FILE PHOTO: Philippine National Police
President Rodrigo Duterte urged the military and police to remain neutral and not to indulge in partisan politics as he vowed for an honest 2019 midterm elections.
During the change of command ceremony of the Philippine Army at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City on Monday, Duterte appealed to the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines not to support any political candidates.
“And let us make a deal here, a promise to make a commitment to the Filipino people. This election, strictly neutral tayong lahat. The armed forces, the police, and the uniformed personnel of government, I am asking you not to indulge in partisan politics. Wala tayong susuportahan. Iyong mga kandidato ko, ako lang because this is a political position. But I expect everybody to respect that constitutional prohibition,” the president said.
Duterte made the statement after he personally escorted his long-time aide, Christopher ‘Bong’ Go, who filed his candidacy for senator before the Commission on Elections.
The president also assured the public that no one will be allowed to use government sources for their political activities, not even his trusted aide.
Duterte also said he will campaign for his candidates.
“I’ll announce to the country now that we make a pledge: there will be an election and it will be an honest one. Walang — nobody but nobody can use government resources, not even bong. I will not allow it. As a friend I can invite him but he should not… of course I will campaign for my candidates, eh wala pa naman akong slate.”
The Chief Executive also reiterated his plan to appoint newly retired Philippine Army chief Rolando Bautista as the new secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
The former commander of the intelligence service of the AFP, Major General Macairog Alberto is the newly installed army chief. — Rosalie Coz