Internal quarrels among the corrupt officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) have broken out in open challenge and threats of coups and destabilization. These come less than a year since the assumption to power of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. This “confrontation” reflects the entrenched contradictions among allied political dynasties and groups within the ruling Marcos regime.
Marcos Jr. tried to cover the gravity of the situation by declaring that this so-called crisis is “fake news.”
However, the series of events belie such a disclaimer.
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Abalos demanded the courtesy resignation of all officers of the PNP, supposedly to “cleanse” the organization from drug protectors and network. On January 13, a total of 904 (95%) of the 954 generals and full colonels of the PNP have filed their courtesy resignations.
This fake anti-drug campaign in the police organization is used to camouflage Marcos Jr.’s thrust of consolidating his control of the PNP.
At the height of the Duterte regime, police colonels and generals were extrajudicial killers and accomplices.
If their subordinates shot dead a drug suspect, the pay was bigger. If the drug suspect is apprehended instead of shot, the reward was smaller. That explains the frenzy of killings by the police. To escape blame and make it appear the police had clean hands, hired assassins were easily contracted because there was money for it.
When confidential funds from Duterte ran dry, the PNP became the source and supplier of drugs.
DND OIC Jose Faustino Jr. on Tuesday said he decided to leave his post purportedly to “protect the reputation” of the AFP. But his resignation followed the reappointment of Gen. Andres Centino as AFP chief, replacing Lt. Gen. Bartolome Bacarro. At least nine officials of the DND have tendered their courtesy resignation after Jose Faustino Jr. stepped down as the department’s officer-in-charge.
Based on the circulating PNP memo issued for PNP units in Western Visayas, there was an instruction from the Chief PNP Gen. Rodolfo Azurin, Jr. for PNP units to be placed on alert over “developing issues in Camp Aguinaldo.”
These open conflicts in the AFP and PNP are clear manifestations of the bitter contention between its officers and political patrons. They compete for control of bureaucratic corruption involving enormous amounts of public money. This involves control of hundreds of billions of pesos of public funds for “AFP modernization” involving the purchase and maintenance of equipment, for counterinsurgency, infrastructure projects under the so-called “Barangay Development Program,” as well as US foreign military funding. All these are always in the web of corruption.
This problem is bound to worsen as the acute and chronic crisis of Philippine society aggravates, and as Marcos Jr. consolidates his hold on power.
In this context, the revolutionary people’s army, the New People’s Army (NPA) continues to grow in strategic areas of the archipelago. The decadent mercenary fascist AFP and PNP can never defeat the NPA.