President Marcos reminds troops to block any power grab

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
President Marcos reminds troops to block any power grab
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. leads the distribution of presidential assistance to farmers, fisherfolk, and families at Barangay Tubig-Mampallam in Municipality of Bongao, Tawi-Tawi on May 23, 2024.
STAR / KJ Rosales

MANILA, Philippines — In another talk with troops on Thursday, President Marcos reminded them of their mission to thwart any attempt to topple the government “for whatever reason.”

Marcos made the remark during his visit to the 2nd Marine Brigade headquarters in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi after distributing aid to farmers and fisherfolk affected by El Niño in the province.

“When I go around our camps, I always explain that our mission is still there to fight those who try to overthrow the government for whatever reason,” the President said.

Marcos has been visiting military camps and meeting top officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the past weeks amid reports of destabilization plots against his administration.

He rejected insinuations his visits were loyalty checks among the ranks of the AFP and the Philippine National Police.

Former senator Antonio Trillanes IV earlier claimed two senior officials of the PNP were plotting to oust Marcos.

During his talk with the Army’s 4th Infantry Division last week, the commander-in-chief vowed to fend off destabilization plots, stressing the government’s focus is on developing the countryside and fighting insurgency.

“We will also not allow agents within the country to destabilize our government and create division within our nation,” Marcos told troops at Camp Edilberto Evangelista in Cagayan de Oro City.

The President also held separate command conferences with the Army and Air Force last week, directing the military to be cognizant of “existing and emerging threats” to the country.

Meanwhile, the President commended the Joint Task Force (JTF) Tawi-Tawi for helping the government attain peace in Mindanao, which resulted in enhanced tourism and business activities in the region.

“But because of the efforts of all our personnel in the Task Force Tawi-Tawi, we have now come to the situation where it is peaceful enough now,” Marcos said.

According to 2nd Marine Brigade commander Brig. Gen. Nestor Narag Jr., Marcos was the first president to visit the JTF Tawi-Tawi headquarters in Bongao.

“Indeed, we are very much honored and privileged to have you here with us this morning for it is the first time in the history of the deployment of our brigade here in the province of Tawi-Tawi that the highest official of the land sets foot inside this headquarters,” Narag said.

Marcos said his predecessors did not want to come to Tawi-Tawi for security reasons.

“But because of the efforts of all our personnel in the Task Force Tawi-Tawi, we have now come to the situation where it is peaceful enough,” he said. From armed clashes, there is now a battle of resorts in the province, Marcos noted.

He congratulated the Task Force for its “very, very, very big achievement” in the province.

“But the mission is not over, we now have – we transform ourselves from war fighters, we transform ourselves into peacemakers,” the President said.

At a media forum last month, National Security Council assistant director-general Jonathan Malaya said the anti-insurgency campaign under the present administration has considerably weakened the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

Malaya, however, warned that while the CPP-NPA-NDF has weakened, communist rebels are still capable of sowing chaos and disorder.

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