MANILA Despite the deployment of around 40,000 troops to support the police in securing the coming May 13 mid-term elections, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) made assurances that its security operations will not be compromised.
"Even at the planning stage, kinunsidera na natin ito ang magiging (we have considered that this will be our) deployment. Bagama't higit na konti tayo kaysa sa bilang (Even though we are fewer in number), I think 104,000 ang deployment ng PNP (Philippine National Police), andun lang tayo sa mga (we are just) around not even one-third. But the point being (is the) AFP (is on the) support role. Kasama na sa ating rationalization of our deployment ang pagsiguro na kung magkakaroon ng (The rationalization of our depoloyment includes ensuring that in times that we need) contingency, mangangailangan ng (in case the need arises for) additional troops apart from those from that number that has already been deployed, (we are) ready and our security (operations won't be compromised)," AFP spokesperson, Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, said in a briefing in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Tuesday afternoon.
The AFP is deploying 39,253 personnel for the May 13 mid-term elections.
Should additional troops be needed for security duties, this can be done but it will depend on the recommendation of the PNP, the Unified Command heads and the Commission on Elections, Arevalo said.
"Meantime during the conduct of local elections, counter-insurgency ops shall continue," he added.
Arevalo's statement echoed AFP public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato's earlier pronouncements to the media.
"We will be supporting the PNP and the Comelec in this mid-term elections and around 30,000 to 40,000 thousand of our troops will be directly committed but it will also depend on the situation on the ground, it will be decided upon by the Unified (Command) commanders but our counter-insurgency operations, all other security operations will not be stopped, there will be ongoing operations even if there is an ongoing elections," Detoyato stressed.
Operations against threat groups will be guided by the latest intelligence reports gathered and will be a "focused military deployment", he added. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency