Leyte-based Army renews commitment to stay non-partisan

SAN MIGUEL, Leyte -- The Philippine Army based in Leyte vowed to remain non-partisan, as its members perform their task to ensure peaceful and orderly elections in remote communities.

“We guarantee you that your Army will be apolitical, neutral and non-partisan. Our only request for the candidates is to abide by the covenant they signed,” said Colonel Francisco Mendoza, the Army’s 802nd Infantry Brigade commander.

The Army brigade, based in Ormoc City, has two infantry battalions (IB) -- the 19th IB that covers the provinces of Biliran and northwest part of Leyte province and 78th IB that covers with jurisdiction of the southern part of Leyte province.

The Philippine Army, along with members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Commission on Elections (Comelec), has been initiating peace covenant signing for local candidates, vying seats on the May 9 elections.

Of the 44 towns and cities in Leyte, 40 areas were done with covenant signing.

The Comelec has deputized the military and police to provide security assistance throughout the election period.

The military provides augmentation force to policemen in their checkpoints and in the implementation of gun ban.

They also assign their men as security personnel to local candidates as approved by Comelec and subject to the conditions under regulations under the Omnibus Election Code.

“As early as January 9, we already created a joint security plan with the Comelec and PNP in order the election in the province is secure and fair,” Mendoza added. (PNA)
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