Bayan Muna 3rd Nominee Atty. Joven Laura challenged both the new military chief Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit and the new army chief Maj. Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu to put into effect the military’s duty during the elections.
“It’s high time that the Army reminds itself of its sworn obligation and through its new Chiefs,” Laura said. Bangit earlier said that he will serve the interest of the nation and the people and will not allow anybody to use him for partisan politics while Magapu promised to ensure that his troops will remain non-partisan especially with the upcoming elections, will punish military elements engaging in partisan politics, and that violators will face sanctions.
“But we have yet to see Bangit and Mapagu prove their adherence to the Constitution and put a stop to the military's campaign against Makabayan, Bayan Muna and other progressive partylists,” Laura said.
Recently, various reports of military harassing volunteers of Makabayan and progressive partylists have become rampant particularly when the campaign period started. In Sorsogon, a certain Major Manjares slapped and threatened Makabayan volunteers with his service pistol; in Calamba, the midnight feeding program in a barangay was meant to harass local and Bayan Muna leaders; while in Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon and Iligan, alleged military men dismantled only the progressives’ posters and took pictures of volunteers putting up campaign materials. The most active campaign against the progressives was felt in Sorsogon where military men in full battle gear have been going from one house to another in the barrios to campaign against Makabayan Senatoriables Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza, Bayan Muna and other progressive partylists since February. Other cases of the military’s partisan politics are still unreported and are still in the process of documentation and consolidation.
Laura also challenged Bangit and Mapagu to “look into these cases and carry out their promise to uphold the Constitution and sanction those who violate the law among their ranks.” ###