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NSA urges DoJ to review calls to abandon Marcos

PHILIPPINE STAR/GEREMY PINTOLO

NATIONAL Security Adviser (NSA) Eduardo M. Año on Wednesday called on the Department of Justice (DoJ) to look into a congressman’s call for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to withdraw support for President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., citing the need to consider taking legal action.

Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon D. Alvarez earlier said the AFP should withdraw its support for the President to de-escalate tensions with Beijing over incursions in the South China Sea.

“His words and deeds are a disservice to our men and women in uniform who risk their lives daily to safeguard our nation’s security, defend us from all manner of threats, and uphold the Constitution,” Mr. Año said in a statement, referring to the lawmaker.

“In a democratic society such as ours, the armed forces are neutral and apolitical, serving the interests of the nation as a whole,” he said.

In a statement on Tuesday, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla said his agency is planning on investigating the congressman’s call to see whether or not it “has risen to the level of sedition, inciting to sedition or even rebellion.”

Mr. Alvarez has stood by his position, saying his call does qualify as seditious or disorderly conduct.

Defense Secretary Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. said the call to abandon the President goes against national interests.

“It (Mr. Alvarez’s call) erodes the very foundation of our democratic institutions and undermines the supremacy of civilian authority over the military,” Mr. Año said. “Such utterances and actions can be construed as seditious or rebellious and they have no place in our society.” — John Victor D. Ordoñez

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