Palace clueless on coup rumors

By Jorge Carino, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 25 2014 05:14 PM | Updated as of Jul 26 2014 01:14 AM

MANILA - Malacañang appealed to the public to insulate the military institution from politics amid rumors of a brewing coup due to the controversy over the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte told reporters Friday that Palace has no information regarding the coup rumors, saying the rumors will remain rumors.

"Tingin ko, at this point huwag natin silang isali because the military is for the country and for the people. We should not engage in any efforts to politicize the military. They already have enough on their minds," she said.

Valte explained that the new Armed Forces chief of staff Gregorio Pio Catapang is supportive of the Aquino administration and had even spoken openly about the DAP.

"You know, I think also for the new chief of staff, it's a matter of information. They have always been forthright that the AFP, the Armed Forces has been a beneficiary of savings that have been used to upgrade their capabilities and siguro para lang din po sa ating mga sundalo, it's only a matter of information that they are being told that well, ito ho iyong nakuha ng AFP out of that," she said.

Catapang earlier told soldiers to steer clear of politics amid rumors of a possible coup.

The 120,000-member Armed Forces has a history of coups and attempted coups. Last month, rumors sprang of a plot against the Aquino administration because of the fund scandal.

"We should be reminded that as members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, we should remain professional and non-partisan," Catapang told troops at an air base in Pampanga province, north of Manila.

"The DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program) has become a political issue. We should allow the democratic process to take its course and let the judicial, the executive and legislative branches of government deal with this," he said. "We should not meddle (but) concentrate on our mission."

"If you are asked by your family or friends, defend the DAP because it has helped us." With a report by Reuters