Retired generals vow support for Arroyo

By Miko Santos

MANILA -- Accused of plotting against President Arroyo, nearly 300 retired and active police and military generals arrived in full force in Malacaņang Thursday to express their support to her government.

They said they were unwavering in their backing for the duly constituted authority and for the military chain of command.

Arroyo described the meeting as providential, as it finally pushed through at a time when reports seemed to "somehow imply a rift between the retired generals and the government."

The generals tried to outdo each other in expressing their loyalty to and their faith in President Arroyo and the military chain of command.

Among the groups that expressed their continued support for Arroyo are The Last Watering Hole Association (TLWHA) led by retired Col. Florentino Buenaventura Jr.; Association of Generals and Flag Officers (Agfo) headed by retired Brig. Gen. Ernesto Gidaya; Association of Brigadier Generals, Chief Superintendents and Commodore Pensioners of the Philippines (Abcopop) headed by retired Supt. Juan Gallardo Abuan Jr.; and Federation of Retired Commissioned and Enlisted Officers (Forces) led by retired Brig. Gen. Angel Okol.

In their respective manifestos, the groups pledged their respect for authority and vowed to protect the country's chain of command.

Gidaya of Agfo read a manifesto urging the Senate to stop its investigation into allegations that Arroyo's husband had opened a secret bank account under the name of Jose Pidal to hide millions of pesos earned from illegal transactions.

TLWHA president Buenaventura said the organization fully supports the Arroyo administration.

"It is our keen desire to be of utmost service to you, Madame President," said Buenaventura of his organization, which has more than 700 members.

Abcopop's Abuan read a resolution calling for the expulsion from the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association of Lt. SG Antonio Trillanes IV for "conduct unbecoming of an officer and gentleman."

The unbecoming conduct stemmed from Trillanes's statement that Arroyo is arrogant, said at the height of the failed July 27 mutiny by junior military officers.

Okol, president of Forces, said his organization also fully supports the Arroyo administration.

19/09/2003

Bron : Sun Star

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