AFP yields to SC tackling of amnesty bids

MANILA -- Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief-of-Staff Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. said Sunday he is submitting to the Supreme Court (SC) as the nation's highest court to tackle petitions related to Presidential Proclamation No. 572.

"The AFP submits to the majesty of the SC and yields to its wisdom as it tackles the petition pertaining to Presidential Proclamation 572 (PP 572) filed by Senator (Antonio) Trillanes IV, " Galvez said in a statement released Sunday.

Proclamation 572 voided the amnesty granted to Trillanes by former president Benigno Aquino III's Proclamation No. 75 issued in November 2010.

"In deference to the SC that has taken cognizance of the case, we will not anymore comment on its merits as we hope other parties would follow suit," Galvez said.

He also denied claims made by some quarters of divisiveness or rumblings in the military, noting that the AFP remains united and will be united and strong as an organization.

"Let me then, as the AFP Chief of Staff, take this occasion to warn persons who or groups that attempt to divide the AFP by sowing intrigues and discord among its officers and enlisted personnel. You will not succeed," Galvez said.

Nonetheless, he reminded every soldier, airman, sailor, and marine not to meddle or take part in partisan politics.

"Our loyalty is to the Constitution. I command the troops to adhere to the rule of law and always obey the Chain of Command. Violation of these instructions will be dealt with severely and personnel who will get involved will be immediately relieved from their posts and investigated," Galvez added.

And while aware that the troops have individual views on many issues, those merely hallmark an intelligent and matured organization like the AFP, he added.

"But we always put the interest of the organization and the nation above our own," Galvez said.

"Finally, I have, as the appointing authority, commissioned the General Court Martial (GCM) that shall continue hearing the case of the erstwhile Navy Lt. Trillanes IV. However, with the recent pronouncement of the Chief Executive, GCM proceedings will be held in abeyance until the SC has ruled on the legality of PP 572," he added. (PR)

Source: Philippine News Agency