Police, AFP remain apolitical, non-partisan

Police, AFP remain apolitical, non-partisan
PNA file photo

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) renewed their commitment to their duties and responsibilities to ensure the protection of the people and the land.

The renewal of their vows came amid the prevailing political issues in the country brought about by the push for People’s Initiative (PI), which seeks to amend the 1987 Constitution.

In their respective press conferences, PNP chief of the Public Information Office (PIO) Colonel Jean Fajardo and AFP spokesperson Colonel Francel Margareth Padilla said there is no need for a loyalty check in their ranks following the call of former President Rodrigo Duterte for the law enforcement agencies to take action and defend the Constitution against the PI.

Fajardo maintained that the PNP does not meddle with political affairs.

“Palagi niyang pinapaalala sa ating mga pulis na dapat ang bawat pulis ay (He has been reminding us that) we should uphold and respect the rule of law and when we speak of rule of law that is part and parcel of protecting the Constitution,” she said, referring to PNP Chief General Benjamin Acorda Jr.

“Palagi pong pinapaalala ng ating chief PNP na dapat laging isapuso at isaisip ng ating mga pulis na dapat alam natin ‘yung ating mandato… Ang ating mandato ay to enforce the law at respect the rule of law at yan pa din ang gagawin ng inyong pambansang pulisya,” Fajardo added.

(Our PNP chief always reminds us that our police should always take it to heart and mind that we should know our mandate... Our mandate is to enforce the law and respect the rule of law and that is what your national police will do as well.)

Padilla, for her part, reiterated that the military remains professional and non-partisan.

“We continue to have our focus in terms of our mission po to end our local terrorist insurgency problem and transition ultimately to territorial defense,” she said.

Fajardo and Padilla distanced themselves from a supposed manifesto against the PI, which was signed by retired members of the police and military.

Fajardo said they respect the rights of the group possibly behind the supposed manifesto but she urged them not to drag the active police members to any of the controversies.

The country’s political temperature has been heating up following the alleged corruption surrounding the signature drive related to PI, which seeks to amend Article 17 Section 1 of the Constitution in order for both chambers of Congress to vote jointly in future Charter change (Cha-cha) efforts.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez was alleged to be behind the payouts in exchange of signatures in support of the PI.

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The Senate, which has 24 members, will be outnumbered and cannot cast any meaningful vote against the House of Representatives, which has 316 members.

No less than Romualdez’s cousin, Senator Imee Marcos, said that the House Speaker granted P20 million reward per legislative district in exchange of signatures.

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Senator Marcos, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms, launched an investigation on the alleged anomalies related to PI.

Over the weekend, former President Duterte slammed the administration’s push for Cha-cha during a prayer rally held in Davao City, simultaneous with the Bagong Pilipinas kick-off rally at the Quirino Grandstand that was led by President Marcos.

Senator Marcos attended the Davao event where former President Duterte accused his brother, President Marcos, of being a “drug addict.”

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During the event, Davao City Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte appealed to President Marcos to resign from post.

Senator Marcos said Mayor Duterte was quick to apologize to her after he made the call.

She distanced herself, however, from the word-war between former President Duterte and President Marcos, who said that his predecessor could have made the accusations due to the over-use of fentanyl, a regulated pain-reliever. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)


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