From the Manila Times (Feb 15): Coup plotters woo military officers
THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Sunday said some officials in the previous administration were among those plotting to overthrow the government of President Benigno Aquino 3rd and have been courting military officers.
These personalities, according to Col. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesman, are reportedly recruiting some officers to support the planned government takeover.
“I am not in possession of the reports that deal on this. However, talk within military circles say that a number of them have served in previous administrations and have pushed various reform agendas previously as cover for their efforts,” Padilla said.
He, however, belittled the plot, citing the “high degree of dedication and professionalism” of the AFP.
“We firmly believe all these efforts will fail. First, because of the high degree of dedication and professionalism of our AFP today. Second is that majority of our citizens no longer buy this kind of efforts and easily see through its real intent, which is that all these are political in nature, with an end view for 2016; and third, the Administration still enjoys a high degree of support,” the military official emphasized.
Padilla said any attempt to oust the president will not succeed without the support of the military. He added that the incident in Mamasapano, Maguindanao that left 44 members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) dead could not be used as a basis for a destabilization plot.
“Yung ginawa ng presidente ay hindi ilegal, tandaan natin yun, hindi sya ilegal. Legal na operasyon yun. It’s the manner by which it was carried out and the President does not go into details, if you are the commander-in-chief you don’t go into details,” he pointed out.
The AFP earlier said it is keeping an eye on troop movements amid reports of a coup plot against Aquino.
Malacañang on Sunday said the AFP and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are on alert for a possible coup d’etat and retaliatory attacks by terrorists trained by slain bomb-maker Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said all security agencies are prepared to thwart any attempt against the government and the nation’s security.
Coloma confirmed that the Palace, through government security agencies, has been tightly monitoring groups and personalities who are suspected to be behind a move to unseat the president.
Such “monitoring,” he added, includes the “wealthy” individual who Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago referred to as being behind the plot to oust the President.