By Raymund Antonio
Where does the military stand with President Duterte?
Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo believes the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) remains apolitical, at least for now.
Vice President Leni Robredo (Photo courtesy of Office of the Vice President of the Philippines via Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)O
"Tingin ko, at this point, hindi pa. Sana hindi mangyari. Ako, at this point, totoo na may pagsubok na i-politicize siya, pero so far holding well ang military.” (I think, at this point, it's not. I hope it would not happen. At this point, it is true there are attempts to politicize it, but so far the military is holding well),” she said.
During her interview with Manila Bulletin columnist and lawyer Mel Sta. Maria, Robredo was asked if the military is being politicized in the context of Duterte’s order for them to arrest Senator Antonio Trillanes IV after the revocation of his amnesty.
The Vice President, in her reply, noted the AFP is a “professional” organization, whose loyalty remains to the country’s flag and the Constitution above anyone else.
Robredo wants the armed forces to keep it that way. “Na-resist niya iyong mga efforts ng mga pulitiko na ma-influence iyong kaniyang desisyon....At ako, very hopeful ako na until the end ganoon.” (They were able to resist efforts of politicians to influence their decision... And I’m hopeful that until the end, it will be like that),” she said.
“Alam natin na while sumusunod sa commander-in-chief, may hangganan iyon. (We know that while they follow the commander-in-chief, that has a limit),” the former Camarines Sur representative added.
Since she assumed office, Robredo had received a national security briefing twice from then AFP chiefs Rey Leonardo Guerrero and Carlito Galvez.
Robredo recalled the officials assured her that their loyalty will always be to the Philippine flag and the Constitution.
“Ito kasi napakahalagang institusyon nila dahil make-or-break ito para sa buong bansa. (This institution is very important because it would be a make-or-break to the entire country),” she said in the interview.
The Vice President said the public has nothing to worry about government officials abusing their power as long as the military does not get involved in politics.