Military, police gear up for polls

25 09 2010


by Florante S. Solmerin and Manny Marinay

THE military and police have put into gear a 45-day security alert for the local barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections Oct. 25.

Last midnight, the police also started the implementation of the gun ban of the Commission on Elections.

Police chief Gen. Raul Bacalzo and Armed Forces chief Lt. Gen. Ricardo David Jr. signed the Joint letter directive to ensure smooth and coordinated action in implementing election security functions and to define their respective roles in the 45-day election security operations that takes effect at Friday midnight until Nov. 10.

David added the military is in the process of planning the deployment of troops to support the police.

At the onset, the police has placed on Friday check points all over the country to apprehend people unauthorized to carry fire arms during the 45-day election ban. PNP spokesman, Senior Supt. Agrimeron Cruz Jr., said only the police and military will be allowed to carry firearms.

The PNP will be closely watching election hotspots and private armed groups that may be used by politicians to disrupt the elections.

“We have on our lists around 107 suspected private armed groups and we are still in the process of validating, some may be delisted and there are some may be included in the lists,” Bacalzo said.

The PNP said some 2,000 out of 42,025 barangays in the country are being closely monitored based on history of election-related violence.

“There will be a total gun-ban, only policemen and military personnel that are in uniform will be allowed to carry firearms provided that they are on duty or in transit to their place of assignments,” he said.