Armed Forces of the Philippines

WATCH: AFP chief Brawner warns coup plotters not to recruit active soldiers

Herbie Gomez
WATCH: AFP chief Brawner warns coup plotters not to recruit active soldiers
'Some of them are former officers of the AFP, and I've spoken with some of them,' says AFP Chief of Staff General Romeo Brawner

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief General Romeo Brawner revealed that he had spoken with former military officers who were behind an alleged plot to oust President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and asked them not to involve active soldiers in their movement.

He confirmed that there were destabilization efforts, with some calling for a coup d’etat.

“Some of them [are] former officers of the AFP, and nakausap ko ‘yung iba sa kanila (I’ve spoken with some of them),” said Brawner.

“Once we find out that any of our active personnel are involved in this, we will act swiftly,” he warned in Zamboanga City on Friday, November 3, during the turnover of command at the AFP’s Western Mindanao Command.

He said, “Maawa tayo sa ating bansa (Let’s pity our country). Let’s give our country the chance to move forward.”

On Saturday, November 4, Colonel Medel Aguilar, AFP spokesperson, said in a statement that Brawner was “misquoted” when “he merely mentioned the reported efforts by certain individuals to upset the peace and stability that the country is enjoying right now” under President Marcos.

“Therefrom, General Brawner again reminded all AFP personnel to remain professional and loyal to their oath to protect the people and the State,” he added.

In an interview with journalists on Saturday, Aguilar said Brawner had been giving this reminder to troops whenever he talked to them, so his speech at the Westmincom was “nothing new” on this, kaya lang ” and was only “sensationalized.”

“But it doesn’t mean there’s any security threat,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Watch Brawner’s November 3 speech. –

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Herbie Gomez

Herbie Salvosa Gomez is coordinator of Rappler’s bureau in Mindanao, where he has practiced journalism for over three decades. He writes a column called “Pastilan,” after a familiar expression in Cagayan de Oro, tackling issues in the Southern Philippines.