AFP chief: 'Red October' plotters want Duterte to declare martial law nationwide


Posted at Oct 02 2018 04:07 PM

MANILA - The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is out to force President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law nationwide, the military chief said Tuesday.

In a Senate budget hearing, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Carlito Galvez Jr. alleged that this was part of the communist rebels' "Red October" plot to oust the President.

"The President is being dragged to declare martial law nationwide. 'Yun ang ano ng CPP (That's the ploy of the CPP) so that would be some sort of a political death trap for the President," he said.

Galvez compared this to the Plaza Miranda bombing in Quiapo, Manila in 1971, one of the events that then President Ferdinand Marcos cited to justify the declaration of martial law in 1972. 

Martial law remains in effect in Mindanao even after the end of the siege of Marawi City, where the eruption of firefights between terrorists and state forces in May last year prompted such declaration over the entire region. 

It is set to lapse by the end of the year. 

Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade, AFP deputy chief of staff for operations, earlier claimed that opposition groups were conspiring to remove Duterte from office.

The coalition, he claimed, even includes supporters of ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and the group Tindig Pilipinas, whose members incidentally include Liberal Party leaders.

But Galvez said the rebels were just planning to link with the opposition. Senator Francis Pangilinan, Liberal Party president, then made it clear that they would not join the communists.

The Duterte administration earlier called off peace negotiations with the communist movement, citing continued rebel attacks despite ongoing talks. 

Government has also labeled the rebels as terrorists.