AFP says Reds, armed groups planning to destabilize Duterte gov't
The communist New People's Army and the armed groups in Mindanao were among those planning to destabilize the Duterte administration, a military spokesman said on Friday.
In a briefing in Malacanang, Major General Restituto Padilla Jr. said the political opposition might also be involved.
"Most of them are Reds and the armed elements in Mindanao," he said when asked on who could be planning to destabilize the government.
Asked of the possible involvement of the "yellows" or those allied to opposition Liberal Party, he said, "there may be, but I am not privy to this information yet."
In the case of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Padilla assured they would not participate in any move to destabilize the administration.
"The Armed Forces, as you have seen in these past few years and recent months, has exhibited its very constitutionally-based activities or actions. You can trust your Armed Forces that it will do what is right," he stressed.
Padilla warned that the military has been checking some groups, who have been critical of the ongoing offensive operations against the terrorists in Marawi.
"May I also make mention here that there are some groups that are saying they would be filing cases against the Armed Forces or the Philippine Army because of the offensives that were conducted in Marawi. Again, these groups that we have been watching closely have exhibited indications that since the very beginning of the Marawi crisis, they may have been partial to the terrorists or the rebels in the areas," he said.
"And we’re conducting our thorough research on these people because it may be possible that they had been part or accessory to the rebellion," he said.
Padilla said if the military finds "good evidence" against these groups, "we will initiate the necessary legal actions to make them answerable for their crimes.
"Again, the State has the right to defend itself and the offensives carried out in Marawi were in pursuit of that because we would like to bring back the rule of law and law and order in the area," Padilla explained. Celerina Monte/DMS