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PIA Press Release
2006/12/13

AFP warns personnel from joining anti-Chacha rallies

Davao City (13 December) -- Top military Generals have warned Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) personnel from joining the scheduled massive Catholic Church-led anti-charter change rally set this December 15 in Manila in the wake of reports that some church leaders have invited soldiers to take part in the event.

Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias during last Sunday's mass in Quezon City called on to the members of the Armed Forces soldiers to do their duty and protect the interest of the people by joining the rally or show support to the mass actions.

"I think the invitation to the soldiers is uncalled for. We will arrest these soldiers once they participate in that rally," warned Lt. General Romeo Tolentino, commanding General of the Philippine Army during a press conference held at the newly-built 10th Infantry Division headquarters in Camp Panacan, Davao City.

The military is an apolitical force, we should not engage in these political activities. Said Lt. General Tolentino.

The army commander said that efforts in depoliticizing the military will go for naught if some groups will continually use the military in these activities.

"We have a mandate to the constitution and we have a mandate to the people," declared Lt. Gen. Tolentino.

Meanwhile, Philippine Air Force commanding General Lt. General Jose Reyes said that the PAF personnel will not join these rallies. "All our men are accounted for, they will not be joining these activities," said Gen. Reyes.

Meanwhile Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) commanding general Major General Rodolfo Obiniana said that troops of the command will be staying clear from the anti-chacha activities and has an advice for the soldiers who really wanted to take part in the activity.

"Resign first from the armed forces, then you can join the rally." (PIA XI/RG Alama) [top]

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