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6,000 police personnel deployed to secure polls

More than 6,000 PNP personnel from Police Regional Office XI were deployed yesterday during a send-off ceremony at Camp Quintin Merecido, Catitipan, Buhangin District, to provide security for the May 13 elections.

In an interview yesterday, PRO XI director, Brig. Gen. Marcelo Morales, said they have deployed 6,800 out of the total 8,400 personnel of the regional headquarters.

“And we will be augmented by the different  law  enforcement units and AFP units and different government agencies and private organizations like the Department of health, Red Cross and radio groups, and also village watchers to help in managing  the traffic and cleanliness during voting day,” Morales said.

They include 626 police trainees from the Regional Training Center, police trainees from Philippine Public Safety College, 1003rd Infantry brigade, elements from Special Action Force, Regional Highway Patrol Group, Regional Mobile Force Battalion, Bureau of Fire Protection, and Explosives Ordnance Division of PRO XI.

There are 106 PNP personnel coming from Compostela Police Provincial Office, 200 in Davao del  Sur, 260 from del Norte, 70 personnel in Davao Occidental, and 90 from Davao oriental.

Morales said they will deploy more troops in Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, and Compostela Valley.

“We will deploy one week before elections and full deployment on the eve of and until the election day,” he said.

The police will maintain a full alert status throughout the election week.

But he said they haven’t recorded election-related violence, just a week before the election.

Also, Brig. Gen. Ernesto Torres Jr., the deputy commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command, said there are about 10,000 police and military forces to be deployed throughout the region, according to the final Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Council meeting.

In a separate interview, Col. Nolasco Mempin, the commander of 1003rd Infantry Brigade, said  they have  deployed 610 soldiers in Davao City, excluding the quick reaction units.

While the AFP will only provide support to the PNP, soldiers will take the lead in communities dealing with communist threat “because of possible threat of harassment and sabotage.”

But so far in 1003rd IB area (Davao City, parts of Davao del Norte, San Fernando and Kitaotao in Bukidnon), Mempin said the NPAs are already pushed to the fringes.

“So far we have not monitored and confirmed reports of NPA movements in our area but still we are on top of the situation,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Davao City Police Office also deployed their personnel yesterday during a send-off ceremony held at the DCPO grounds in Camp Leonor Domingo along San Pedro street.

City police director, Col. Alexander Tagum, said around 1,200 PNP personnel and other volunteers and police auxiliary will ensure a peaceful and orderly election.

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