Gazmin asks soldiers to remain non-partisan
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - January 7, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin yesterday reminded soldiers to be neutral a month before the campaign period for the 2016 polls starts.

In a speech delivered before the military’s New Year’s call in Camp Aguinaldo, Gazmin said being non-partisan is part of the military’s mandate.

“As guardians of democracy, we must remain apolitical and dedicated to our mandate, as it is the price we pay for our sworn duty,” Gazmin said.

“We resolve to continue to build upon our accomplishments, and work for the professionalization of our bureaus, agencies, units and offices,” he added.

Armed Forces chief Gen. Hernando Iriberri warned that servicemen who engage in partisan politics would be punished.

“Those who will be involved in partisan politics will have to face the consequences of their actions. We are serious on that and we don’t want anyone, any soldier, airman, sailor or marine to be involved in any partisan politics this coming elections,” Iriberri said.

“This has been my marching order in all the units that I visited and I have also emphasized the punishment for those who will violate that policy,” he added.

The Philippine National Police (PNP), on the other hand, activated its National Security Task Force Secure and Fair Elections (NSTF-SAFE) to ensure orderly and honest elections in May 2016.

PNP chief Director General Ricardo Marquez personally led the planning and drawing up of security measures for the national elections.

Marquez said the PNP will directly get instructions from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) during the election period from Jan. 10 to June 8. During election period, the PNP and other government agencies are deputized by the Comelec.

Marquez said Deputy Director General Danilo Constantino, the PNP deputy chief for operations, will serve as the commander of the NSTF SAFE 2016 and will closely coordinate with the Armed Forces and Comelec.

The PNP also ordered regional police units to set up checkpoints in strategic areas as part of the effort to preempt any election-related violent incidents.

The PNP also ordered all police security escorts of candidates to report back to their mother units on Saturday, a day before the start of the election period as declared by the Comelec.

Chief Supt. Alfred Corpus, Police Security Protection Group director, said any candidate who wishes to have police security will have to apply with the Comelec.

Meanwhile, Iriberri lauded his troops for their accomplishments last year and vowed to work to ensure peaceful elections.

“We have emerged victorious amidst challenges that helped shape us into a better organization. The commitment and sacrifice of our soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines that made these possible gave us very good reasons to welcome the year 2016 with high hopes,” Iriberri said.

“For this year we are determined to continue to win the peace and protect the gains that have been made, we just also dedicate our energies and efforts to ensure a peaceful electoral exercise come May 2016,” he added.

Iriberri said the task of protecting the Filipinos and the state was “noble” but “daunting.”

“There is even more that we must get done in 2016. Our record is solid, our hopes are high, and our force is strong. Let us stay focused on our organizational and operational target, pouring heart and soul into doing our duty as proud and capable members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” he said.  –  With Cecille Suerte Felipe

 

ACIRC ALFRED CORPUS ARMED FORCES ARMED FORCES AND COMELEC ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES CAMP AGUINALDO CHIEF SUPT COMELEC DEFENSE SECRETARY VOLTAIRE GAZMIN DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL DANILO CONSTANTINO IRIBERRI
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with