#PingSays: Alleged involvement of some AFP officials in ouster plot, situation of Sen. Trillanes | Sept. 26, 2018

In an interview, Sen. Lacson answers questions on:
– alleged involvement of some military officials in ouster plot vs President Duterte
– situation of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV

Quotes from the interview… 

On allegations that some soldiers are in cahoots with political opposition in destabilization:
“While the president is very supportive and consistently at that, upon his assumption lahat na goodwill binibigay niya sa armed forces, he cannot have 100% or absolute support from all the soldiers and officers. Precisely there will be some elements na di talaga satisfied or for some reason related to advancement sa kanilang career, di rin talaga ganun ka-satisfied. So they are opening themselves up, they become vulnerable to possible recruitment.”
“But having said that, the president should not worry. Kasi sa sarili naming assessment, he has the overwhelming support of the vast majority of the armed forces. So while we understand his frustration for the reason sinabi ko kanina, lahat binuhos na niya, dinoble ang salary, lahat na ayuda sa Marawi, sa Mindanao, he even contributed at least P500M para sa prosthetics.”
“I can understand his frustration. Pero being politically mature and having the experience he has in politics, I think he should understand na hindi niya pwede makuha lahat ang support 100% ng armed services.”

On loyalty check:
“The AFP should be conducting loyalty check by way of counter-intelligence and other built-in mechanisms na available sa kanila, even without being directed by the President. Automatic na yan kasi kung walang loyalty check they could have a bigger problem at hand. I think they are doing that already.”

On AFP being an apolitical institution:
“The AFP should be apolitical. Di sila dapat makipagusap o makipag-corroborate with political groups. After all, ang commander-in-chief nila iisa lang, ang duly elected president.”
“Once found and if evidence would warrant, (those involved in partisan politics) could face sanctions, administratively at the very least, for engaging in partisan politics.”

On President Duterte having the support of the ‘overwhelming majority’ of the armed services:
“We’ve been talking to many military officers, even police officers and most of them, lahat halos na nakausap namin, they are happy with the way the president is treating the AFP and PNP. Spoiled nga eh. Remember buhos sweldo, benefits, lahat binibigay niya.”

On some in the armed services ‘sympathizing’ with Sen. Trillanes:
“Hindi natin maiaalis. Siyempre may mistah rin siya may nakasama sa serbisyo. Meron din naniinwala sa kanyang cause, hindi natin maialis na nagsusuporta o nagsy-sympathize sa kanya.”
“They should adhere to the principles of the AFP. Di pwedeng nagsi-sympathize ka and overtly you will do something to express disgust sa commander-in-chief mo. Di ba may principle sa loyalty, pagka nasa loob ka ng mainstream, you remain loyal. Now if you cannot remain loyal, you get out and start opposing.”

On how the public should look at Sen. Trillanes:
“Generally it is a perception game. The public will be the final judge kung sino ang tama at sino ang mali in terms of approval, support expressed to either side.”

On claims of ‘influence’ in Trillanes’ case:
“To assume that the court was influenced by the executive branch I think should have enough evidentiary basis muna, bago i-express.”
“I cannot speculate. I have no evidence to back it up. Let’s wait and see. Kung base ko sa experience ko tingnan natin kung ma-promote o mag-apply na mag-justice ng CA or even SC ang nag-issue ng warrant.”

On senators’ sentiment on Sen. Trillanes’ status:
“We are quiet even in caucuses. We are just watching, monitoring, and let the process work.”
“We’re not at all alarmed. Di ba si Senate President including ourselves, kami sa majority block consistent kami we should protect the institution. And without a valid arrest warrant issued by a competent court, we did not allow Sen. Trillanes to be arrested within the premises of the Senate. So that much we can give him as a colleague and as a protection to the institution that we represent. But once naman na-issue ang arrest warrant, si Sen. Trillanes mismo nagsabi I’ll go down and face them.”

On the court-martial process:
“How could a sitting senator who has resigned from the AFP could be considered still a member of the AFP and face court-martial proceedings. Medyo magulo. It’s only the SC eventually or finally that can interpret kung tama ba yan o mali.”

On presumption of regularity in the court’s action:
“There’s presumption of regularity. Unless the SC finally interprets it otherwise, we’ll all accept and submit to the interpretation of the SC.”