Military officers and soldiers, be forewarned.
Be cautious in liking, sharing and commenting on social media about certain politicians even as the military hierarchy vowed to crack the whip on whoever would be found engaging in partisan politics in relation to the May 2016 elections.
Col. Noel Detoyato, chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Public Affairs Office, on Monday reminded his fellow soldiers that while they are not deprived of their rights to vote for certain candidates, openly supporting politicians particularly on social media is prohibited because that is tantamount to partisan politics.
“The soldiers are also reminded on the proper use of the social media that there are very harsh repercussions for their clicking and sharing. Just a mere one click or one share will spell it out if you are already expressing yourself publicly,” he explained.
For instance, Detoyato said, if there is data or summary of information about a certain candidates, they are not allowed to like or share it.
“That will border or constitute partisanship, bawal yun [that is prohibited],” he added.
The public may report these activities to the AFP so that the “violators” would be investigated.
When asked about those using pseudonym, Detoyato said that would be the challenge to AFP investigators.
He added that Gen. Hernando Iriberri, AFP chief of staff gave very strict and very specific orders to military commanders and their men when he made the rounds of military camps around the country: “The AFP has to remain non-partisan during elections.”
Detoyato said involvement of some military officers and soldiers in partisan politics particularly in the 2004 and 2010 polls “is already considered lesson learned.”
He expressed optimism that the unfortunate incident episode in the history of the AFP would not be repeated.