THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is investigating reports on the alleged recruitment of soldiers and policemen to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.
“News about these seeming disturbances within the military are unknown to us, these are things that we take seriously so we will look into it,” said Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr., AFP spokesman.
Padilla issued the statement after Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco revealed the alleged plan of Liberal Party members Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th and some elite businessmen to topple Duterte.
Trillanes led two coup attempts against the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, now a representative of the second district of Pampanga.
Padilla however belittled any move to destabilize the government, saying soldiers and military officials have shown their full support to the Commander-in-Chief during his series of visits to various military camps in the country.
“Matapos po na bigyan ng prioridad ng ating Commander-in-chief ang pagpunta sa lahat ng military installation upang makibahagi at makipag-ugnayan sa lahat ng kasundaluhan, maayos po ang pagtangap po ng lahat ng gating mga mga sundalo,mga marino, mga airman at saka mga sailors sa ating Commander-in-chief (After the Commander-in-chief gave priority to visit military installations to personally interact with soldiers, the President is warmly accepted and welcomed by the Marines, the Airmen and the sailors),” Padilla said.
He added that the soldiers’ morale are high especially now that Duterte pledged his commitment to look after their welfare.
He cited in particular Executive Order No. 3 that increases the combat pay of troops to a fixed P3,000, a six-fold increase from P500 per month.
“The morale of our soldiers, especially those assigned in dangerous areas, is high. They saw these benefits as a fitting recognition of their sacrifices,” Padilla explained.
He maintained that AFP officials are not aware of the supposed rumblings in the military.
“This is a serious matter that is why we are looking into it and investigating it thoroughly,” the official said. “Any threat that may affect the republic or the safety of the President is always a serious threat.”