Palace shrugs off claim of unrest in military

 In Philippines

MALACA√ĎANG on Tuesday, August 28, shrugged off the claim of Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison that some military officials think of President Rodrigo Duterte as the “number one enemy of the state.”

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said this is another “delusion” of the communist leader.

“That’s part of the delusions of Joma Sison,” Roque said in a press conference with Palace reporters.

“It cannot be anything other than delusion because he’s 10,000 miles away. How would he know what’s in the mind of our senior military officials? Dream on, Joma Sison,” he added.

Roque made the remark amid Sison’s relentless tirades against Duterte.

In a statement released earlier Tuesday, Sison claimed that some of the high-ranking military officials depicted Duterte as an enemy of the state for several reasons.

Sison alleged that “a significant number” of military officials was appalled by Duterte for violating the 1987 Constitution, turning the state forces into “private criminal instruments,” betraying national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and adopting policies causing burden to the people.

“Among his military officers, there is a significant number who view Duterte himself as the [number one] enemy of the Philippine State,” Sison, who is currently self-exiled in the Netherlands, said.

“Duterte is unwittingly putting his own life in more serious danger than ever,” the CPP founder added.

Sison’s newest allegation came a day after Duterte revealed that he would bring retiring military and police officials on his historic three-day visit to Israel in September as a “gift” for their exemplary public service.

Duterte’s remark was opposed by Senator Panfilo Lacson, who emphasized that a presidential trip should have a better purpose than merely becoming a reward to any official in the government.

Roque, however, said there was nothing wrong with the Commander-in-Chief’s decision to let retiring military and police officials join the Israel trip.

The Palace official said that while the trip was a “gesture of appreciation,” it would be more than a gift to the state officials.

“As a part of gesture of appreciation is part of the reason why they will be joining the trip,” Roque said.

“But obviously, for security personnel, a trip to Israel would entail collaborating and mingling with security forces of Israel in order for our men in uniform to benefit from the experience of Israel, particularly in the drive against extremism and terrorism,” he added.

Roque said the government would shoulder the expenses of the military and police officers who will be joining the President in the Jewish country since they remains to be “active members of the military.” (SunStar Philippines)