1500 cops to secure Antique elections

POLL DUTY. A send-off ceremony was held for police officers and soldiers at the Antique Provincial Police Office in San Jose, Antique on Tuesday, May 7. PNA

SAN JOSE, Antique – The Philippine National Police and Philippine Army deployed 1,507 security personnel to ensure a peaceful May 13 midterm elections in Antique.

“Remain vigilant, be careful and come home safe and well,” Antique Police Provincial Office (APPO) director Colonel Leo Irwin Agpangan said during the sendoff on Tuesday.

Lawyer Rommel Benliro, an election officer, said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) appreciates the sacrifices of the policemen and soldiers in securing the province during the upcoming elections.

“The Comelec is thankful for the sacrifice that you are doing,” said Benliro, who represented Provincial Election Supervisor III Wil Arceño in the ceremony.

Lieutenant Colonel Joel Benedict Batara, commander of the 61st Infantry Battalion under the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division said the Army is conducting joint checkpoints with the police as a form of deterrence to threat groups, particularly the New People’s Army (NPA).

“We have tightened the security,” he said.

Batara added that they are emphasizing the shared responsibility not only with the police and the Comelec, but also with the community by sharing information on vote buying and presence of private armed groups, among others.

“We are also deploying the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit to do combat patrols as our force multipliers,” he said.

Meanwhile, APPO deputy director Lieutenant Colonel Orly Gabinete said they have not received any report on vote buying so far.

“We are encouraging people to come out and report if they have knowledge about the massive vote buying,” he said.

Sent off to ensure peaceful elections were the 572 Organic Police Personnel of the APPO, 161 members of Police Quick Reaction Force, 716 augmentation forces from the Police Regional Office 6 and 58 soldiers. (PNA/PN)


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