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FACT CHECK: AFP denies withdrawing support for Marcos government


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FACT CHECK: AFP denies withdrawing support for Marcos government
The Armed Forces of the Philippines tells Rappler that it is non-partisan and is loyal to the chain of command and the Constitution

Claim: The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it will withdraw its support for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. if the International Criminal Court (ICC) makes a move against former president Rodrigo Duterte.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The YouTube video bearing the claim has over 26,513 views as of writing.

What the video says: The title of the video reads: “AFP withdrawal of support di na nakakagulat! Kapag ginalaw ng ICC ang mga Duterte/Tamba binola ang AFP” (AFP’s withdrawal of support not surprising if ICC makes a move against the Dutertes/Tamba praises AFP)

At the 2:58 mark, the video says, “Hindi na nakapagtataka kung ilan sa mga opisyal at active members ng AFP ang magpapahayag ng withdrawal of support kapag nagpatuloy itong pagmamalabis ng Congress at ni PBBM” (It’s not surprising if a number of officials and active members of the AFP announce their withdrawal of support if Congress and PBBM’s abuse continues.)

Unofficial: In an email to Rappler on December 27, the AFP denied the claim made in the video.

“The AFP and its units did not issue or sanction the issuance of such a statement. We are a professional, non-partisan military organization that is loyal to the Chain of Command and the Constitution,” the AFP said.

A commentary: As alleged proof to support the claim, the video showed a clip of retired Army captain Clemente Enriquez warning the Marcos government that something bad would happen if it moved against former president Duterte, his daughter, Vice President Sara Duterte, and SMNI, a platform known for red-tagging and peddling disinformation. However, Clemente’s clip is mere commentary from his YouTube channel Pinoy Survivor, and he did not provide proof that his statements came from the AFP.

Officers of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1983, of which Enrique is a member, sent Rappler a brief statement disowning the claims. “Mr. Enrique’s statements in his VLOG of Pinoy Survivor, in the exercise of his right to freedom of expression, are his own personal views and opinions alone and do not in any way reflect that of PMA Class 1983 or of the individual members.” (READ: Sara Duterte is ‘my president,’ says retired soldier. His Matikas ‘mistahs’ are annoyed.

Marcos-Duterte faction: In the past year, Marcos disengaged from the controversial policies of his predecessor, leading to the unravelling of the UniTeam alliance and clashes between the Marcos and Duterte factions. (READ: [OPINION] Marcos’ disengagement from Duterte sets stage for 2025 showdown)

The Marcos government also took a different tack in its relationship with the Armed forces compared to Duterte. Recently, the Marcos government decided to reform the generous military pension system and announced the resumption of stalled peace negotiations with communist guerrillas.

Marcos also said the Philippines’ return to the ICC is “under study,” as the war crimes tribunal continues its probe into the Duterte drug war and crimes of the so-called Davao Death Squad. – Lorenz Pasion/Rappler.com

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