Duterte taps PNP, AFP to secure polls

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Monday deputized law enforcement agencies to ensure a peaceful Barangay (village) and Sangguniang Kabataan (youth) elections on May 14.

Duterte issued Memorandum Order No. 21, titled Concurrence of the President in the Deputation of Law Enforcement Agencies and Instrumentalities of the Government Including the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for the 14 May 2018 Synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Elections.

“Now, therefore, I, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, President of the Philippines by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution and the existing laws, hereby concur with Comelec Resolution No. 10207, deputizing the law enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the Government including the AFP in connection with the 14 May 2018 Synchronized Barangay and SK Elections,” read the memorandum order.

The President also directed the law enforcement agencies and other concerned agencies to coordinate and cooperate with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the performance of its duties and functions.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has yet to detect any security threat to the election.

“We have not monitored any current threat to the election or the preparations to it, but continuous security measures are being undertaken to thwart any possible actions from usual peace spoilers, armed groups and terrorist elements that might take advantage of the situation,” AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bienvenido Datuin said in a text message Monday.

However, he said the AFP, in support of the Philippine National Police (PNP), will conduct appropriate measures to secure the upcoming polls.

“Joint AFP-PNP troops will be deployed to man checkpoints in different areas to provide assistance to civilians, deter and prevent any move of interest groups that might be inimical to good order; and protect the general populace,” Bienvenido said.

Datuin earlier said AFP personnel can be deputized to set up checkpoints and monitor cities and municipalities to curb security threats and election-related violence.

To date, more than 17,000 Certificates of Candidacy (COCs) have been filed by aspirants for the May 14 Barangay and SK on the first day of the filing period on Saturday, Comelec said Sunday.

Based on a report submitted by 339 cities/municipalities, as of Saturday, the total number of COCs filed for the forthcoming village and youth polls are 17,481.

For the barangay elections, the COCs filed is 13,982, with 9,856 male aspirants and 4,126 female aspirants.

p: wjg

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