Military vows non-partisan role in May elections-A A +A
Friday, January 4, 2013
SOLDIERS would not take any political side in the midterm elections in May, a Cabinet official said Friday.
“Our promise now is to make sure that the Armed Forces becomes apolitical and non-partisan during the elections and we hope to have an honest, orderly and peaceful elections,” Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin told reporters.
A number of military officials had been accused of being partial in the past elections especially in 2004, when then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo allegedly benefited from cheating operations that were aided by soldiers.
Gazmin said the New Year is the proper time for defense and military personnel to “rededicate ourselves to the ideals of public service” and to “renew our pledge to strictly follow the chain of command and exercise utmost prudence in the discharge of our security duties and functions.”
The defense chief also saw the need to “pursue the fight against all forms of bureaucratic ills and corruption”as he cited the approval last December of the new AFP Modernization Law.
“It is also the time for us to work relentlessly on the realization of our Internal Peace and Security Plan Bayanihan…It is also the time for us to re-affirm our pledge to protect human rights, respect international humanitarian law and with the Rule of Law,” he added.
Gazmin said the New Year also allows concerned units to “reassess and strengthen our protective and survival techniques to ensure the citizens are kept from harm during the onslaught of natural disasters and calamities.”
“It is the time for us to strictly observe the conduct of honest, orderly and peaceful elections and to remain apolitical and non-partisan at all times. It is a new chance for us to translate into action our patriotic pledge to work for the ultimate wellbeing of our country and people,” he added.
AFP Chief General Jessie Dellosa said 2012 has been good year for soldiers.
He said they have accomplished their duties and responsibilities “in ensuring that our country is kept secured and economically thriving whether in times of disasters, community building or in defending our people against armed threats.”
“We have achieved tangible results,” said Dellosa, adding they will continue in 2013 what they have started, evaluate their accomplishment, and at the same time identify and adopt needed measures. (VR/Sunnex)