40,000 military, police, CAFGUs tapped to secure May 10 polls
Butuan City (May 9) -- At least 40,000 security personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) are already at various places in Northern, Northeastern, Southern and Central Mindanao regions to help make this Philippines' historic and first automated May 10, 2010 national and local elections peaceful, orderly and credible.
AFP's Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMincom) headed by Lt. Gen. Raymundo Ferrer and Directorate Integrated for Police Operations-Eastern Mindanao (DIPO-EM) of the PNP headed by Director Jaime Milla, are already in their respective command posts to personally supervise them.
"It is all systems go," said EastMincom spokesman Lt. Col. Randolph G. Cabangbang.
Cabangbang said the Army's 8,000-strong regular troops along with the 23,000 CAFGU's spread all over the four regions are already in place to secure the citizenry, especially voters and all key government and private installations in an effort to make an "uninterrupted" and a peaceful, orderly and successful first automated historic polls.
He added that government security forces are also on the roads for security.
They are also in near polling places, immediate areas of concern, infrastructures and patrolling operations against any threat group that will destabilize or sabotage the sanctity of the election.
The security forces of the AFP are also assisting the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in various areas of the regions, added Cabangbang.
The units under the administrative and operational control of EastMincom are 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division that covers the provinces and cities of Northeastern and Northern Mindanao (Regions 10 and 13); 10th Infantry (Agila) Division that covers the cities and Davao provinces and Compostela Valley province in Southern Mindanao; and 6th Infantry (Kampilan) Division that has the jurisdictions of the provinces and cities in far-south and Central Mindanao region.
On the other hand, Director Milla also said the police forces of the Police Regional Offices (PROs) 10, 11, 12 and 13 are also on the ground for Monday's polls.
Practically, the entire police force in these four regions under DIPO-EM are all set for any contingency during the elections, he said.
"Police preparedness against threat groups, saboteurs and poll cheats has already reached the maximum," said Milla.
"Everything is in place and the PNP and AFP are solid in all the activities to ensure our elections will be honest, orderly and peaceful," he said.
The DIPO-EM head also said ground commanders are pursuing partnerships with village leaders and community volunteers to also augment their law enforcement capabilities.
He said this partnership is essential, especially that one of the main concerns raised by local police commanders is the insufficient number of policemen to maintain peace and order on May 10.
Milla urged the civilians to cooperate with the authorities in every way during election, saying their help is also vital in maintaining peace and in preventing untoward incidents, including poll cheating. (muc/PIA-Caraga) [top]