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PIA Press Release

Tabak troopers ready to provide security for May 10 elections

Pagadian City (4 May) -- The Tabak troopers are now ready to secure the poll areas in the May 10, 2010 first automated elections.

MajGen. Romeo D. Lustestica, Commanding General of the First Infantry (Tabak) Divsision, Philippine Army based in Pulacan, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur made the pronouncement before members of Zamboanga del Sur-Pagadian Press Club, Inc. (ZPPI) during the Press conference on Saturday (May 1) at the division headquartes.

Lustestica said, in the command conference he called with the brigade and battalion commanders, the core in their discusión was their preparation for the coming May 10, 2010 elections.

He added, the brigade and battalion commanders after assessing their respective men in the field, are now ?ready to perform the tasks? assigned to them by the Comision on Elections (Comelec).

Brig. Gen. Alexander Dicang, who is the Assistant Division Comamander of the 1st Inf. Divison was appointed as the Commander of Task Group Tabak (TGT), an ad hoc organization formed purposely to address election--related matters and is directly under the Task Group WESMINCOM.

Lustestica said, they ae now prepared to perform their tasks to secure the Precinct Count Optical Scanner (PCOS) machines, polling centres, candidates and the citizenry.

Among the military?s involvement in the electoral processes are to provide security to an area, operate checkpoints and enforce gun ban.

"Like our partners, the PNP, the AFP who also deputized by the Comelec, we will do our best efforts to make the elections credible, honest, orderly and peaceful," Lustestica added.

Asked if on the event that there will be an untoward incident which will happen during the election period, Lustestica said they have laid out cotingency plans to prevent the ocurrence of such, which include the ssecurity duty and the continuing conduct of the Internal Security Operations (ISO).

Each unit from the division headquarters down to their brigades have their own contingency force to react both for elction-related and even ISO-related incidents, he stressed.

"The provisional infantry battalion is ready to react on the direction of Western Mindanao Command (WESMINCOM) and the brigade level have their own contingencies too, just in case anything will happen," Lustestica assured the public.

The military as the protector of democracy and people?s will, and the Comelec?s deputies, reamains non-partisan in the conduct of the May 10, 2010 elections.

"We are educating them (ourt soldiers) during our troop formation to be non-partisan and to be honest always in the performance of their election duties," Lustesstica concluded. (GCC/PIA9, Pagadian City) [top]

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