• Mindanao troops told: Stay neutral

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    DAVAO CITY: Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin ordered government troops in Mindanao to stay out of politics, emphasizing that their duty was to ensure clean and orderly elections in May.

    Gazmin was in Davao City and met with military commanders and soldiers at the headquarters of the Eastern Mindanao Command on Tuesday, according to Capt. Alberto Caber, a regional army spokesman.

    Caber quoted the Defense chief as saying: “You have to remain apolitical and not get involved in any partisan political activity.”

    He said Gazmin reminded the commanders of the military’s role in the upcoming polls – to ensure clean, honest and orderly elections and to assist police forces and the Commission on Elections in the implementation of the gun ban.

    Gazmin also discussed with them the modernization program of the Philippine military, but details on this were not made available to the media.

    Caber said Gazmin lauded the Eastern Mindanao Command for its peace and development program and humanitarian missions in the region where security forces continue to battle against communist insurgency and jihadism.

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