New AFP chief: No need for loyalty check

By Noning Antonio, ABS-CBN News Zamboanga

Posted at Aug 02 2014 03:48 PM | Updated as of Aug 03 2014 01:58 AM

ZAMBOANGA - Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gregorio Pio Punzalan Catapang Jr. said there is no need to conduct a loyalty check on members of the AFP amid reports of a brewing destabilization plot against the Aquino administration.

Catapang went to Camp Navarro, Upper Clarian in Zamboanga City on Saturday to meet the troops under the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom).

He denied that loyalty check was done on members of the Wesmincom.

He stressed that the soldiers are loyal to the Republic.

Meanwhile, Catapang directed Wesmincom commander General Rustico Guerrero to intensify security measures in Talipao, Sulu following the ambush that left at least 23 people dead.

In a brief conference with Catapang and Guerrero, the Wesmincom commander disclosed that troops under the 2nd Marine Brigade in Talipao are now in close coordination with the Provincial Police Office.

Guerrero said pursuit operations are ongoing against the perpetrators of the ambush.

Additional soldiers were also deployed to support the local police in efforts to stabilize the situation there after rumors spread that the families of the killed victims are planning to retaliate.

Catapang is expected to leave Zamboanga City also within the day.