Officer calling for Aquino ouster sacked | Inquirer News

Officer calling for Aquino ouster sacked

/ 01:00 AM July 17, 2011

A marine colonel was stripped of his post and confined to quarters after a video of him calling for the overthrow of the government was circulated just before President Benigno Aquino III was to hold a military command conference on Friday.

Colonel Generoso Mariano was removed as deputy commander of the Naval Reserve Command and is facing a formal investigation for possible sedition and unbecoming conduct, a Navy spokesperson said.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said Malacañang would “address all the questions on Colonel Mariano today.”


In the video, Mariano denounced what he said was the failure of the Aquino administration to deliver on its promises.


“It is the duty, it is the right of every Filipino, including soldiers, to replace the government. I repeat, replace the government,” he said in the video, which was sent to journalists and reportedly distributed in military camps.

The video has begun circulating on social networking sites on the Internet. The videos on Facebook come from the account of a group calling itself the “Oust Noynoy Movement.”

“Let us not be fooled by the promising liar. What soldiers feel is no different from what our citizens feel,” said the bespectacled Mariano, seated and wearing a blue Marine shirt in the video.

“We are seeing how our government has no capability to take steps to rescue us from starvation and death,” he said, speaking mostly in Filipino.

Mariano was due to retire on Sunday upon reaching the retirement age of 56. The video was dated July 3, 2011.

Navy Flag Officer in Commander Vice Admiral Alexander Pama on Friday ordered Mariano restricted Marine headquarters at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City pending a formal investigation.


He also ordered a probe into whether or not Mariano had violated military rules and to determine if the disgruntled officer had any supporters, said Navy spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Omar Tonsay.

A group calling itself Solidarity for Sovereignty (S4S) on Saturday admitted that Mariano had made those statements before a forum at Club Filipino about two and a half weeks ago.

Businessman Antonio “Butch” Valdez told Radyo Inquirer that they had invited Mariano to speak at their forum and many in the audience had applauded his remarks. But Valdez claimed Mariano was speaking against bad government in general terms and did not specifically target President Aquino.

“Anyone would probably say that if a government is bad then it should be changed,” Valdez said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) dismissed the incident as just the grumbling of one officer and not an indication of restiveness in the military.

AFP spokesperson Commodore Miguel Rodriguez said it was just a “breach of discipline” on the part of one individual, thus, the AFP was leaving it to the Navy to resolve.

Rodriguez said he had heard rumors that Mariano recently had a dental operation at a private clinic for which he paid P92,000. But when he asked to be reimbursed, he was denied because, under the rules, he should have had the procedure done at a military dental facility.

“Were his teeth made of gold that he should pay P92,000 and expect the military to pay for them?” Rodriguez said. He added that it was not even the AFP or the Navy that denied the reimbursement but the Commission on Audit.

He also cited talk about Mariano’s supposed disappointment about not being promoted to general, and not getting command of the naval reserve. Tonsay said Mariano had risen through the ranks, not being an alumnus of the Philippine Military Academy.

On Friday, Mr. Aquino presided over the command conference at AFP headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City. Reporters were barred from the event. AFP Chief of Staff Eduardo Oban later said the military only briefed Mr. Aquino on its modernization efforts and the progress of its internal security plan. Rodriguez said the incident involving Mariano was not discussed during the command conference.

The 120,000-strong Philippine military has been wracked by restiveness since the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was overthrown in 1986. More than a dozen coup attempts since then have attempted to undermine civilian rule.

Mariano was one of the soldier detained for involvement in the bloody 1989 coup attempt, which saw then President Corazon Aquino calling for help from the United States Air Force.

Rebel Colonel Ariel Querubin, who was also detained, expressed surprise at Marianos’s videotaped statement. “I told him, ‘you should have made that video before, during the Arroyo administration, that would have been appropriate,’ ” Querubin told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone.

Querubin said Mariano, whom he talked to by telephone Saturday, denied he was calling for the ouster of President Aquino. “He said that what he meant was that ’under any administration, problems will always be there because of the system,” Querubin quoted Mariano as saying.

He believed Mariano was more concerned about his retirement and was disgrunted about developments in his career.

When Querubin was detained for rebelling  against Arroyo, he said Mariano would visit him. “He was a sympathizer,” Querubin said.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Earlier, Catholic Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos said over Catholic Radio Veritas that President Aquino was “not worthy” to lead the country and warned that there were groups already “preparing” for his ouster. With reports from Christine Avendaño and Dona Dominguez (Radyo Inquirer), AFP and AP

TAGS: AFP, Generoso Mariano, Government, Military

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.