Newly-installed Army chief Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista yesterday expressed confidence in the professionalism of the 80,000-strong Philippine Army soldiers, who, he said, will not allow themselves to be used in politics.
“We will follow the chain of command, and remain non partisan,” Bautista, who assumed as commanding general of the Philippine Army a week ago, said.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines had earlier dismissed speculations that that some military generals and soldiers allied with the past administration allegedly met, following what others described as the “inhuman treatment” of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, by the government.
“We have the legal process and the rule of law to follow,” Bautista said during his visits yesterday to the 302nd and 303rd Infantry Brigade headquarters in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental, and Murcia, Negros Occidental.
Bautista said he has not monitored any reports of the alleged brewing discontentment in the AFP, especially in the Philippine Army, and stressed that there is no need for a loyalty check on infantry units.
“We will just do our job and continue our mission of winning the peace. We will not allow ourselves to be distracted by anything,” he said, adding, “We are all loyal to the AFP and our country.”
AFP spokesman Colonel Arnulfo Burgos said the morale of the military remains high.
"The AFP is composed of trained, discipline and professional soldiers strictly governed by an established set of rules and procedures known, understood and followed by everyone within our ranks," Burgos said.
Bautista he will pursue the Army Transformation Road Map, which focuses in the furtherance of the professionalism of soldiers, non-partisanship, eradication of malpractices and corruption, and strict adherence to human rights, the International Humanitarian Law, and rule of law.*GPB