THE EASTERn Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) has assured of peaceful and orderly national and local elections on May 9, after mapping out its security measures in support of other law enforcement agencies in its jurisdiction.
Lt. Gen. Greg Almerol, EastMinCom chief, said they will play a support role to the Comelec, PNP, and other deputized law enforcement agencies in compliance with Memorandum No. 59 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on December 31, 2021.
He cited that they already established the Joint Security Control Centers (JSCCs) and Election Monitoring Action Center (EMAC) at all levels of command as part of their security mechanism.
This includes the deployment of troops for election duty, conduct of joint checkpoints, and visibility patrols.
“The EastMinCom is in close coordination with the PNP and Comelec in the performance of our duties and functions. We are fully supportive of the comprehensive and integrated security plan being implemented by Comelec with AFP and PNP Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Council in our areas of responsibility,” LtGen. Almerol said.
“We assure the general public of the safe and secure conduct of NLE (national and local elections) in Eastern Mindanao. We are currently intensifying random checkpoints to prevent any untoward incident before and during the election period,” he added.
Moreover, Almerol bared that all available resources within the command’s control such as land, sea, and air assets are on high alert status. They will be deployed if necessary, especially to transport election materials to the different polling centers.
Earlier, the AFP, PNP, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), together with Comelec, signed a resolution and commitment through the Joint Letter Directive (JLD) No. 01-2022, which aims to enhance the coordination among signatory agencies and to show their solidarity in fulfilling their roles during the election season.
“We will adhere to our mandate to remain neutral in the coming May 2022 elections and will remain apolitical and non-partisan as we will not take orders meant to give undue advantage to any candidate,” Almerol emphasized.
Meanwhile, the EastMinCom commander said that they are closely monitoring any group that could sabotage the elections, as well as intensifying military presence in hotspot areas identified by the Comelec.
He also urged the candidates to resist the communist rebels’ extortion attempts in the guise of “permits” as this may be considered a violation of the Republic Act 11479 or the “Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020.”
“We will be addressing security threats posed by the CTG and LTGs who may disrupt elections through intimidation, harassment, vote-buying, and through their permit-to-win, and permit-to-campaign schemes. I have already directed all unit commanders under the EastMinCom to be extra vigilant in their respective areas and strictly monitor the extortion activities of any terrorist groups,” he assured.
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