Senator Antonio Trillanes IV revealed that a retired general has been spreading fake news about a “popular politician” recruiting soldiers to execute a coup d’etat against President Rodrigo Duterte.
He named a certain “General Kakilala” as the man behind the fake news about a politician about convincing graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 2006 to hold a coup against Duterte.
“Ito si General Kakilala, meron siyang ini-spread na meron daw isang popular politican na nagre-recruit ng isang class 2006 para sa isang coup against Duterte,” Trillanes said during the Senate finance committee hearing on the 2018 budget for the Department of National Defense, which also includes the Armed Forces of the Philippines on August 14.
However, Trillanes said that he did not feel that the politician the reports were referring to was him because he was not recruiting anyone and he does not consider himself popular.
“I did not feel alluded to, not only wala naman akong nire-recruit but I’m also not popular,” Trillanes said
The senator is a former Navy officer who belongs to PMA Class 1995.
Trillanes told reporters during an interview after the Senate hearing that Kakilala and other PMAers identified him as the “popular politician” plotting a coup against Duterte in a forum.
“Talagang ako yung tinuturo…Walang recruitment, hindi ako nagre-recruit. Hindi kami lumalapit diyan sa mga kampo even for myself,” Trillanes said.
One of the members of the senator’s staff showed reporters a screen capture of Kakilala’s post on Facebook, which said: “Gago itong politician na ito ah. Pinaghirapan ng Armed Forces and AFP Transformation Roadmap para ma-highly professionalize ang corps. Huwag na kayo maniwala yan, bok, maraming sundalo nag sakripisyo including their families dahil na discharged sila for participating in various coups.”
The said post also had a link to an article from The Asian Policy.
The article quoted what it described as a “respected journalist” who claimed to have received information from a “really reliable source” that “popular politician was trying to convince a certain Captain Popoy of PMA Class 2006 to execute a coup d’etat plan against President Duterte.”
We traced the article and found this one on The Asian Policy.
We looked for the “journalist” that The Asian Policy was referring to and found former ABS-CBN reporter Ira Panganiban, whose Facebook page is called “Syet Da Pwet.” This was his Facebook post on September 13:
“So I get this information from a really reliable source – a popular politician was trying to convince a certain Captain Popoy of PMA Class 2006 to execute a coup d’etat plan against President Duterte.
They chose Class ’06 because it has the most number of graduates, 300 plus, and most are in the Army.
The plan apparently got shelved after members of Class ’06 from the Navy and Army found out and condemned the project urging their Mistahs to refrain from going on another military adventure. Many said they are loyal to flag and country and do not wish to be involved in the political circus the politician is involved in.
Talaga???? Naghahanap sila ng coupals??? Yun na naman ang aktibidad??? Kailan niyo ba titigilan ang militar natin???
Naaalala ko yung sinabi ng isang YOU member sa akin after the last coup. Sabi niya and I quote “ayaw na namin sumali sa coup ulit dahil laging inaaksaya ng mga politiko yung effort namin. Next time na mag-coup kami, di na namin isosoli sa sibilyan ang kapangyarihan!!!”
Even in his post’s comments section, some netizens thought it was Trillanes who was trying to gather soldiers to execute a coup against Duterte.
Trillanes is one of the Magdalo members who staged unsuccessful coup d’etat attempts against the Arroyo administration – the Oakwood mutiny in 2003 and the Manila Peninsula siege in 2007.
AFP says no coup attempt
However, AFP chief General Eduardo Año denied receiving information about a possible coup d’etat against President Duterte.
“So far, we have not monitored any recruitment activity in the organization. We have not received any cause for dissatisfaction…We have not monitored any destabilization move of any politician or any personality,” Año said.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Kakilala is a retired general, but he could not remember the first name. It was only later on that his staff identified the former general as Brigadier General Joselito Kakilala.
Lorenzana said there are no destabilization moves against the Duterte administration.
“If there is, the defense (department) or armed forces will feel it,” he said. “Maybe there is one or two persons trying to sow discord so they would come up with fake news.”
Ex-general deleted FB post
Former General Kakilala informed GMA News Online via text message that he already deleted his Facebook post after learning that The Asian Policy article could be fake news.
“I just commented in the post, but it is farthest in my mind that I speak against a revered senator…[When I was] told that it could be fake news, I pulled out my comment,” Kakilala said.
“It aims to transform the institution as a highly professionalize corps and ensure its capability development is realized,” he said, referring to his former post at the AFP Office of Strategic Studies and Strategy Management that supervises the AFP Transformation Roadmap.