Philippines military remains loyal to Marcos — national security adviser

November 5, 2023 - 9:35 AM
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In this Oct. 23, 2023 photo, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. convenes special command conference. (PCO/Released)

The Philippines‘ National Security Adviser on Saturday rejected talk of a plot to destabilize the government of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, saying the military and entire security sector were loyal to the commander-in-chief.

“Yes, there were healthy and passionate exchanges (and) debates among some retired or former military officers and even some criticism against certain policies of the current administration, but they are within the bounds of our democratic space,” National Security Adviser Eduardo Año said.

“There is no destabilization plot (and) movement against the government,” Año said in a statement.

Año’s remarks came after Philippine military chief Romeo Brawner was quoted in the media as telling troops on Friday that he had heard of “destabilization efforts,” with some military officers saying “the president should be replaced for many reasons” and “there should be another coup d’etat.”

Año said Brawner was “misquoted or misinterpreted” by the media.

“The security sector shall remain vigilant and ready to take immediate action against any sinister group that will undermine our national security,” Ano said.

Marcos, the son and namesake of the late Philippines strongman deposed in a 1986 “people power” uprising, won office in a landslide in last year’s presidential elections.

However, he has suffered a “significant” drop in his approval rating, based on an opinion poll in September, as soaring consumer prices in the Philippines undermined his support.

There was no immediate comment from Marcos’ office.

The Philippines has seen more than a dozen coup attempts since the overthrow of President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.

— Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Michael Perry