Military loyal to flag, constitution, says spox after Duterte's anti-coup plea

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 03 2019 03:35 PM

Military loyal to flag, constitution, says spox after Duterte's anti-coup plea 1
President Duterte gives a speech during a visit at Fort Magsaysay in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija on November 22, 2017. Alfred Frias, Malacañang Photo

MANILA -- The military is loyal to the flag and the constitution, its spokesperson told President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday after he called on state forces to refrain from attempting a coup d’etat against him. 

"Do not do it please during my term. I told you before, kung ayaw ninyo ako (if you don't like me), do not bring your weapons and mechanized iron there. Just call me, we will coffee, and I am ready to say, 'It’s yours'," Duterte said during Tuesday's anniversary celebration of the Philippine Air Force. 

This was "a random remark" by the President, who "has conveyed that same message to the security forces" when he assumed office and in several other instances, military spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgar Arevalo said in a statement. 

"We have, time and again assured him (Duterte), as we reassure him today, that we in the AFP shall constantly and will remain loyal to the flag, to the constitution, and to the Filipino people whom we swore to protect with our lives," said Arevalo. 

The Armed Forces of the Philippines, he said, "is comprised of professional and matured servicemen and women who are patriots and loyal to the constitution and the duly constituted authorities."

Under its modernization, the military has also enjoyed hikes in pay, allowances, and benefits like housing, Arevalo said. 
 
"We were given more than what we can ask for from a President and Commander-in-Chief who has shown genuine care and concern to his soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines," he said. 

COUP JITTERS? 

Communist leader Jose Maria Sison, meanwhile, said Duterte is "having coup jitters." 

Duterte, he claimed, "has exposed himself as a shameless traitor and as a paid agent of China" following his remarks that Beijing can fish in Manila's exclusive economic zone, and allegations of ties to Chinese drug rings

"His own military and police can easily understand that Duterte is betraying the people just to benefit himself, his family and cronies from deals with Chinese authorities as well as from the Chinese triads engaged in drug smuggling and distribution and in casino operations. 

Duterte and his allies have dismissed the drug allegations against him as "black propaganda." 

On Monday, he said he would seek China’s assurance of the safety of Filipino fishermen in the West Philippine Sea following the allision of a Filipino fishing boat and a Chinese ship in the disputed waters in early June, Malacañang said.