BACOLOD City – Newly-promoted 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, Brigadier General Benedict Arevalo clarified on March 19, 2019 why the 52nd Infantry Battalion cancelled its participation in the medical mission in the town of Isabela, Negros Occidental on Sunday.
Arevalo said they have received a memorandum earlier this month from the AFP headquarters instructing them to remain non-partisan during the election period.
He added that aside from Isabela Mayor Joselito Malabor, they also received a request from his mayoralty opponent, Dr. Irene Montilla, to also participate in their separate medical mission.
However, the Army denied Montilla’s request.
Arevalo said there was nothing personal in their decision.
“We were reminded recently to avoid participating in such events temporarily,” Arevalo explained.
He said they will resume taking part in such activities after the election period although that they can still participate in medical missions initiated by non-political groups.
Earlier, Malabor sought clarification from the Philippine Army why they withdrew from a medical mission that was supposed to take place last Sunday.
According to the mayor, the Philippine Army 52nd Infantry Battalion (52IB) informed him last Friday that they would not be participating in the medical mission, which was part of Malabor’s 52nd birthday celebration.
Malabor said he was surprised by the decision as the said unit has participated in a medical mission the town held last month.