The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday denied accusation’s hurled by Cotabato City Mayor Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi that government officials, the military, and even election officials have conspired with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to ensure the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) victory.
AFP Spokesman Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, said such an accusation is an unfortunate occasion where the AFP, despite diligently performing its mandate 24/7, is being accused of malpractice.
“This is grossly unfair to the men and women of the AFP who dutifully performed their election duties,” Arevalo said.
“We hope that the good Mayor of Cotabato City will bring her charges to the proper forum and substantiate her allegations than besmirch the good reputation of the AFP through media,” he added.
In an earlier interview, Sayadi claimed that the MILF sent about 20,000 of its men in polling places across Cotabato City.
The MILF members, she said, didn’t experience any resistance from the AFP
The local chief executive said the MILF is reportedly bent of taking control of Cotabato City through the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
During January 21, 2019, BOL plebiscite, the “Yes” vote won with 36,682 votes while the “No” votes got only 24,994.
Arevalo, in the same press statement, said the AFP is and will remain professional, non-partisan, and true to its mandate of protecting the people in the exercise of their political rights and in electing their leaders who will manage the affairs of the state.
Meanwhile, Army 6th Infantry Division (6th ID) Commander Major General Cirilito Sobejana, reiterated that they will never take any sides in any political exercise.
“I hope the good mayor is happy with her storyline. We never and will never take a side in any political exercise. Our intent is to provide a democratic space and let democracy work,” Sobejana said.
“Meanwhile, we will continue to do our job of protecting the people and securing the land,” he added.