• Bishop says retired generals behind coup plot

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    Retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz on Friday confirmed that a group of retired generals, civilians and businessmen will stage a coup d’etat against President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

    The group, Cruz said, is pushing for Vice President Jejomar Binay to replace Aquino, but only to prosecute those who are guilty of misdeeds in the government.

    A former head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, the retired archbishop added that those who will join the coup are “dissatisfied” with the Aquino administration.

    He clarified that he is not in favor of the coup d’etat” but said the group of retired generals might invite some bishops to join them.

    “I think they [retired generals]would like first to put the government in order and see to it that these [government officials]who are guilty of malversation of public funds will go to prison,” the retired archbishop said, apparently referring to senators and dozens of others accused of plunder and graft in connection with the pork barrel scam.

    The retired generals, according to Cruz, thought of the coup attempt because removing the President through impeachment is “something that is impossible to happen” because some congressmen are mostly the beneficiaries of the administration.

    They, however, are yet to decide on when to stage the coup attempt, he said.

    Cruz added that the retired generals “felt that they are not recognized [by the government even if they had taken risks and]put their lives on the line.”

    “I presume, when the coup [try]is staged and it succeeds, all the Cabinet members, at least a good number of them, will also be held accountable,” he said.

    Cruz added that the coup plot will not affect the visit to the Philippines next year of Pope Francis on January 15 to 19 because the pontiff “is not a political [figure], he is a head of a state. He comes here as head of the Church and for the pastoral visit, not to meddle in politics.”

    On Tuesday, Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th said some retired generals with links to former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo had talked about a destabilization plot against Aquino.

    Trillanes, however, refused to name names.

    National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia earlier assured the public that there was no planned coup against the President.

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