Esperon says military preparing for old and new threats:Philippines

This is from the Inquirer. It seems that there is never a time when the AFP leadership does not think that someone is out to overthrow the leadership. This shows how popular the leadership is and how restive are the rank and file. For a change the AFP is actually talking about threats from the right! Usually it is the NPA (Communists) or Muslim separatists who are regarded as threats.

Esperon says military preparing for old and new threats
By Nikko DizonPhilippine Daily InquirerFirst Posted 23:16:00 02/26/2008
MARAGONDON, Cavite, Philippines -- Armed Forces Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon Jr. is not taking any chances.
Despite the assurances of the heads of the major service commands they were on top of the situation, the AFP is looking at all possible rightist threats that may arise in the face of the NBN-ZTE corruption scandal hounding the Arroyo administration, Esperon said.
And this means not just the threat posed by the Magdalo group of renegade officers led by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, he added.
“When you look at the security threat situation, you do not have to confine yourself to known threats. You have to continue looking at other angles without necessarily casting doubt on anybody,” Esperon told reporters here.
Esperon was here with US Ambassador Kristie Kenney and Admiral Timothy Keating, commander of the US Pacific Command, to check on the construction of a four-classroom school building at Maragondon National High School by Philippine and US troops under the Balikatan joint military exercises of 2008.
Esperon said that while the military would certainly not intervene in the crisis faced by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, he said that “there is and there will always be” a lingering threat from rightist groups.
“What we’re saying is there might be a new group. So we keep on doing what we call counter-intelligence operations to see if there really is another group. As of now, there is none,” Esperon said.
Esperon said the Magdalo, as well as the Marine and Army Scout Ranger officers implicated in the alleged February 2006 power grab, were considered by the military not so much as threats but as “deviants from the normal military behavior.”
“How can we treat them as threats when they are already confined?” Esperon said.
In July 2003, a group of junior officers calling themselves the Magdalo took over the Oakwood serviced apartments at the Makati commercial center and called for the overthrow of the government


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