Press Release
April 26, 2010


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. today said the nation should feel relieved over the assurance of Gen. Delfin Bangit, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, that there is no plan on the part of the military to form a junta in case of a failure of the automated 2010 elections.

However, Pimentel challenged Bangit to translate his words into official and tangible acts to allay the people's apprehensions that the AFP will seize power in conspiracy with the outgoing power wielders who fear criminal prosecution for their misrule and abuses once they step out of Malacañang.

"Gen. Bangit's assurance that there will be no military junta taking over the government comes like a welcome shower on a hot summer day," he said.

"More than words, however, people expect acts that demonstrate Bangit's no-nonsense stance that the military is subordinate to the mandate of civilian rule under the Constitution."

Pimentel warned that the seizure of power by a military junta could only bring chaos and civil strife. He said this is bound to split the AFP, noting the avowal of idealistic, junior military officers to thwart any plan to impose a military dictatorship.

In a command conference with the top brass of the AFP last week, Bangit said a military junta would be "suicide" and that it was never on the "list of things to do" by the military under his leadership.

"If you who are with me in our stand for the Constitution, to you who are with me in our stand against a military government or a junta, let's fight it," Bangit said.

Pimentel said the acts of Acting Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales have heightened fears that the establishment of a military junta was in the works.

He said it was Gonzales who has been espousing the idea of a so-called transition government, which is a euphemism for a civilian-military junta the obvious aim of which is to keep President Arroyo in power.

Lately, Pastor "Boy" Saycon, secretary general of the Council of Philippine Affairs, had claimed that Defense Secretary Gonzales was preparing the military for a possible failure of elections.

Saycon said Gonzales was laying the ground for a junta of which he will be a member by going the rounds of military camps under the guise of appraising the government soldiers about the security situation.

News Latest News Feed