AFP appeal: Don’t use us in partisan politics
MANILA — Do not use us in your politics.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines appealed to the public to respect its non-partisan stand in the coming elections and not to use the military in politics.
“Please do not use your AFP, please respect our being non-partisan because we think of everybody’s interest, all of the candidates and all sectors of society, so the military must not take sides,” said Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesperson.
Padilla issued the statement following another video uploaded on YouTube early this week in which men in military uniform branded a presidential candidate as a communist puppet.
In a 13-minute video of the group calling itself the Network of Officers to Defend the Republic, the men in military uniforms declare they will not support the candidacy of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte due to his alleged ties to communist rebels.
The NODTR claims to have officers from the AFP and the Philippine National Police as members.
A week ago, another video of men in military uniform and wielding fire arms vowed to carry out executions should there be widespread cheating in the May 9 elections.
Padilla said investigating teams have been formed to investigate the videos, which both featured men hiding their faces.
Padilla denied that the men in the videos were from the military. He said the men were impostors.
“They are impostors, impersonators, and the AFP chief has ordered to look into the origin of all these materials and find these personalities so that they can be punished under our laws,” he said.
He added that real soldiers would not cover their faces and hide their identities.
“A credible organization won’t have its members hiding their faces. But these men did not show their faces. It’s just to pose as someone and pretend,” Padilla said.
He added that the AFP and the PNP have been focused in providing security support and assistance to the Commission on Elections to ensure a free, orderly, and credible national and local elections.
“We appeal to all concerned citizens or groups, please respect the non-partisan role of your AFP. We are not here for any particular party or candidate, but we are here for the whole country,” he said. SFM/rga
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