BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Both the Armed Forces of the Philippines and National Police yesterday re-affirmed their stand of being apolitical in the May 9 elections, following reports of some retired and military officials taking sides with a presidential candidate in the May 9 elections.
This also developed as the Philippine National Police yesterday disclaimed any official sanction to politically-oriented messages and themes posted by retired PNP members and some other non-PNP individuals misrepresenting the organization.
PBrig. Gen. Roderick Augustus Alba, PNP Public Information Officer, clarified that messages posted on social media do not reflect the political views and opinions of the police organization, or any policy that openly expresses political support to any politician.
Let me reiterate the PNP has nothing to do with these, Alba further said, stressing also that the police organization is not in the business of making any political statement or meddling in campaign-related activities of certain candidates or political parties.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines also issued a statement that it is firm in its resolve to be loyal to the Constitution and the duly constituted authorities.
The 145,000-strong soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines of the AFP stand solid behind the chain-of-command, it said in a statement.
While the AFP respects the people’s freedom of expression, we do not and will not support extra legal means outside the constitution which we have sworn to protect including the sanctity of the electoral process, the statement added.
Alba also said that the PNP maintains a non-partisan stance, and will never endorse any political party or candidate vying for any elective position.
With all due courtesies to our retired PNP officers, we respect your political views and opinion as private individuals, he added.
But please spare the PNP from partisan political activity, he added.
Alba also warned non-PNP individuals engaged in similar activities that they are not solely accountable for their unwarranted acts of misrepresentation, but also the group that hired them for political propaganda and the candidates who will gain from it.*