PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte still enjoys the support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Senator Panfilo Lacson said Friday.
This developed as House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo rallied support for the Chief Executive, who has revealed a supposed “Red October” plot to overthrow him.
“The President shouldn’t worry. In our own assessment he has the overwhelming support of the vast majority of the AFP,” Lacson said.
“The President has been president for two years, let’s support him and give him a chance,” Arroyo added to reporters on the sidelines of the 108th birth anniversary of her father, the late President Diosdado Macapagal.
After the controversy over the withdrawal of the amnesty to Senator Antonio Trillanes broke out, Duterte called on the military to support Trillanes if they believed in him.
Duterte also accused some soldiers of conniving with Trillanes and some of his critics to unseat him.
Earlier this week, Arroyo said the public should believe the President’s reports of an alleged ouster plot since he has access to “good information.”
“Going from my experience as President, the President usually has access to information that not all of us have access to, so if [Duterte] believes that there is a threat, he is working from good information. So, we should believe whatever [he says],” Arroyo said.
Earlier, AFP Chief of Staff Delfin Lorenzana repeated the military’s commitment to the rule of law and to protect a duly-constituted government.
“We understand his frustration since he showered the military with double salaries, double help,” Lacson said.
“But he should understand that he cannot have the 100-percent support of the military,” said Lacson, who served as chief of police under President Joseph Estrada.
But Lacson also admitted that some soldiers were still supporting Trillanes, a former captain of the Philippine Navy.
“We cannot avoid that, that some of them support his cause,” said Lacson referring to Trillanes who led at least two military uprisings to unseat then-President Arroyo.
However, Lacson also pointed out that the military should stay out of politics.
“The Armed Forces should be apolitical. They shouldn’t collaborate with political groups. After all, they only have one commander-in-chief,” Lacson said.
Trillanes is facing rebellion charges before the Makati RTC Branch 150 and coup d’etat before the Makati RTC Branch 148.
The embattled senator has been out on bail after Makati RTC Judge Elmo Alameda of Branch 150 issued a warrant of arrest against him.
After posting bail, Trillanes returned to the Senate where he has been holed up since the President voided his amnesty.
In ruling against Trillanes, Alameda said the senator did not file an application for a grant of amnesty or admit to the crimes he had committed.
But Trillanes said he had complied with all the requirements, and that the President had been “hell-bent” on sending him to jail, being his fiercest critic.
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