MANILA - The Philippine military does not need to mount a loyalty check within its ranks amid a supposed plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte next month, its spokesperson said Thursday.
Military officials warned over the weekend that a "broad" coalition of communist rebels and the President's critics were conspiring to remove him from office in a plot called "Red October." Duterte on Tuesday accused some soldiers of conniving with his foes.
"Lagi naman po nating sinasabi 'pag may ganyang issue na hindi po natin kailangan na magtatanong, magve-verify ng loyalty sapagkat sigurado naman po tayo sa loyalty ng ating kasundaluhan," military spokesperson Brig. General Edgard Arevalo told radio DZMM.
"Iyan po ay sa ating Konstitusyon, sa duly constituted authority at of course, sa ating sinumpaang tungkulin," he added.
(We always say when there are issues like that that we do not need to question, verify the loyalty of our troops because we are sure of it. Our loyalty lies on our Constitution, duly constituted authority and of course, our sworn duty.)
Arevalo said there are intelligence units that monitor any possible threat to the country's security. He added that soldiers found violating regulations will face "heavy sanctions."
Senator Panfilo Lacson, a former chief of the national police, had urged the Armed Forces of the Philippines to check on the loyalty of its troops through counterintelligence.
Duterte, meanwhile, said those in the armed services should confront him if they feel he is no longer fit for the job, instead of taking part in ouster moves.