Alleged efforts to oust President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. instigated by some retired military officers have prompted Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. to warn troops who participate in any move to destabilize the current administration that the military would act “swiftly but judiciously” against them.

But National Security Adviser Eduardo Año immediately sought to allay any fears of military unrest and dismissed notions that the Marcos administration would be overthrown, saying that Brawner was “misquoted or misinterpreted” by the media when he spoke on Friday.

While there were indeed “healthy and passionate exchanges/debates among some retired or former military officers and even some criticism against certain policies of the current administration,” these were “within the bounds of our democratic space,” he said in a statement on Saturday. Although often abused, they are part of the freedom of expression where most are academic discussions or politically motivated. Año said AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar also said Brawner was “simply misquoted” and “merely mentioned the reported efforts by certain individuals to upset the peace and stability that the country is enjoying right now” under the president’s leadership.

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