“What I see in him is that he’s very comfortable with the support of the military and the police. I feel it that way. I think it’s just a dare,” Lorenzana said on the sidelines of the awarding of US Congressional Gold Medal to 13 Filipino World War II veterans at the US embassy compound.
KJ Rosales
DND chief Lorenzana: ‘AFP, PNP solidly behind Duterte’
Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - September 14, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The military is solidly behind the administration of President Duterte and his challenging soldiers to join the forces allegedly plotting his ouster – including arch critic Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV – was simply a show of confidence in their loyalty, defense chief Delfin Lorenzana said yesterday.

“What I see in him is that he’s very comfortable with the support of the military and the police. I feel it that way. I think it’s just a dare,” Lorenzana said on the sidelines of the awarding of US Congressional Gold Medal to 13 Filipino World War II veterans at the US embassy compound.

On Tuesday, in a one-on-one televised interview with his chief legal adviser Salvador Panelo, Duterte went about his usual tirade against Trillanes and challenged soldiers to join forces with Trillanes and the Magdalo group and launch a coup. He claimed the Liberal Party and the Communist Party of the Philippines are part of the plot.

Lorenzana said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are stable institutions, satisfied with the way the President is running the country. The PNP is under the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

On Duterte’s allegation that his political foes are recruiting active soldiers to join a destabilization plot, Lorenzana said such report is under validation.

“I cannot confirm that because there is none (recruitment) that I have monitored,” Lorenzana said.

He added that any ouster plot couldn’t succeed without the support of the military.

The President ordered Trillanes’ arrest by voiding his amnesty through Presidential Proclamation 572 early this month, citing flaws in his application for amnesty as well as the senator’s alleged failure to show remorse for the Oakwood mutiny in 2003 and the Manila Peninsula siege in 2007.

Legal luminaries and administration critics have criticized the proclamation as unconstitutional.

Trillanes has been under Senate custody since early this month to escape a warrantless arrest.

For presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr., the President’s challenging the military to launch a coup should be seen only as his way of discrediting Trillanes.

“As I said, I think the proper context is that he’s making the challenge because he’s sure they won’t get support,” Roque said.

“But he’s saying ‘I’m not clinging to this position. Do whatever you want to do,’” Roque said.

“But I think the President, by saying so, remains confident that there is no threat to his administration,” he pointed out.

Roque said the President was also expressing his confidence the military would never collude with communist groups to have him ousted.

Vice President Leni Robredo expressed belief the AFP would remain “loyal to the Constitution” amid President Duterte’s repeated challenge for its officers and men to oust him.

“I am confident in our Armed Forces that they have loyalty to the Constitution,” Robredo said in an interview in Tarlac.

“The loyalty of the AFP is not to a single person, a single official. The Armed Forces has shown in the past days that they are honoring the Constitution, the rule of law, and this gives us assurance and peace of mind that we can expect good from them,” she said.

The military last week declared it was ready to arrest Trillanes but changed its tune later, saying it would defer to whatever the courts would say on the matter.  –  Helen Flores, Christina Mendez

ANTONIO TRILLANES IV ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES DELFIN LORENZANA RODRIGO DUTERTE
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