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Soldiers urged to remain steadfast to call of duty amidst controversy

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ISABELA CITY, Basilan – Officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines has called on soldiers to remain steadfast in its call of duty for the Filipino people amidst the recent alleged AFP “pabaon” controversy involving high ranking officials.

In a press statement, the Western Command (WESCOM) calls on its soldiers to stand steadfast by their duties, not only as protector of the people but as partner in development as well.

WESCOM Commander LtGen Juancho M. SAbban told his men not to be disheartened by the negative publicities coming out against the armed forces recently and asked his men to treat the controversy with utmost professionalism.

Sabban encouraged his men that “instead of getting into an argument with people who may give snide remarks against the soldiers in general in the face of these controversies, we must work harder and provide better service to prove to them that these problems are not inherent to our institution, but are instead the result of the acts of the individuals involved in them. We must hold our institution sacred.”

The WESCOM Chief’s statement was a reiteration of the statements made by MGen Carlos B. Holganza, Commanding General of the National Development Support Command (NADESCOM), who visited WESCOM February 3 to promote the advocacy of the military’s new Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP).

“We must let the people know that Garcia’s case (and the subsequent others that came after) is not a general reflection of and has never been the tradition in the military institution. And we can do that by abiding by the duties that we have sworn to do,” Holganza said.

MGen Carlos F. Garcia, who served as the AFP comptroller from 2001 to 2004, is presently facing charges of corruption. Originally charged with plunder for allegedly amassing P303 million pesos in unexplained wealth during his stint with the military, Garcia is out on bail after striking a plea bargain with the Ombudsman to reduce his offense to bribery.

“The best way to face these controversies is to go on working and to show sincerity in providing service to the people. Let us let them know that a great majority of their soldiers still adheres to the principles of integrity, professionalism and public service,” Holganza further said.

For his part, LtGen Sabban assured that as the WESCOM commander, he will not allow any military disservice to the people under his watch. “We are given the task to protect the people, let us prove that we are worthy of such trust,” the WESCOM Chief enthused. (6CRGAFP/PIA9-BST/rvc)




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