Metro Manila, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Rodolfo Azurin Jr. is convinced that there is no destabilization plot in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

“As far as the destabilization is concerned, I don’t think there is one,” Azurin said in a press briefing Monday.

The police chief also clarified that the AFP B150 helicopter shown hovering over Camp Crame in a photo was only undergoing a regular maintenance check-up.

“I also talked to the newly installed chief of staff Sir Andres Centino last night, and he gave the assurance that the PNP and the AFP will work hand-in-hand in ensuring that the Marcos administration will be very stable,” he added.

‘Fake memo’

Over the weekend, a memorandum signed by Lt. Col. Dexter Ominga – a ranking officer from the Cordillera Administrative Region Police Regional Office – circulated online.

In the memo, Azurin supposedly placed the entire PNP on full alert status due to the destabilization movements from AFP.

Azurin denied such instructions and directed the Regional Director of Cordillera to look into the possible security lapses on the agency’s document security.

“Definitely the appropriate charges as well as the consequences of the lapses, if there’s any, will be meted to Police Colonel Dexter,” the police chief said.

In a Laging Handa briefing on Monday, PNP spokesperson PCol. Jean Fajardo also said they are already tracing the user who posted the false information on social media.

“Inumpisahan na ang PNP anti-cybercrime group para tukuyin kung sino ang source nitong social media posts kung saan napabalita na naka-full alert ang PNP dahil sa destabilization. Kung sino man ang mapapatunayan na nagkalat nitong misinformation na ito ay mananagot sa batas,” she said.

[Translation: The PNP anti-cybercrime group has been launched to identify the source of these social media posts where it was reported that the PNP is on full alert due to destabilization. Whoever can be proven to have spread this misinformation will be liable to the law.]

‘Very normal’

Meanwhile, Azurin reiterated that PNP’s heightened alert status is not in any way related to the alleged destabilization plot of AFP.

“That’s (alert status) very normal if there’s change or turnover of command whether in PNP or in AFP,” he said.

Fajardo also said that the alert status was because of religious activities nationwide.

“Ang PNP ay naka-heightened alert hindi dahil may destabilization plot, pero dahil sa religious activities hindi lang sa Manila pero pati sa ibang rehiyon,” she added.

[Translation: The PNP is on heightened alert not because of a destabilization plot, but because of religious activities not only in Manila but also in other regions.]