Retired police, military officers urge Lacson, Poe to forge 2016 alliance
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - March 25, 2015 - 7:40pm

MANILA, Philippines - Retired military and police officers on Wednesday urged former Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Sen. Grace Poe to seek higher office in 2016, believing they can promote the greater interest of the Filipinos.

In a manifesto published in newspapers including The STAR, the retired officers said the nation needs “a national leadership that is competent, incorruptible and does not adhere to traditional politics.”

“We perceive that the strong-willed, disciplined, and decisive service reputation of former Sen. Panfilo Lacson and the untarnished and compassionate brand of leadership of Sen. Grace Poe would be the best combination to serve the needs and greatest interest of the Filipino people,” the manifesto read.

“We urge former Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson and Sen. Grace Poe to forge a political alliance and run in tandem for higher office in 2016,” it added.

The manifesto was signed by 35 retired officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police and the defunct Philippine Constabulary.

The signatories include retired Col. Mariano Santiago, retired P/Insp. Luciano Caneda, retired Col. Raoul Cauton, retired Maj. Fiorello Adriano, retired Brig. Gen. Carmelito Beltran, retired P/Dir. Gil Meneses, retired P/Dep. Dir. Gen. Emelito Sarmiento, retired Maj. Gen. Romulo Cabantac Jr., retired Brig. Gen. Dante Costes, retired Maj. Gen. Gerardo Layug, retired Maj. Gen. Marlou Salazar, retired P/C Insp. Ricardo Callejo, retired Brig. Gen. Rodrigo Gutang, retried Rear Adm. Rodolfo Rabago, and retired Commodore Liberato Lazo.

Other signatories were retired Brig. Gen. Oscar Cabaron, retired Col. Edgardo Abesamis, retired Col. Manuel Espejo, retired Commodore Rene Leandro Ebro, retired Lt. Gen. Edilberto Adan, retired Brig. Gen. Rosalino Alquiza, retired Maj. Gen. Jose Lapus, retired Maj. Gen. Rodolfo Garcia, retired P/Supt. Antonio Ricafort, retired Col. Guillermo Cunanan, retired Col. Victor Erfe, retired Col. Danilo Perico, retired P/Dir. Orville Gabuna, retired Brig. Gen. Miguel Sol, retired Brig. Gen. Mamerto Bocanegra, retired Lt. Gen. Raul Urgello, retired Brig. Gen. Romulo Cabantac, retired Brig. Gen. Ismael Musico, retired Cdr. Gene Juan, and retired Lt. Gen. Edgardo Batenga.

“The elections of 2016 offer us a crucial occasion to choose our highest national officials on the basis of leadership qualities and qualifications that match the most urgent problems of our country,” the retired officers said.

Mentioned in the manifesto were the Mamasapano clash, armed rebellion, terrorism, criminality, natural disasters, the pork barrel scam, Metro Manila traffic, port congestion, and the “miserable state” of the Metro Rail Transit and the Ninoy Aquino Internaional Airport.

“Certain recent events, occurrences and issues, which caused much grief, outrage and anxiety to our nation, behoove our people to look upon the imperatives, qualities and requirements of national leadership with critical discernment,” the manifesto read. 

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