Duterte may have been warned about possible coup: Panelo

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo

MANILA — Malacañang on Tuesday said that top military officials may have warned President Rodrigo Duterte about a possible coup.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made this remark a day after Duterte bared that the military was getting restive over problems, particularly, corruption within government.

“Could be, dahil otherwise hindi sila nagsasalita ng ganoon eh. Meron siguro siyang info, very reliable (because otherwise he wouldn’t talk like that. Perhaps he has very reliable info),” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

Panelo said that Duterte believes that the military could stage a coup if widespread corruption is unsolved.

“I think it’s a fair warning to all na baka pag nagalit iyan, biglang mag-coup iyang mga iyan (that if the military gets angry, they’re going to stage a coup),” Panelo said.

He said the military was very much aware of corruption within the government and may now be reacting to it.

“Ang premise noon (The premise there is), under the Constitution the AFP is the protector of the people. So kung ang military alam nila na maraming kalokohan, maraming korapsyon (So if the military knows there’s lots of wrongdoing, lots of corruption),” Panelo said.

“Gaya nga ng sinasabi ni Presidente, iyong sa Manila Water, iyong mga kontrata, masyadong onerous. Alam na ng military iyon, so nagre-react sila doon, bakit ganyan (As the President said, Manila Water, those contracts which are too onerous. The military is aware of all of that, so they are reacting, what is it like that),” he said.

Panelo added that Duterte’s call to lawmakers to amend the Constitution is considered part of his solutions to curb corruption.

“Sabi niya (He said), ‘you better amend the Constitution habang nandito pa ako.’ Habang napapakiusapan ko pa iyong Armed Forces na irespeto ninyo (while I’m still here.’ While I can still ask the Armed Forces to respect you),” Panelo said.

“You must remember that the history has shown us that when the Armed Forces of the Philippines rise and supported by the people, eh nababago, nagkakaroon ng leadership change (there is change, including leadership change),” he added.

On Monday (July 8), Duterte urged the Congress to amend the Constitution to crush corruption.

“If you want to change the Constitution, do it now. Nandiyan pa ako (While I’m here). And I can tell the military, ‘No, no, no. You better ano…’ Kasi ang military mainit na (Because the military is restive). And I have told you all the corruption sa gobyerno, ang pinakamalaki nandiyan sa itaas (it’s bigger in the higher office),” Duterte said. (PNA)

By Azer Parrocha / PNA