“THERE ARE some retired generals linked to the former administration who are forcing officials and soldiers to go along with them on their plot.”
So Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV raised the roof Tuesday mouthing coup, all over the media. He cited nothing more than monetary gain as the casus belli of the planned putsch: “It is this way that they make money, which is why they want to be back in power.” So Tribune quoted him as saying.
Swift was the resbak on Trillanes. “Kuryente,” cried former Armed Forces chief, former senator and current Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo Biazon, noting the former coup plotter got a bum steer from his sources.
“(Trillanes) must be joking. No truth to that. Who would take that seriously? How can that be? She (former President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo) is detained. How can she plot?” So riposted former First Gentleman Juan Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, as he dismissed Trillanes’ coup tale as some sorry try to get some media mileage to prop up his alleged 2016 vice presidential ambitions.
“He does not know the first thing about coup d’etats. The so-called coups he planned and participated in were lousy and ended miserably for him with his tail behind his legs. He does not know whereof he speaks,” sneered Arroyo lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, referencing to Trillanes’ coup misadventure at Oakwood in Makati.
“There is no such thing. There is no credible report of that nature,” declared National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia Garcia. “It is very hard to imagine retired generals doing something like that. What will they gain from it?”
Money, as Trillanes believes. That’s not insulting the intelligence of the retired generals. That’s taking them as devoid of any intelligence. That’s what methinks. “I don’t know the source of Senator Trillanes.
Maybe he has sources whom we do not know,” said AFP information officer Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala. “But for us in the AFP, we are confident that there is no destabilization plot. The AFP is a professional organization.”
AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang himself was categorical: “No truth to that report…No need for loyalty check…we are loyal to the duly-constituted authorities, loyal to the flag, country and people…we are all focused on our mandate of protecting the people and the state.”
Still, Trillanes seemed adamant: “I’m not one who would share rumors or gossips. All I can say is that I have my own sources of information…I need to protect my sources.” Only to shift to low gear from his previous hard stance:
“There were some retired AFP officials trying to recruit some active members of the military but fortunately, they’re not biting so it’s not progressing into something serious.” Concluding: “There’s no need to even worry.
President Aquino can ignore this.” No worry. Ignore it. So why did he raise the ruckus in the first place? Easy to dismiss this as one self-serving publicity stunt, as retired Major Gen. Cesar Tapia, once commander of the Southern Command, did: “Well that is a good publicity for him… because he is lagging behind in the talk (of vice presidential pretenders).”
Certain ramifications however point to something bigger than Trillanes here. The coup talk could have been actually a trial balloon to check – with all the elements of subterfuge – the loyalty of the military to the Aquino government.
Who knows, the retired generals supposedly recruiting active soldiers were in fact with the Yellow Army masquerading only as GMA loyalists. Indeed, with the prospective recruits not biting, BS Aquino III need not worry and just ignore this, snug and cozy as he is with the AFP.
Seeing some opportunity to advance their cause “for the uniformed personnel” a so-called “Saturday Group” of former police and military officers now serving as congressmen made the coup talks as platform to pay obeisance to Aquino.
“But we have seen how our President has focused on modernization for the welfare of our Armed Forces. We don’t believe this will bear fruit or succeed. And if ever, we believe the President… we will support the President.” So articulated one coup pal of Trillanes’ on behalf of the group.
Which brings some cause to worry. Already utak-pulbura with his shooting hobby and penchant for guns, Aquino may be all the more drawn to military-dependency. Hence we discern some message for the President in the sudden movement of heavy military hardware around Metro Manila Wednesday, no matter the AFP saying it as “normal.”
So how many retired military men are now in active service in the civilian government? Why, at the AFP change of command only recently, Aquino announced that retired Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista would return to government service.
That’s some dog Trillanes wagged.