MANILA - Malacanang treats as rumor a revelation made by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV about a destabilization plot among the ranks of retired military generals affiliated with the Arroyo administration.
"There are no reports of restiveness among the rank-and-file of the Armed Forces of the Philippines," said Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.
He explained one component in a coup plot is the attempt to convince rank-and-file personnel or the men and women in active service to join an uprising.
Lacierda explained that retired generals who wish to express their thoughts are free to do so, like any other ordinary civilians. Those in active service, on the other hand, have certain liberties curtailed.
"Now, after one is retired from active military service, one regains those rights. So retired generals are nothing but ordinary civilians," he said.
Nonetheless, Lacierda explained that the Palace is not interested in confronting Senator Trillanes over his intention in revealing to the public the alleged coup rumor.
"Senator (Antonio) Trillanes is free to express his opinion and we respect him for that. We respect his opinion," said Lacierda.
He said they would not want to speculate on Trillanes’ purpose.
"I think the responsibility of government, especially the spokesperson for the military, is to tell what is the true state of the military," said Lacierda.
Malacanang maintained that the Aquino administration has already implemented reforms with respect to the Armed Forces, providing mission-essential equipment to the people on the ground.
"We have provided housing units. We have modernized the AFP. These are the measures that we have implemented in order to strengthen our Armed Forces of the Philippines. And the rank-and-file realize and do recognize and appreciate the efforts of the Aquino administration in this respect," he said.
Former AFP Chief of Staff and now Muntinlupa City Rep. Rodolfo Biazon and the Association of Generals and Flag Officers (AGFO) were quoted in news reports saying the coup story is just a figment of Trillanes’ imagination.