MANILA - Former Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon likened Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to the character in the children’s classic, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”
Esperon also mocked Trillanes, who led several mutinies during the Arroyo administration.
He said the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines are “very professional,” unlike some “whiners.”
"Yun bang mga tipong may nabalitaang silang may nasirang sapatos ng sundalo sa field e nagmartsa na sa Makati at inoccupy na ang Oakwood. May nabalitaang kulang ang bala, pumunta na sa Makati. Yan ang mga whiners na di naman nakasuot yata ng sapatos na nabasa, akala mo sila na ang instant experts on leading people in the field, na sila ang pinakamagaling na sa Armed Forces," Esperon said.
A day after President Benigno Aquino III’s State of the Nation Address, Trillanes told the media that some retired generals are meeting with active military officers to destabilize the government.
Both Malacanang and the Armed Forces downplayed Trillanes’ claims.
Esperon said he does not see any reason for uniformed men to rise against the administration.
"Wala ako makikita na dahilan kung bakit kailangan mag coup ang active man o retired officers dahil sa panahon namin, lagi naming sinasabi we should defend the constitution. Our primary mission is to uphold the Constitution, defend the sovereignty and territory of the Philippines," he said.
He admitted to meeting with active military officials, but said there was nothing there that could be likened to a destabilization plot.
"Ang pinaguusapan namin how to take care of our men, kung paano mapaganda ang Army, kung pano mapaganda ang Armed Forces," he said.
Esperon played a major role in crushing several destabilization attempts during the administration of former President Gloria Arroyo, including those led by Trillanes.
He said it would be unfair if he is identified as an Arroyo general.
He said he should also be called a lieutenant of former President Marcos, a major of former President Corazon Aquino, and colonel of both former Presidents Ramos and Estrada.
"Pinagmamalaki ko naman na nagsilbi ako sa kanya (Arroyo) e, in the same manner na ipinagmamalaki ko na nagsilbi ako sa (ibang) presidente, sa ating bayan, sa Constitution,"
He said he was also the chief of the military's counter-intelligence unit during the time of former President Corazon Aquino.
He suggested that allies of the administration should just explain the Disbursement Acceleration Program funds they received.
"May suggestion ako. Bakit di lang nila iexplain yung kanilang natanggap sa DAP? Bakit nila kami ang ituro-turo pa? Baka naman yun ang dahilan kung bakit nakikita nilang may trouble? I-explain na lang nila kung ano yung mga nakuha nila sa DAP,” he said.