Sunday, July 17, 2011

Military in Mindanao silent on calls to oust President Aquino

Facebook photo of Navy Deputy Commander Generoso Mariano while he reads a statement asking for the ouster of President Benigno Aquino III.

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanao Examiner / July 17, 2011) – The Philippine military in Mindanao remains silent on the call of a senior navy officer for the ouster of President Benigno Aquino III.

Security officials and their spokesmen did not give any statement about the demand made by deputy navy commander Generoso Mariano on the grounds that the President failed to address widespread poverty in the country, among other issues, since he was elected last year.

Mariano made his statement in a video clip that went viral in social networking sites and in military camps in the Philippine capital.

The Western Mindanao Command in Zamboanga City and Eastern Mindanao Command in Davao City were silent about the accusations against Aquino.

Troops stationed in Mindanao said they save not seen Mariano's video. Many of them said they would just monitor the political situation and stay away from it. "That's the problem of the political leadership, but we are monitoring the situation," one soldier said.

"It is the duty, it is the right of every Filipino, including soldiers to replace the government. Huwag na tayong magpapaloko sa mga nangangakong sinungaling, wala pong pinagkaiba ang nararamdaman namin mga sundalo sa nakikita ng ating mamamayan. Nakikita rin po namin na ang ating pamahalaan ay walang kakayanan na gumawa ng mga hakbang upang iiwas tayo sa kagutuman at kamatayan."

"Huwag na po tayong maniwala sa mga istatistiko na gawa-gawa lamang na umuunlad ang ating bansa habang parami ng parami ang nagugutom. Ipaglaban po natin ang karapatang mabuhay at ng kinabukasan ng ating kabataan," Mariano said in his statement and the video of his demand is posted on the Facebook site of "Oust Noynoy Movement."

On the website's information reads: "Di pa man naging president may utang ng DUGO sa manggagawa at magsasaka ng kanyang KAMAG ANAK INC. sa Hacienda Luista at Central Azucarera sa Tarlac."

Aquino's family owned the vast sugar plantations in Tarlac province which should have been distributed to peasants under the government's Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. Peasants have been fighting for their rights to own the land they till the past two decades.

Mariano has been arrested after he came out with the video and is facing sedition charges, said Navy spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Omar Tonsay.

Militant groups and political activists have thrown their support behind Mariano and joined the calls for Aquino to step down. Aquino's popularity ratings have gone down the past months and the President has been criticized by detractors and opposition politicians for his lack of direction in running the government.

His mother, former President Corazon Aquino, had survived many coup d'├ętat in the past because of her perceived weak leadership and leftist politicians in government. She also freed political prisoners and communist rebels and their leader Jose Maria Sison, who is now fighting to overthrow the government.

And many of the coup leaders are still in active service and holding key positions in the military, but it was unknown whether they are involved in calls to oust Aquino, who has been accused of putting his classmates, friends and gun buddies to various key positions in the government. (Mindanao Examiner)

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