There is no destabilization plot against the government despite the foiled bomb attempt at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and the reported plan by the apprehended group to bomb specific targets in Metro Manila, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Wednesday.
During his confirmation hearing at the Senate, AFP Chief of Staff General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. dismissed reports of a destabilization plan. “There’s no destabilization angle on that report kasi imagine ano lang ‘yun, labintador tapos nilagayan ng gasoline. Anybody can do that so I think that’s really something that we should really not be bothered about,” he added.
The newly confirmed General also said the botched NAIA bomb attack was not a terror act, even branding the perpetrators as pranksters. “We still believe that this is not a terrorist act kasi it was done by somebody whom we know is more or less like a prankster, to get the attention of the public,” he said.
He also labelled the group’s plan to bomb other Chinese-owned targets such as SM Mall of Asia, DMCI main office, and the Chinese Embassy as mere allegation. “Well that’s the allegation but we looked around, sabi may mga threat din sa kampo namin pero negative naman so we didn’t want to put more, bigyan sila ng importansya,” said Catapang.
Meanwhile, National Security Council Director General Cesar Garcia also denied existence of a destabilization plot. Garcia said the group “is not a threat to national security.”
“This group used to belong to dubious organization, fake guerrilla racket, pseudo religious organizations. They used to be monitored closely but there is now greater tolerance with them with the freedom of association. This group is led by, driven by delusions, by delusional individuals,” he said.