Duterte assures integrity of 2019 polls

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By Arjay L. Balinbin, Reporter

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Monday said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) should “stay neutral” as the 2019 mid-term elections draw near.

“Let us make a deal here, promise. To make a commitment to the Filipino people. This election, (all of us should be) strictly neutral tayong lahat. The Armed Forces, the Police, and the uniformed personnel of government, I am asking you not to indulge in partisan politics. Wala tayong susuportahan (We will not support anyone),” Mr. Duterte said in his remarks during the Philippine Army Change of Command ceremony at the Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City on Monday evening, Oct. 15.

He added: “Iyong mga kandidato ko, ako lang (Regarding my candidates, I can campaign for them) because this is a political position. But I expect everybody to respect that constitutional prohibition.”

He also vowed that next year’s election “will be an honest one.”

“Nobody but nobody can use government resources, not even Bong,” the President said, referring to his former special assistant Christopher Lawrence T. Go who is running for senator. “I will not allow it,” Mr. Duterte said.

“As a friend, I can invite him but he should not… Of course, I will campaign for my candidates,” Mr. Duterte also said.