By: Frances Mangosing - Reporter /@FMangosingINQ
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Tuesday threw its full support behind President Rodrigo Duterte as it warned forces seeking to destabilize the country.
"The entire AFP along with all the men and women of the uniformed services and all our civilian personnel stand by the Constitutionally mandated government and unequivocally supports the Commander-in-Chief," AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said in a statement.
The AFP declared its support for Duterte as it distanced itself from a group claiming to represent soldiers and policemen seeking to oust the President.
"The AFP categorically denies the recent statement issued by a group that pretends to be representative of the men and women of the AFP and the PNP and called themselves the Patriotic and Democratic Movement (PADEM)," Padilla said.
A statement purportedly being circulated by PADEM is calling for the ouster of Duterte "for betraying public trust in violation of public trust and in violation of national sovereignty and democratic rights of the people."
Padilla said the issues cited by the group were unfounded and uncalled for.
"Such issues are clearly politically motivated and a manner that the AFP does not and will not subscribe to," he said.
"The AFP appeals to the public and the various political groups to respect the apolitical stance of the AFP and help bring unity and healing instead of fomenting divisiveness and collapse," he added.
PADEM is accusing Duterte of treating the AFP and PNP as his private armies and playing favorites; bungling operations in Marawi City; allowing Chinese vessels to occupy some parts of West Philippine Sea; condoning top illegal drug lords including Davao Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte; inciting police officers to engage in extrajudicial killings to suspected poor illegal drug users; among others.
"Current developments and issues that this group wishes to take advantage of is now being addressed by the DOJ and parties to a possible crime are now under detention. Let us respect these processes and not allow ourselves to be used by individuals or groups with vested interests," Padilla said.
"We appeal for sobriety, reason and patience as we await the results of these processes," he added.
Padilla said they would not hesitate "acting against forces who shall undermine the stability and security of our country and those who wish to destabilize our nation thru unconstitutional means." CBB