AFP denies links with group calling for Duterte ouster


MANILA — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Tuesday said it has nothing to do with the group calling itself the “Patriotic and Democractic Movement” (PADEM) which is seeking the ouster of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The group, allegedly composed of AFP and PNP members, claimed that the Chief Executive committed “gross crimes in betrayal of public trusts and in violation of national sovereignty and democractic rights of the the Filipino people.”

“The AFP categorically denies the recent statement issued by a group that pretends to be representative of the men and women of the AFP and the PNP and called themselves the PADEM,” AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said in a message to AFP reporters.

He added that the entire AFP supports the constitutionally mandated government and unequivocally supports the President who is also the Commander-in-Chief.

“The accusations and issues cited by the group are unfounded and uncalled for. Such issues are clearly politically motivated and a matter that the AFP does not and will not subscribe to,” Padilla stressed.

He also added that current developments and issues that this group wishes to take advantage of is now being addressed by the Department of Justice and parties to a possible crime are now under detention.

“Let us respect these processes and not allow ourselves to be used by individuals or groups with vested interests. We appeal for sobriety, reason and patience as we await the results of these processes,” the AFP spokesperson added.

Also, as the constitutionally mandated protectors of the people, Padilla said the AFP will stand by the law abiding citizens whenever necessary.

“Having affirmed this, the AFP however, will not hesitate in acting against forces who shall undermine the stability and security of our country and those who wish to destabilize our nation thru unconstitutional means,” he pointed out.

In the same vein, Padilla said the entire AFP is appealing to the public and the various political groups to respect the apolitical stance of the military and help bring unity and healing instead of fomenting divisiveness and collapse.