AFP Chief to soldiers: ‘Remain apolitical’

CEBU CITY — The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reminded his personnel to remain apolitical what with the upcoming election season.

General Jose Faustino Jr. said being non-partisan had been instilled in each of AFP member and that the organization is willing to support other law enforcement agencies to ensure the peaceful and orderly conduct of elections.

Faustino, who was in Cebu last Thursday to lead the opening ceremony of the AFP join military exercise Visayas Command Headquarters, said he has issued a directive reminding government soldiers to avoid dipping their hands into political affairs.

The AFP Chief-of-Staff expressed confidence that his personnel will abide his directive.

“We remain professional and we respect our mandate," Faustino said.

To ensure peaceful elections, Faustino said the AFP is monitoring the movement of private armed groups all over the country.

Without giving figures, Faustino said the number of private armed groups have significantly reduced due to the aggressive campaign launched against them by the police and military.

"We will continue to work hand in hand with our counterparts from the police to run after these armed groups that may be used in the coming elections," said Faustino.

Faustino added that so far, the military has yet to monitor any group that may wreak havoc in next year's elections.

President Rodrigo has warned that he will not hesitate to use the military force against anyone that may disrupt next year's polls.