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Sasampalin ng pera para walang kudeta? Lagman hints Duterte may be ‘buying’ AFP, PNP loyalty

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Albay first district Rep. Edcel Lagman insinuated Wednesday (October 5) that President Rodrigo Duterte’s dangled pay increase for members of the military and police is meant to keep them reined in.

“I am not against an increase in the rates of combat duty pay and combat incentive pay to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and extending the same allowances to the Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel,” Lagman said.

“If the increases in bonuses and incentives are adequately reasonable, then they can be said to be an apt recognition and remuneration for services like combat duty.

“However, if the increases are inordinately huge, then this can be akin to buying the loyalty of uniformed officers and personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police for ulterior reasons,” the former House Minority leader noted.

For pundits, these “ulterior reasons” may have something to do with preventing a coup d’etat.

Lagman pointed out how Duterte’s Executive Order (EO) No. 3 called for astronomic increases in combat duty pay, among other things.

“Under E.O. No. 3, the combat duty pay is increased from P500.00 a month to 3,000.00 a month or a whopping increase of 500 percent, while the combat duty pay of uniformed personnel of the PNP is increased from P340.00 per month to P3,000.00 per month or an increase of 782.35 percent. Combat incentive pay was increased from P150.00 a day but not exceeding P1,500.00 per month to P300.00 per day but not exceeding P3,000 per month or an increase of 100 percent,” he said.

Lagman reckoned that the increase in the allowances of AFP and PNP personnel “should not be to the detriment of other civil servants”.

He said the likes of government doctors and nurses, social workers, public school teachers and barangay health workers have tasks that are just as important as soldiers and cops.