Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Army to investigate personnel involved in illegal transport activities

FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City – In reaction to the report from Land Transportation Office-National Capital Region about 'armed colorum drivers', the Philippine Army is verifying reports that active duty soldiers are among the alleged violators.

Major Harold M Cabunoc, the Army Spokesperson, said that the Philippine Army is verifying reports that 30% of “colorum” vehicles encountered by LTO enforcers are either driven by off-duty policemen and soldiers or operated by one.

He also said that the Army will look into the reports that some military personnel are carrying their issued firearms while being involved in illegal transport service.

“The Philippine Army will cooperate in any investigation that will be conducted by any agency. We would like to request from the LTO-NCR the list of the alleged armed 'colorum' drivers so that we can check their identities from our roster of troops,” said Cabunoc.

Cabunoc said that there is no AFP regulation that prohibits soldiers from engaging in lawful income-generating activity to augment their salary provided that such activity is not contrary to laws, public policy and military rules and regulations.

"Soldiers have spare time for themselves and their family members after their usual office duties that normally start at 8:00am and ends at 5:00pm. Unless the military is on red alert status, soldiers can freely go home where some of them help their wives earn additional income for the family," said Cabunoc.

However, Cabunoc stressed that under military rules, AFP personnel, whether in uniform or in civilian attire, are not authorized to carry firearms except while on actual performance of official duties or when on official mission pursuant to a valid Mission Order.

“Personnel in uniform who are allowed to carry their service firearms must always ensure that their firearms are concealed unless in actual and lawful use,” he said.

“This act of carrying firearms outside of official duties is not tolerated by the Army. Any soldier who is found to have violated the existing policies will be meted with appropriate sanctions,” concluded Cabunoc.

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