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Duterte told not to sow discord between House, AFP

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PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO/ ROBINSON NIÑAL

A CONGRESSMAN on Sunday urged ex-President Rodrigo R. Duterte to stop creating tension between the military and the House of Representatives.

“I respectfully appeal to former President Rodrigo Duterte to recognize the paramount importance of keeping our Armed Forces and national police free from partisan politics,” House Majority Leader and Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Jose M. Dalipe said in a statement.

“These institutions serve as the bedrock of our nation’s security, and their effectiveness relies on unity and impartiality.”

The ex-President on Nov. 15 told SMNI channel TV in Filipino: “Watch the military as well as the police closely. You who are conniving in Congress, I am not scaring you, but watch the military and the police.”

“That’s why I’m not worried that they will prevail… because the military is there,” Mr. Duterte said.

Mr. Dalipe called Mr. Duterte’s remarks “baseless statements.”

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police have more important things to do than watch Congress, as claimed by the former President,” he added.

The congressman said the military and police must be insulated from partisan activities and should maintain the highest degree of professionalism.

The House on Nov. 6 passed a resolution upholding its “integrity and honor” after Mr. Duterte issued scathing remarks against the institution.

Mr. Duterte described the House as the country’s “most rotten institution” after congressmen on Oct. 10 stripped several agencies including the Office of the Vice President and the Education department of their confidential funds.

Lawmakers transferred P1.23 billion worth of these budgets to security agencies amid worsening tensions with China.

Mr. Duterte is the father of Vice-President Sara Duterte-Carpio, who is also Education secretary.

Ms. Duterte-Carpio in May resigned from Lakas-CMD after congressmen demoted her ally, former President and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, from the senior deputy speaker post. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz

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