AFP, PNP: No coup vs. Duterte

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 3) — There will be no coup d'état against President Rodrigo Duterte, the military and police assured Wednesday after the commander-in-chief himself brought the matter up once again.

In a speech at the 72nd anniversary celebration of the Philippine Air Force on Tuesday, Duterte said, "Do not do it please during my term."

"I told you before all you have to do kung ayaw ninyo ako, do not bring your weapons and mechanized armors there. Just call me and we’ll have coffee and I am ready to say, 'It’s yours for the taking.'"

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Spokesperson Edgardo Arevalo dismissed Duterte's plea as a "random remark," noting that the President has made similar statements in several instances.

Arevalo reiterated that the soldiers are satisfied with their commander-in-chief and that they have no plans of ousting him.

"The reforms implemented in the AFP to include its modernization; the increase in pay, allowances, and benefits like housing so we can best perform our mandate abound. We were given more than what we can ask for from a President and Commander-in-Chief who has shown genuine care and concern to his soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines," Arevalo said in a statement.

"We have, time and again assured him, as we reassure him today, that we in the AFP shall constantly and will remain loyal to the flag, to the Constitution, and to the Filipino people whom we swore to protect with our lives," Arevalo added.

Philippine National Police chief General Oscar Albayalde likewise said the police are not plotting to overthrow the administration.

"Wala naman pinaplano yung AFP at PNP (The AFP and PNP are not planning anything). I can assure you that," Albayalde told reporters.

Over the past three years, Duterte visited military camps all throughout the country and doubled the salaries of uniformed men.

Jose Maria Sison, founding leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines, said Duterte is "having coup jitters" amid public dissatisfaction of his failure to defend the country's sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea. Duterte has been criticized for nurturing friendly relations with China despite Beijing's incursions in areas that the Philippines claims and occupies in the disputed South China Sea.

"He anticipates that the people can rise in gigantic mass actions against his traitorous, tyrannical, brutal and corrupt regime and the military and police can turn against him as they did against Marcos and Estrada," Sison said. The late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and former President Joseph Estrada were ousted through historic military and civilian uprisings.