AFP denies Cotabato mayor's claim military, gov't in cahoots with MILF to approve plebiscite
The accusation of Cotabato City Mayor Frances Cynthia Guiani Sayadi the military, government and election officials conspired with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) during the Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite has no basis, a military spokesman said Monday.
“This is an unfortunate occasion where the AFP, despite diligently performing its mandate 24/7, is being accused of a malpractice, Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesman said.
“This is grossly unfair to the men and women of the AFP who dutifully performed their election duties,” he added.
Arevalo issued his statement after Sayadi claimed that the conspiracy was made to ensure the city would fall under the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Despite the allegations of Sayadi, Major Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the 6th Infantry Division, said the military “will never take sides in any political exercise.”
“I hope the good mayor is happy with her storyline. We never and will never take side in any political exercise,” he said.
“Our intent is to provide a democratic space and let democracy work. Meanwhile, we will continue do our job of protecting the people and securing the land,” he added.
Arevalo also expressed hope Sayadi “will bring her charges to the proper forum.”
“We hope that the good mayor of Cotabato City will bring her charges to the proper forum and substantiate her allegations than besmirch the good reputation of the AFP through media,” he said.
“The AFP is and will remain professional, non-partisan, and true to its mandate of protecting the people in the exercise of their political rights and in electing their leaders who will manage the affairs of the state,” he added. Robina Asido/DMS