By Francis Wakefield
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff General Carlito Galvez Jr. has assured that the 125,000-strong military remains loyal to President Duterte and will not withdraw its support from him.
Galvez made the remark days after a Facebook post circulated in social media purportedly from the soldiers of the “Southern Command” allegedly withdrawing support from the Government and President Duterte.
Galvez said such post is fake and the people or the public should not believe it.
“It’s fake, it’s fake because there is no SouthCom that exist and at the same time the current conditions or the morale of the Filipino soldiers is much different,” Galvez said.
Galvez said there is no reason for them to withdraw their support considering the good relationship between the AFP and the Commander-in-Chief, who has been caring to the plight of soldiers and even policemen.
“The President has a good relationship with soldiers, especially those who are wounded and staying in hospitals. He (even) stayed for 10 minutes talking with the soldiers. He also gives benefits to our soldiers,” Galvez said.
Aside from this, Galvez also said President Duterte is committed to modernizing the AFP and making it a world-class military.
“The President is also looking for some sort of trust fund for the education of the soldiers and I believe with the kind of empathy and kind of solidarity that we have right now with the president I believe no one soldier will withdraw his/her support,” Galvez said.
“Definitely, definitely (no one will withdraw) I came from the Western Mindanao Command,” he added.
Galvez expressed belief that those coming from the non-uniformed sector of society are behind the fake statement.
“I believe that most of those people who want to destabilize or to criticize the government will do everything even deception, they will deceive people so that they can gain something from it. What is the intention of that? It’s really to deceive people so that they will feel that the soldiers are discontented,” he said.
In the Facebook, the group said to be soldiers coming from the Southern Command, “Hereby declare, that effective today (May 7), we have withdrawn our support to this fake governance of Mister Duterte.”
“We are the Constitutional Armed Forces of the Philippines and not of Mister Duterte. We are calling on all other units of the Armed Forces to join us. Let us heed the calls of our people now,” it said.