February 17 ------ After the Philippine government sent a notice of termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) to the United States, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison has claimed that some pro-America officers in the military were talking about a possible coup d’etat against President Duterte. Sison, who is in self-exile in The Netherlands, said Duterte has “aroused” the interest of some pro-US Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) officials after he approved the sending of the termination of the two-decades-old military pact with America.
“Just by giving the US a notice of terminating VFA, he has aroused quite a number of pro-US military officers to talk against him and curse him for prejudicing hundreds of projects under the VFA. Some of these officers have been talking about a coup,” Sison said in a statement on Saturday. Sison also noted that quite a number of the officials planning the ouster plot were “assets” of the US Defense Intelligence Agency and Central Intelligence Agency who remain “loyal to their pocketbooks rather than to the Filipino people.” But as early as last week, AFP Chief General Felimon Santos Jr. had already dismissed the rumors that some military officials disapproved of Duterte’s decision to scrap the VFA.
Santos had said that there was no need for the military to conduct a loyalty check among its ranks since the change of command, with Duterte on top as the military’s Commander-in-Chief, remains uncompromised. “We are loyal ever since,” Santos said on February 12.