By MADEL S. NAMIT
Manila, Philippines –President Benigno S. Aquino III challenged new Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Emmanuel T. Bautista yesterday to ensure that the voice of the people will prevail in the May elections.
The President, at the AFP change of command ceremony in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, said that the AFP, together with the Philippine National Police (PNP), should ensure that there will be a peaceful and orderly elections in May.
“Nais natin mangibabaw ang boses ng bayan at hindi ito mabusalan ng armas at karahasan (We would want the voice of the people to prevail and not be hampered by armed violence),” Aquino said.
He said it is the obligation of the AFP and the PNP to ensure that the rights of their countrymen are protected, especially in choosing the next set of leaders in the elections.
“Ang gusto natin: Maging tapat, patas, at naayon sa batas ang darating na election mula sa kampanya hanggang sa proklamasyon ng bagong pinuno (We want an honest, fair, and legitimate elections from the campaign period up to the proclamation of the elected officials),” Aquino said.
Aquino lauded outgoing AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Jesse D. Dellosa for serving the country for 38 years and leading the organization with integrity and honesty in the last 13 months.
Aquino recalled how Dellosa fought for democracy and the Constitution while he was a member of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) special action unit during the term of her mother, President Corazon C. Aquino.
He expressed conﬁdence on the dedication of Bautista in carrying on the reforms started by his predecessors towards the “Tuwid na Daan” (Straight Path).