to safeguard our nation’s security, defend us from all manner of threats, and uphold the Constitution,” Año said.

The police and the military, according to him, would continue to “remain above petty partisan, political, or personal interests.

Even in the House of Representatives, Camiguin Rep. Jurdin Jesus Romualdo scored the former speaker for making excuses to avoid rightful prosecution.

In a statement, Romualdo welcomed the decision of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla to investigate Alvarez for possible prosecution.

Remulla, himself a former lawmaker, said on Tuesday that the DOJ would determine whether the former House leader’s call constitutes “sedition, inciting to sedition or even rebellion.”

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“As a former lawmaker myself, I would like to remind Congressman Alvarez to act in accordance [with] the highest standards of ethics, morality and nationalism and avoid remarks unbecoming of a member of the House of Representatives,” Remulla said.

TAGS: Alvarez, free speech, Navy, seditious statement

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