AFP clears Trillanes: No destabilization moves
The military has not monitored any destabilization moves against the Duterte administration being organized by any politicians as it cleared Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV of even attempting one.
Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Eduardo Año made the statement on Thursday in response to a clarification sought by Trillanes during the Senate finance subcommittee’s hearing on the proposed P195-billion budget of the Department of National Defense (DND).
Trillanes asked Año about it after saying that retired Army general Joselito Kakilala was “spreading” news that a popular politician was recruiting members of Philippine Military Academy Class 2006 in a coup attempt against the government.
The senator, a former Navy junior officer who launched mutinies against the administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, said he did not feel alluded to by Kakilala because he was not popular and “I am not recruiting anyone.”
Trillanes was referring to a Facebook post by Kakilala, who shared an article by “The Asian Policy” about a politician said to be recruiting junior officers to launch a coup against President Duterte.
In his post, Kakilala slammed the politician for recruiting military officers, especially when the AFP had been moving to professionalize the corps.
“Don’t believe this, bok, many soldiers had sacrificed, including their families, because they were discharged for participating in various coups,” Kakilala posted, advising them instead to conclude their mission in the Marawi conflict.
Año told Trillanes that the military considered this kind of information as “raw” as it needed to be validated.
“So far we have not monitored any recruitment activity within the organization and we have not seen any cause for dissatisfaction, demoralization or whatever purpose that it might serve,” Ano said. “So far, we have not monitored any destabilization move of any politician or personalities.”
This included Trillanes, according to Año, after the senator asked him if there was any intelligence information saying he was recruiting military officers.
Subcommittee chair Sen. Panfilo Lacson asked whether the report that Trillanes got was accurate.
Trillanes said it was not an accurate report because Kakilala was using “fake news.”
For his part, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana gave assurance that there was no destabilization moves against the government.
“If there is, the defense (department) or armed forces will feel it,” Lorenzana told reporters after the DND budget was approved by the subcommittee.
Lorenzana said he believed this kind of report in social media was “fake news.”
“Maybe there is one or two persons trying to sow discord so they would come up with fake news,” the defense chief said.
He said he was not aware of Kakilala’s post until Trillanes disclosed this at the hearing. Lorenzana also said he knew the retired general.
In a talk with reporters later, Trillanes—an arch critic of Mr. Duterte—said there was “no justification for military intervention” today.
“We are trying to exhaust all democratic remedies to rectify an anomaly such as Duterte, so let’s see how it works,” he said.
The senator had filed a plunder complaint against Mr. Duterte before the Ombudsman for allegedly having billions in his bank accounts.
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