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Junkets and golf galore: Ex- Air Force general tells why ‘Red October’ plot is a joke

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A former general of the Philippine Air Force does not believe “Red October,” the supposed plan to oust President Rodrigo Duterte, is based on a real and actual threat.

Retired general Ramon Farolan said there are telltale signs that “Red October” is nothing more than a “work of fiction.”

In his Philippine Daily Inquirer column published on October 1, Farolan shared his observation about the absence of a heightened security alert despite the alleged ouster plot.

“Entry into military camps is not restricted; golf at Camp Aguinaldo remains at normal levels,” he said.

Farolan said the police and military would have imposed tight security measures in Metro Manila if the ouster plot were serious because the capital “would be a prime target for any takeover attempt.”

What surprised Farolan, however, is the recent junket of several Cabinet Secretaries in London.

According to official press releases, the following officials went to London for an investment mission: Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Budget Secretary Ben Diokno, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, and Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat.

For Farolan, the presence of several Cabinet Secretaries abroad all but wipes away the seriousness of the “Red October” plot.

“There is absolutely no sense of concern or anxiety over the possible ouster of government, and such a huge delegation only strengthens the impression that something is fishy about Red October,” he said.

Farolan believes “Red October” is nothing more than a way to distract the public from the soaring costs of basic commodities and a declining peso.