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AFP downplays coup rumor
MANILA, Philippines - The military yesterday ruled out any possible coup against President Duterte.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said the President’s showing of genuine concern for members of the uniformed services has earned him the full respect and admiration of all soldiers.
“A coup against the President by the military is highly unlikely. It will not happen. No other commander-in-chief has shown his genuine concern for members of the uniformed service like he had,” Padilla said.
Padilla stressed the AFP as an organization is composed of loyal professionals, all committed to protect and defend duly constituted authorities.
Padilla added Duterte always lends a ready ear to the military and unequivocally expressed his trust in the soldiers’ ability to secure the nation and help it move forward.
He said Duterte has prioritized visiting military camps across the country, a gesture that meant a lot for the troops.
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AFP Public Affairs chief Col. Edgard Arevalo added there is no reason for the AFP to betray their oath of allegiance to the duly constituted authorities.
“We have, time and again, ruled out a coup against President Duterte, the AFP being comprised of loyal military professionals and are all bound by their duty to uphold and defend the Constitution, obey laws and the duly constituted authorities,” Arevalo said.
Padilla and Arevalo issued the statements to downplay the Washington Times report that said the pro-US AFP is already wary of President Duterte’s flirtation with China.
While veering away from long-time ally the US as part of his independent foreign policy, Duterte has been leaning toward China and Russia.
During his recent visit to a Russian warship docked in Manila’s South Harbor, Duterte even declared his desire for Philippines-Russia partnerships and enjoined the Russians to come more often and be protector of the country.