THE Armed Forces and National Police would be deploying over six thousand soldiers and police officers throughout northern Mindanao to provide security during the elections on Monday, officials said during the final coordinating conference called by the Commission on Election (Comelec) at Camp Alagar this week.
“We are confident that this midterm election will not be disrupted by any threat group, partisan armed groups and other lawless elements because of the security measures that we have in placed in collaboration with other agencies,” said Brig. Gen. Tyne Bañas, assistant division commander of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division.
He said Camp Evangelista and Camp Alagar are already prepared to thwart any attempt to disrupt or sabotage the elections anywhere in the region “so that the people of northern Mindanao will be able to freely exercise their right to suffrage.”
The conference wrapped up the security preparations made by the Army and police which started as early as last year.
Officials said contingency plans were laid down to ensure readiness of their personnel to respond to any untoward incident in the provinces of Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Camiguin and Lanao Del Norte.
Lawyer Wilfredo Jay Balisado, Comelec regional director, said the role of the security sector, including all law enforcement agencies, is crucial in ensuring peaceful, honest and credible elections in the region.
“I assure each and every one that election laws, rules and regulations will be absolutely implemented,” he said.
Bañas and Balisado were also joined by police regional director Brig. Gen. Timoteo Pacleb as well as other election officers, senior police officials and army commanders in the region.
Officials said Camp Evangelista tasked one brigade and six battalions composed of 2,783 personnel to secure polling areas across the region. They would complement the 3,220 police officers that will be deployed by Camp Alagar.
Maj. Gen. Franco Nemesio Gacal, 4th ID commander, said the miltary strongly supports the rule of law and “we will strictly implement the Omnibus Election Code to ensure the conduct of honest, free, orderly, peaceful and credible elections not only in northern Mindanao but in Caraga region as well.”
On May 3, 2019, a joint AFP-PNP Implementation Plan (Implan) was formally finalized by Camp Evangelista and the police in northern Mindanao and Caraga which mapped out all security preparations in Regions 10 and 13 for election day. (PIA)