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MANILA, Philippines – In response to the news that the Philippines’ Davao City mayor, Rodrigo Duterte will install a socialist government in coalition with forces from the CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army), representatives from the Armed Forces of the Philippines have issued their statements of defense and retaliation should terrorist groups attempt a take over.
On his Facebook page, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Logico of the Department of National Defense (DND) posted a public announcement on May 4 at 11:47 AM, barely a week from election day. In his statement Logico hinted that the AFP will fight against forces that will attempt to enforce Martial Law:
“The AFP has come a long way from the AFP being described in the video below. Even today, we still live with the stigma of Martial Law, but that hasn’t deterred us from transforming our organization and ourselves. Time, effort and resources were invested in training our soldiers to respect Human Rights and the Rule of Law. The change didn’t come overnight, in fact, it isn’t even complete. One thing is for sure. We do not desire to go back to the time where the AFP was used, misused, and our people, abused. Our soldiers are more enlightened, and we have to keep moving forward. We want to be the soldiers you will be proud of.”
However an unofficial video of a masked soldier reading a manifesto that allegedly represents the “network of officers” tasked to “defend the republic” has gone viral over social media. In it, the masked soldier declares that he is announcing “an urgent call to defend our democracy and the republic against the Communist puppet Rodrigo Duterte against the CPP-NPA dictatorship.”
Further, he says: “We are officers of the AFP… as men in uniform we are duty bound to defend our flag and the constitution.”
When asked to comment about the video, Logico says “the language they use and the content sounds authentic.” However he says he does not support anonymous statements from alleged representatives of the government as this waters down the message.
Meanwhile, merely two days before the elections, a chat between two alleged political PR workers was published at http://layang-ibon.weebly.com/ Though many have doubted the veracity of the material, many of the items discussed have already been verified through videos of rebel groups and other institutional groups declaring their support of Duterte. In the conversation, an alleged PR worker in the mayor’s camp claims that “lahat ng salot” (all sorts of bane) are funding the mayor’s campaign and names among them the rebel factions, some ex generals loyal to former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Davao religious leader Apollo Quiboloy. Quiboloy is known for having claimed he is the new incarnation of Jesus Christ on earth.
Netizen Erwin de Jesus says that though he doesn’t believe everything in the conversation “because it’s the time when both parties are destroying each other’s reputation,” he believes that some items are legit and can be verified.
Meanwhile, some netizens have expressed fears that no matter who wins, a civil war might erupt between supporters of LDP and administration presidential candidate Mar Roxas and the Davao City mayor. Others fear a country submerged in communism and martial law:
One unnamed netizen believes that only presidential candidate Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago could save the country from political unrest. Duterte supporters likewise declared admiration and respect for the senator while Roxas supporters would accept any candidate except the Davao City mayor. With Santiago taking the seat, threats of violence could diffuse.
Ironically the senator has been consistently tied up to fifth and last place in the recent election surveys conducted by Pulse Asia and SWS.