Admin critics urged: Spare armed services from politics amid withdrawal calls for Marcos

Kristine Daguno-Bersamina - Philstar.com
Admin critics urged: Spare armed services from politics amid withdrawal calls for Marcos
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. attends the 45th PNPA Commencement Exercises for “Layag-Diwa” Class of 2024 at the B/Gen. Cicero C. Campos Field, Camp General Mariano N. Castañeda in Silang Cavite on April 19, 2024.
Presidential Communications Office

MANILA, Philippines — National Security Adviser (NSA) Eduardo Año called on administration detractors to keep the armed services out of political maneuvering after a lawmaker urged the military to withdraw its support for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

The statement followed remarks by former Speaker and Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, who urged the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to withdraw support for the current administration in an attempt to force the chief executive to resign.

During a news forum in Quezon City on Saturday, Año’s spokesperson and National Security Council Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya explained the importance of maintaining neutrality in the AFP and the Philippine National Police (PNP) within a democratic framework.

“Huwag po natin silang gagamitin because in any democracy, the Armed Forces is supposed to be neutral and apolitical – kahit po sino magpalit-palit ng administrasyon,” Malaya said. 

(We must refrain from exploiting the AFP and PNP for political purposes because, in any democracy, they are expected to remain neutral and apolitical – regardless of changes in administration.)

Malaya dismissed suggestions that the AFP should withdraw support from Marcos, saying that all major units of the armed services have expressed full support to the commander-in-chief.

He also urged critics to respect the professionalism and integrity of the Armed Forces and avoid involving them in political disputes.

“Hindi sila magbibitaw ng mga salita to withdraw support from the president just because someone asked them to do so. They are professionals, they know the chain of command and they respect the rule of the military hierarchy and they have loyalty to the current commander-in-chief, President Bongbong Marcos,” the NSA spokesperson said.

Alvarez drew flak for his call on the military to withdraw its support from the Marcos administration and later on apologized, explaining that it was not inciting sedition. He is an ally and close friend of former president Rodrigo Duterte. 

Rumors persist about an alleged rift between the Marcoses and the Dutertes, fueled by allegations of drug abuse, threats to split the country, and rumors of a coup plot, which have shattered the public perception of unity between the two families.

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