By Martin Sadongdong
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police reassured President Duterte Wednesday that there are no plans of overthrowing the government having “learned our lessons from the past.”
This after President Duterte reiterated his appeal to the military and police not to mount a coup d’etat during his term.
“The Armed Forces of the Philippines led by its Chief, General Benjamin Madrigal Jr., is comprised of professional and matured servicemen and women who are patriots and loyal to the Constitution and the duly constituted authorities. We have learned our lessons from the past and we shall live with it,” said Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesperson.
“I can assure the President and the public that there is no such plan in the PNP,” assured Philippine National Police chief General Oscar Albayalde.
In his speech during the 72nd anniversary of the Philippine Air Force in Pasay City Tuesday night, Duterte said the uniformed personnel should just tell him outright if they are no longer happy with his administration, instead of organizing a coup.
This is not the first time that the Duterte raised the matter in his talks.
Albayalde said he is not aware why the President suddenly floated the idea of a coup but said Duterte has unlimited sources of information.
The reforms implemented by the President in the AFP were also cited by Arevalo as one of the reasons why a mutiny won’t happen under the current administration.
Such reforms include the AFP modernization program, the increased pay, allowances and benefits like housing, among others.
“We were given more than what we can ask for from a President and Commander-in-Chief who has shown genuine care and concern to his soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines,” Arevalo said.
“We have time and again assured him, as we reassure him today, that we in the AFP shall constantly and will remain loyal to the flag, to the Constitution, and to the Filipino people whom we swore to protect with our lives,” he added. (with a report Aaron Recuenco)