Cops, soldiers on full alert for barangay polls

Police and military personnel are on tightened alert to secure the different polling precincts for Monday’s Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

Davao City Police Office (DCPO) director Sr. Supt. Alexander Tagum told TIMES that “we have maximized our security deployment” for today’s elections.

Although the exact number of DCPO personnel deployed in the different areas of the city was not divulged, Tagum said “all the PNP personnel are already deployed to ensure fair and safe elections.”

Chief Insp. Milgrace Driz, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office XI, said around 3,000 police personnel were deployed in the region.

Maj. Ezra Balagtey, spokesperson of the military’s Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom), said they have also deployed 8,500 troopers for the elections.

This, he said, is in support the Comprehensive and Integrated Security Plan being implemented by Commission on Elections (Comelec)-Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) Joint Security Coordinating Committee (JSCC) in the different regions, provinces, cities, and municipalities in Eastern Mindanao.

Likewise, additional troops are organized and placed on standby to form part of the Regional, Provincial, and Municipal Rapid Deployable Force and Quick Reaction Teams.

Further, the AFP transport equipment within the Eastmincom control, such as the floating and flying assets, are on alert status and will be deployed, if necessary, upon the deputization and order of the Comelec.

Election Monitoring Action Centers (EMAC) and all levels of Command are likewise established as part of the security mechanism being implemented.

These EMACs are inter-connected with the Comelec and the PNP.

“With the close coordination with the PNP and Comelec, the EMC is assuring the general public that the Command will be working for the safe and secure conduct of (the elections) in Eastern Mindanao. Further, the Command is requesting the cooperation of all stakeholders in these elections so that everyone will be allowed to exercise their freedom to elect their community leaders without force and coercion,” the EastMinCom statement said.