‘Anti-Du30 coup fake news’
NO COUP attempt against President Rodrigo Duterte amid claims by a certain “General Kakilala” about a “popular politician” recruiting graduates of the Philippine Military Academy Class 2006 to mount the uprising, said top military officials on Thursday.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces of the Philippines chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo Año said they had not received any information or monitored movements on an impending coup d eta’t to remove Duterte from the presidency.
“Nothing to worry. There’s no coup,” Lorenzana told reporters in an ambush interview at the Senate.
During the Senate finance committee hearing on the proposed DND budget for 2018, Ano guaranteed to senators there was no verified information of a destabilization plot against the Duterte administration.
“So far, we have not monitored any recruitment activity in the organization. We have not received any cause for dissatisfaction We have not monitored any destabilization move of any politician or any personality,” Año told the Senate panel after Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said a certain “General Kakilala” had been spreading fake news about a “popular politician” recruiting graduates of the PMA Class 2006 to launch a coup against Duterte.
In the same hearing, Trillanes also asked Año if the military had monitored reports about a certain “General Kakilala” spreading “fake news” about a coup plot.
“We regard this as raw information. We’ve not seen any cause for a coup. The AFP is professional enough. We’ve not monitored any destabilization move of any personality,” said Ano.
Trillanes, however, said he did not feel alluded to because he had not been recruiting and also, he was not popular.
Lorenzana said he knew Kakilala but he only heard of Trillanes’ allegation when the senator raised it in the hearing. He said the said military officer had already retired from service.
“I do not know his name,” said Lorenzana, whose staff later identified him as as Brig. Gen. Joselito Kakilala, who retired last year.
In an ambush interview after the hearing, Trillanes said exchanges between Kakilala and other PMAers in a forum identified him as the politician supposedly recruiting members of Class 2006.
“They were really pointing at me. But there’s no recruitment. I’m not recruiting. We are not approaching that camp even for myself,” said Trillanes.
“They said I was recruiting members of PMA Class 2006, but Año categorically clarified that there was no such thing. There was no destabilization or recruitment taking place. PMAyers have a forum. In their exchange, they are referring to me,” he added.
Trillanes, a former navy officer, launched two coup attempts against former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during the Oakwood mutiny in 2003 and the Manila Peninsula siege in 2007.
Trillanes, graduate of PMA Class 1995 and a member of the Magdalo group, slammed Kakilala for using “fake news” as his basis for implicating him in coup plot against the present administration.
A staff of Trillanes then provided reporters a screen capture of Kakilala’s Facebook post, which read: “This politician is a fool. The Armed Forces worked hard for the AFP Transformation Roadmap to highly professionalize the corp. Don’t believe this guy. Many soldiers and their families suffered because of their participation in various coups. Finish your mission in Marawi, that is the honorable thing to do in our profession.”
A link from The Asian Policy was also included in the post. The said article states that a politican was recruiting graduates of PMA Class 2006.
Quoting a “respected journalist,” the article said there was information from a “really reliable source” that a “popular politician was trying to convince a certain Capt. Popoy of PMA Class 2006 to execute a coup d’etat plan against President Duterte.”
The GMA News Online reported that in a text message sent to them, Kakilala said he already deleted his post after being told that the article could be fake news.
“I just commented in the post, but it is farthest in my mind that I speak against a revered senator…[When I was] told that it could be fake news, I pulled out my comment,” Kakilala said.
Kakilala said he was just speaking his mind as the former head of the AFP Office of Strategic Studies and Strategy Management that oversees the AFP Transformation Roadmap.
“It aims to transform the institution as a highly professionalize corps and ensure its capability development is realized,” he said.