Bancasi, 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 wereeligible 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
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