BACANSI, Butuan City – Soldiers in Caraga exercised their right of suffrage by casting their votes thru the Local Absentee Voting (LAV) last April 30, 2019.
Simultaneously, a total of 550 soldiers under the 402nd Infantry Brigade who applied for LAV were allowed to cast their votes in Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur from 30 April – 01 May, 2019 as an exercise of their right to choose leaders for the national position and contribute in shaping the future of the next generations.
In 402nd Brigade Headquarters at Bancasi, Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, soldiers eagerly trouped to the voting place at the Kalayaan Hall inside its camp and some even became emotional as they cast their votes for the first time, “It was so fulfilling.
As a soldier who swore to protect the people and defend this country, I felt I have the duty to do something in my own way for my country. Because in our votes, lies the future of this country”, said Private First Class Interone, one of the female soldiers of the Brigade.
Likewise, troops of the 30th Infantry (Python) Battalion in Surigao del Norte ended with a positive outlook 99 of its members were eligible for the LAV and shall decide in their fingertips on who to place their hopes and dreams in the coming future.
“Kinahangyan ta nu egpakita kan boto ta isip sundayo, so sei si yangitnon nu hinagon nu egbugoy ta to pagpandoy pag isab to nasud ta, (We need to cast our votes as a soldier, it is our divine duty to share our contribution in rebuilding our country)”. Said PFC Pamaong in their vernacular language, member of Manobo tribe in Talacogon, Agusan Sur.
Meanwhile, Lt Col Xerxes A Trinidad, Commanding Officer of the 36IB led his troops in casting their votes at their Headquarters in Sitio Upper Mambago, Brgy Dayoan, Tago, Surigao del Sur. An unprecedented total of 371 or almost 84% of valor troopers were approved by the COMELEC for the Local Absentee Voting. “I have ensured that my troops are committed and applied for the LAV. It is our right and we need to perform it faithfully. Let’s vote for credible candidate to lead our government”, Lt Col Trinidad said.
Pursuant to Omnibus Election Code, Republic Act No. 1766 and Executive Order 157 and COMELEC Resolution 10443 states that Local Absentee Voting is available to members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and
the Media Practitioners and government personnel who are duly registered voter and who will be posted to perform election – related duties on election day.
In his statement, Col Maurito L Licudine, Brigade Commander of the 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade take cognizance on the Army’s involvement during elections. “The Philippine Army as an organization will remain non-partisan in performing our mandate in ensuring an honest, peaceful and fair election. As a representation of our genuine commitment for peace and development, we recognize the essence of our exercising the right to vote of our soldiers as part of our duty and as God – given right. Hence, we must safeguard it for our future generations to inherit”.
“I call upon every Caraganons to use their vote wisely and choose the leaders who will carve peaceful path and strive for economic development to uplift their lives.
While we choose our leaders this coming May 13, 2019, your Army in CARAGA will not waiver in our resolve to end insurgency thru close cooperation and convergence with civilian authorities and partner stakeholders in order to attain conflict resilient communities”, Col Licudine added.