Maj. General Jet B. Velarmino 8th Infantry Division Commanding General.
Maj. General Jet B. Velarmino 8th Infantry Division Commanding General.

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar, Oct. 26 (PNA) – The commander of the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division in Eastern Visayas reminded all its men to be non-partisan in the 2016 national and local elections.

The military, according to Maj. Gen. Jet B. Velarmino “must reassure the people in the region that the military will remain professional, non partisan at all times and must always be a neutral instrument of the state, no matter which party holds sway.”

“Keeping our politics private is a good step,” he said. “We should always obey civilian authority, support and defend the constitution and to do our duty at all times.”

Velarmino stressed that he is not suggesting that military must abandon all personal opinions about social and political issues.

However, in the execution of their mission, it is expected that military must put aside their political preferences.

“Political opinions have no place in our conference room or even in military camps,” he said.

Velarmino noted that “part of the deal we made when we joined the military was to willingly subordinate our individual interests to the greater good of protecting vital national interests.”

Meanwhile, the Commission on Election here is set to have a meeting next month with the police and military in the region for an in depth assessment of the political situation in Samar province.

Previous election crisis in Samar seemed to have ignited an intense violence and prolonged political crisis, especially, in the first district, according to Velarmino. (PNA)