Left partners of the PSOE demanded this Friday that the acting Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, take measures against the fifty retired commanders who called on the Army to oust President Pedro Sánchez and stage a coup. “Enough of playing the coup,” the leader of Más País, Íñigo Errejón, said through the social network X (on Twitter). “Strong and exemplary measures must be adopted,” he stressed. For his part, the parliamentary spokesman of the IU, Enrique Santiago, warned the same social network that the responsibility for a hypothetical statement of the military is on the political right, “which builds the argument for these coups.” Finally, the co-spokesman of Podemos, Javier Sánchez Serna, stated in an ironic tone that “Margarita Robles will certainly act strongly against the coup plotters, expelling them from the reserve and withdrawing all the military honor from them. “Very safe.”
The Ministry of Defense did not want to make any comment on the coup manifesto and sources from the said department limited themselves to pointing out that all the signatories are retired commanders (equivalent to retired Armed Forces), so it is not The discipline of the military code can be applied to them and they have the same freedom as other citizens. In previous cases similar to the present one, the Defense has issued a file on reserve commanders, still subject to military discipline, but not on retirees, who no longer have it. He also chose to send the XIX chat to the Prosecutor’s Office, where members of the said promotion of the General Air Academy talked about “shooting 26 million Spaniards.” The Public Ministry filed the case because it was considered a private conversation.
The Ministry of Defense cannot arrest or sentence them, but can, in theory, prohibit them from wearing the uniform because, by accompanying their signing of the coup manifesto with their military work, they link the Armed Forces to a political choice and harmful. the image of institutional neutrality. The Military Career Law allows retired Armed Forces to continue wearing the uniform “at military and solemn social events”, attend “military events and ceremonies” and have a card of identification, as well as showing themselves for their military work, accompanied by the letter R, for retired.
The paradox is that, if an active soldier does what his retired comrades do, he will be kicked out of the Army and will no longer be able to wear a uniform that he no longer deserves. However, the retired, since they are no longer members of the Army, cannot be expelled from it, nor can they be deprived of wearing the uniform.
Another sanction step could include expelling them from the Royal and Military Order of San Hermenegildo, which includes all officers and non-commissioned officers who have completed 20 years of service and have “impeccable conduct.” Engaging in acts or conduct that undermines or undermines the values of the Armed Forces, such as signing a coup manifesto, is grounds for dismissal. However, in August 2020 its regulations were changed, so that retirees can only be fired if they receive a final sentence. That is, only in the case of a crime and when the judicial procedure is over.
After the publication of manifestos and letters to the King of an anti-democratic nature signed by retired military personnel, the Defense proposed to change the regulations of the Order of San Hermenegildo and the Military Career Law to to deprive those who commit acts that are not compatible with the right to wear a uniform. same. This is an apparently minor punishment, which has no economic impact, but has a high symbolic value. Retired military personnel can intervene in politics but if they do so they should put their uniform in the closet and not flaunt it, to prevent their personal choices from affecting the Armed Forces, sources from the military jurisdiction have warned. . The reform, however, remains pending.