THE military does not consider the filing of an impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte and the video message of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo before a United Nations panel as destabilization moves against the government.
Armed Forces chief Gen. Eduardo Año said on Sunday that the military has not monitored destabilization efforts related to the filing of the complaint against the president.
Año said recent developments in the political arena “are within the democratic space as provided by the Constitution and do not pose a serious concern.”
“The situation nowadays is a far cry from previous times and the AFP resolve to stand by the Republic and its institutions should not be doubted,” he pointed out.
Rep. Gary Alejano of the Magdalo party-list group filed the impeachment complaint against Duterte at the House of Representatives on Thursday last week over thousands of supposedly drug-related killings, summary executions in Davao City when he was city mayor, and graft and corruption.
On the same day, the vice president, through a video message that was played during the 60th annual meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, criticized the Duterte administration’s war on drugs, saying it has triggered human rights abuses and left more than 7,000 people dead.
Alejano and Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th, a staunch critic of Duterte, were the leaders of the rightist Magdalo group that launched a mutiny in 2003 against the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Año said morale in the military is high.
The AFP chief added that the President has told top military officials that their loyalty must not be based on personalities but it should be to the people and the flag.
“He further reiterated that the AFP must always focus on its Constitutionally mandated duties and work for the interest of the people and the nation. Soldiers will not allow themselves to be distracted from this,” Año said.
Bound to fail
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd believes that the impeachment complaint against the President will fail because it is unlikely to get the support of at least 100 congressmen.
Pimentel believes that those behind the impeachment complaint know that the case will not prosper but that they have something else in mind.
Pimentel said the complaint was filed for propaganda purposes and possibly as basis for the filing of a complaint against Duterte at the International Criminal Court.
“So we will see. Maybe they are not really after impeaching the President. They could be after something else,” Pimentel said in a radio interview.
Professor Ramon Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform (IPER), said that the Magdalo group could be trying to divide the House and get the support of those who have been affected by the moves of the House leadership.
Casiple was referring to the removal from their posts of several lawmakers who voted against the death penalty bill.
“They (Magdalo) are fishing on troubled waters… as for the seriousness of the complaint in the sense that they have already the numbers, I think they don’t have it yet,” Casiple said in an interview.
Even if the complaint will not prosper, the analyst said it could be considered as an “investment” which the Magdalo group can later tap.
“They are making an investment in preparation for what would eventually become a real challenge for the administration. Let’s see because the events are still unfolding and it is difficult to say what would happen,” Casiple said.