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AFP: Officers’ ‘manifesto’ fabricated to sow division

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Paper calls AFP-PNP unity walk ‘walk of shame’

By Joel Guinto
First Posted 16:25:00 02/28/2008

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) dismissed as “fabricated” an alleged statement by junior officers that derided the “unity walk” of top security officials earlier this week as the handiwork of “cowards” with “vested interests.”

“This manifesto is nothing but a concoction fabricated to destroy the AFP and create an image of divisiveness within our ranks. The AFP remains to be solid,” military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Bartolome Bacarro said.

“Did it [manifesto] really come from junior officers, or was it crafted by one person who is definitely partisan or done by groups with vested interests?” Bacarro asked in Camp Aguinaldo.

The manifesto read: “We, the junior officers in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, feel utterly embarrassed by the irrational actions of our senior officers who marched at EDSA last 25 February.”

“While they call it ‘unity walk,’ we see it as a depraved display of partisan politics. That walk of unity might as well be called a ‘walk of shame.’ We enjoin all decent-minded cavaliers to put a stop to [Presdient Gloria Macapagal-] Arroyo and [AFP chief of staff General Hermogenes Jr.] Esperon’s blatant corruption of our organization. This has got to stop, sirs,” according to the manifesto.

On Monday, the 22nd anniversary of the 1986 People Power revolt, Esperon and Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Avelino Razon Jr. led their officers and men in a march from the People Power monument to Camp Aguinaldo on EDSA to show their unity with the chain of command.

The march came ahead of street protests calling for the ouster of Arroyo, who, along with her husband, Jose Miguel, and former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr., are accused of having received millions of dollars in kickbacks from the botched national broadband network project.

The manifesto also blasted Esperon for his alleged involvement in the supposed rigging of the 2004 presidential elections in Arroyo’s favor.

Bacarro said whoever was behind the manifesto was doing an injustice to the junior officers in the battlefield.

“This manifesto is not the handiwork of our junior officers, who, at this very moment, are in the mountains, focused on doing their jobs, but rather crafted by cowards hiding behind the name of our brave junior officers,” he said.

Earlier, military and police officials also had to issue statements dismissing a text message claiming government troops would withdraw support from the administration if an interfaith prayer rally in Makati City Friday draws a million people.

Taking a swipe at Razon, the manifesto said the PNP chief “doesn’t know the difference between kidnapping and protection,” apparently referring to his role in the alleged kidnapping of Rodolfo Noel Lozada Jr., key witness in the Senate inquiry into the NBN scandal.

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Written by joelguinto

Thu+00:002008-02-28T09:21:05+00:00+00:0002b+00:00Thu, 28 Feb 2008 09:21:05 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am02

Posted in Uncategorized

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