MANILA - Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Thursday said that no active member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has expressed interest so far to join a destabilization plot against President Benigno Aquino.
Speaking to radio dzMM, Trillanes claimed that based on information that he has received, some retired military officials have been trying to recruit active uniformed men to rise against the Aquino administration.
"Pero hindi po ito kinakagat kaya hindi ito nag-progress into anything serious," he said.
"Milya-milya pa po ang layo para maging seryoso ito," Trillanes said.
He said he did not mean to trigger fears of a coup, noting that he just answered "as honestly as [he] can" when he was asked about the supposed ongoing recruitment by a reporter at the sidelines of a forum on the K-12 program last Tuesday.
He shrugged off criticisms that he is only making up these stories since he wants to be in the limelight, having expressed plans to seek higher office in 2016.
"Hindi naman po tayo gumagawa ng kwento eh," he said, adding that he will not gain anything from all these.
"Di ko ho papatulan yang mga personal na atake... I'm just doing my job."
'AFP HAS NO PROBLEM WITH PNOY'
According to Trillanes, he sees no reason for active military officials to rise against the current administration since Aquino has done a good job in improving the AFP.
For one, Aquino has allocated more funds for the AFP's modernization program, as compared to the past administrations.
The promotion system of the AFP is also currently on the right track, Trillanes noted. "Yung magagaling lang talaga yung napo-promote," he said.
"Kaya hindi ho kinakagat kasi wala namang problema," he said.
'DESTABILIZATION PLOT A LONG PROCESS'
Trillanes, who led the 2003 Oakwood mutiny against former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, also said that destabilizing the government is not an easy task because it entails a very long process.
"Una, namumulso kami tapos titingnan...maglalabasan po ng sama ng loob. Pag meron isang officer na medyo mainit, ayun, ripe for recruitment po yan," he said.
The next step, he said, is to set up another meeting to "take the conversation into the next level until eventually ma-recruit mo siya."
After the recruitment, they will organize and make a definite plot on how to destabilize the government.
"So ito hong sinasabi ko, dito pa lang sa pamumulso eh na-reject na sila. So wala hong uusad," Trillanes said.
'BETTER TO PREEMPT IT'
While there is still no definite destabilization plan against the government, Trillanes said it is better that this issue is discussed in public to preempt it.
"Pag ganito, mas maaga nang napre-preempt. Kasi pag alam nang bistado na, hindi na ho makakagalaw yan," he said.
Meanwhile, the senator also clarified that he did not, even once, mention Arroyo's name in connection with the destabilization plot.
He said he has no information on who is behind the retired military officials' actions.
"Kasi malay niyo nga maaaring linked siya dito sa isang pulitiko, pero dito sa pagre-recruit na ito iba yung nagpapagalaw sa kanya. How would we know?" Trillanes said.