MANILA, Philippines - The Armed Forces of the Philippines will remain apolitical and non-partisan during the May 2013 elections, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Friday.
In an interview, Gazmin said defense and military personnel should renew their pledge "to strictly follow the chain of command and exercise utmost prudence in the discharge of our security duties and functions."
"It is the time for us to strictly observe the conduct of honest, orderly and peaceful elections and to remain apolitical and non-partisan at all times. It is a new chance for us to translate into action our patriotic pledge to work for the ultimate well-being of our country and people," he added.
A number of military officials were earlier accused of taking sides by participating in an alleged conspiracy to rig the 2004 presidential elections. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo defeated actor Fernando Poe Jr. in the election, which was allegedly marred by widespread cheating.