MANILA � The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) on Wednesday requested the Philippine National Police (PNP) to place all its units on heightened alert nationwide from May 10 to 15 to protect media workers who are either running for office or covering the elections.
Undersecretary Jose Joel Sy Egco, PTFoMS Executive Director, made the request through a memorandum dated May 7 that he issued and transmitted to the office of PNP chief, General Oscar Albayalde for appropriate action.
Elections normally effect major political upheavals in communities where, under normal circumstances, peace and order would prevail. Historically, violence against media workers in the Philippines tends to spike during election season, Egco said.
Egco said the PTFoMS' request is another protective measure to ensure the safety and well-being of the media workers whose life, liberty and security we are sworn to protect under our mandate.
We are assuming that the political environment for the coming elections will not be any different from past elections, he added.
He said the Task Force is committed in fulfilling its mandate to keep media workers free from all forms of threats and violence that may be carried out against them, especially during elections.
On Tuesday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the government is ready to serve more than 60 million voters who will take part in the May 13 national and elections.
Panelo said the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are ready to secure the 2019 elections.
The AFP will be deploying around 35,000 troops to support the PNP which is estimated to deploy around 143,000 police personnel tasked to secure the coming polls, according to AFP spokesperson, Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo.
Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesperson James Jimenez earlier said the election body expressed hope that the voter turnout will hit around 81 percent.
Source: Philippines News Agency