Malacañang on Friday said it has not received reports of possible coup attempts triggered by controversies spawned by the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
“We have not heard of any coup rumors. Rumors will remain rumors until such time that there is any [indication]that they have become facts,” Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte told reporters.
She asked the public to leave the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) out of politics.
“Let us insulate the military from politics because the military works for the country and the people. We should not engage in any effort to politicize the military. They already have enough [problems]on their hands,” Valte said.
Malacañang’s statement echoed a reminder of the new military chief, Lt. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr., to the troops last Wednesday to “stay their course and to keep to their mandates” amid the coup rumors.
“What’s important is that they know the essence of the news surrounding the DAP, we explain to them how the government and its three branches work,” Catapang said.
“There would be no coup, we are a professional Armed Forces… It would be hard if they get involved, we have experienced that during the 1980s, so we are over it,” he added.
Catapang said there are bigger problems the military should focus on.
“There’s a new war that we are about to face now that we are slowly addressing insurgency, and that is the globalized challenges of the 21st century which include global terrorism, global climate change, global maritime concern, global transnational crimes and proliferation of weapons of mass destructions,” he added.
Valte said Catapang was not trying to politicize the military. “Perhaps for the new chief of staff, it is a matter of information. The [military]has always been forthright in saying they had received DAP funds,” she added.
Based on Department of Budget and Management records, the AFP received P397.3 million under the DAP, which was used for capacity-building for the West Philippine Sea territorial dispute, housing and communication systems to soldiers and the rehabilitation of Air Education and Training Command.
After the Supreme Court ruled that parts of the DAP were unconstitutional, two impeachment complaints were filed at the
House of Representatives against the President. The first was endorsed by Bayan Muna Reps. Carlos Zarate and Neri Colmenares, and Anakpawis Rep. Fernando Hicap. The second was filed the next day and it was endorsed by Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon.
The DAP is a discretionary fund that came under fire last year after Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada alleged that several senators received as much as P100 million for helping convict Chief Justice Renato Corona during his impeachment trial in 2012.