Over the weekend, a Philippine Marine colonel just days away from retirement called on the military to oust President Benigno Aquino from power.
Colonel Generoso Mariano published a video to social networking sites in which he called on the Filipino military to “replace the government.”
“It is the duty, it is the right of every Filipino including soldiers to replace the government. I repeat, replace the government,” Mariano says in a video dated 3 July 2011. The video comes from a Facebook page called the “Oust Noynoy Movement!”
Report: Marine who made ouster video works for GMA, says palace [Philippine Star, 18 Jul 2011]
President Aquino, and military leaders dismissed the colonel’s statements, saying that no one in the military shares his sentiments.
Presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte called it an “isolated case” and explained that the president is not alarmed, as “these are only [the colonel’s] sentiments and not the sentiments of others.”
“We are confident that the soldiers know that they are here to uphold the constitution and not to engage in politics,” she continued.
The Presidential spokeswoman also alleged that Mariano was working for opposition leader and former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, claiming that Mariano’s statements represented a clear desire to “further the interest of someone else.”
She explained that the link to Arroyo came about due to the similarities between Mariano’s statements and Arroyo’s. “Let’s listen to what he is saying and let’s also listen to what critics of President Aquino are saying,” she said.
“They are all saying the same things. Let’s see who have been saying the same thing as Colonel Mariano and we will find out.”
Report & Analaysis: Palace: Arroyo camp behind disgruntled colonel [Philippine Daily Inquirer, 18 Jul 2011]
In response to his actions, the navy stripped Colonel Mariano of his post and placed him under investigation.
While the colonel was set to retire on his 56th birthday, he may still face charges of sedition and conduct unbecoming an officer.
Since a bloodless coup toppled the regime of dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, the Philippine military has undergone periods of unrest. Two of the five presidents since Marcos have survived military coups, one of which was Aquino’s mother Corazon Aquino, who enlisted the help of the US Air Force to put down an attempt to forcing her from power in 1989.
Report: Philippine leader brushes off call for his ousting [AFP, 17 Jul 2011]