ISABELA: 6 YOUNG ARMY OFFICERS PROBED FOR LINKS WITH 'MAGDALO'

CAMP MELCHOR DE LA CRUZ, Gamu, Isabela, September 1, 2003 (STAR) By Charlie Lagasca  - A ranking military official confirmed yesterday the relief of six young Army officers under his command here for their alleged links with the Magdalo group which was behind the failed July 27 mutiny in Makati City.

Maj. Gen. Samuel Bagasin, commanding general of the Armyís 5th Infantry Division based here, said the suspected Magdalo "sympathizers" were pulled out from their assignments here and sent to Fort Bonifacio for an investigation into the extent of their alleged participation in the mutiny.

"The six young officers have been placed under investigation in order for them to clear their names," he said.

Bagasin declined to name the six Army officers but admitted they all belong to Class 1997 of the Philippine Military Academy.

A highly placed source, however, identified one of the six officers as a certain 1Lt. Angelbert Gay, a company commander of the 21st Infantry Battalion.

Bagasin said the six junior officers were alleged to have extended "moral support" to the Magdalo group in cellular phone conversations at the height of the mutiny at Oakwood Suites in Makati City.

Other than that, Bagasin said "they have done nothing unusual like recruiting their subordinates to join or sympathize with the mutineers."

Bagasin, who heads the biggest Army division, reiterated his commandís adherence to the Constitution and to the administration of President Arroyo.

Bagasinís assurance came in the wake of reported destabilization plots against the Arroyo administration.

"Our command will always be loyal and ready to defend the Constitution and the Commander-in-Chief from elements who want to grab power through unconstitutional means," he said.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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