MANILA – Seven Philippine Army reservist-officers, including actor Capt. Robin Padilla, seeking elective posts in the 2022 elections have been relieved to ensure that the organization remains non-partisan.
In a statement Monday, the Philippine Army's Reserve Command (Arescom) said Padilla, who is seeking a Senate seat, quit his post as head of the communications panel of the Philippine Army's Multi-Sectoral Advisory Board.
Other reservists seeking elective posts and have been relieved were Brig. Gen. Herbert Bautista, who is also running for the Senate; Col. Isidro Ungab, who is running for reelection as Davao City's 3rd District Representative; Lt. Col. John Tracy Cagas who is running for Davao del Sur's lone congressional district; Lt. Col. Eugene Balitang, who is running to represent the lone district of Ifugao; Lt. Col. Jayvee Tyron Uy who is joining the Davao de Oro vice gubernatorial race; and Lt. Col. Rhodora Cadiao who is seeking reelection as Antique governor.
Armed Forces of the Philippines and concurrent Army commander Lt. Gen. Andres Centino has reiterated the military's non-partisanship, as he ordered units and personnel to avoid engaging in partisan politics, maintain professionalism and avoid posting photos or videos that express political gestures.
"We assure the public that as a professional organization, the military will be non-partisan. We will perform our mandate of ensuring fair elections," he added.
The Omnibus Election Code bars soldiers and law enforcement agencies from engaging in any partisan political activity, including campaigning for any candidate.
The six other reservists held the following positions:
Ungab was former brigade commander of 2002nd Ready Reserve Infantry Brigade in Davao City; Cagas was former battalion commander of 1101st Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion (RRIBn) in Davao del Sur; Balitang was former battalion commander of 1404th Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion in Ifugao; Bautista was former brigade commander of 1502nd RRIBde in the National Capital Region; and Uy was former battalion commander of 1103rd Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion in Davao de Oro. Cadiao stepped down as commanding officer of the 602RRIBn.
The Army said the reservists were occupying these positions when they were relieved of their posts but they remain in the reserve force. (PNA)