Comelec, AFP, PNP fine-tune security preps for May polls

MANILA The national government is exerting all efforts to ensure a peaceful and orderly conduct of the May 13 mid-term elections.

Several ranking officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and Commission on Elections (Comelec) made the assurance during a high-level meeting on Tuesday at the AFP Commissioned Officers' Club in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City to fine-tune all coordination and security plans for the upcoming polls.

"This morning we had a high-level tri-agency meeting among the Comelec, AFP and the PNP to polish all our preparations, coordination and security plans to ensure the peaceful orderly honest and secure (the) National and Local Elections 2019 this coming May 13," AFP chief-of-staff, Gen. Benjamin Madrigal said.

He said monitoring the elections will be done through the National Joint Security Coordination Center (NJSCC), composed of 60 key military, police, and Comelec officials. The NJSCC was formed in 2016.

During the meeting, Madrigal, PNP chief, General Oscar Albayalde, and Comelec chair Sheriff Abas also signed the Joint Letter Directive 01-2019 which was drafted for the delegation of tasks to participating military and police personnel.

"We are hoping for a smooth flow in our electoral process and that all our plans and coordination in the NJSCC are followed. Our troops on the ground are strategically deployed in different areas and are always on the lookout for any criminal and terrorist groups and individuals who may pose a threat to our citizens, rest assured that the AFP together with the PNP are always here in support to the Comelec," Madrigal said.

Madrigal also appealed to the public to cooperate and help authorities thwart any attempts to disrupt the upcoming elections.

Meanwhile, Albayalde said they will be deploying 75 to 80 percent of all their personnel, augmented by some 40,000 troops from the AFP, to secure the forthcoming polls.

Madrigal said AFP, PNP and Comelec officials first met last January 10 to discuss the Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite and the preparations for the May elections.

"In this meeting, we had a security situation briefing updates from the Comelec and the presentation on the final joint implementing plans of the AFP Unified Commands and the PNP Directorate for Internal Police Operations," Madrigal said. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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