PNP, AFP on guard for special polls today
ELECTION duties are far from over for national security forces tapped to guard belated elections set today in 52 barangays in eight provinces in the country.
In a press briefing on Thursday, Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor said augmentation police and military personnel from other areas have been directed to secure the precincts where the special elections will be held, while PNP trainees are also ready to be tapped, once again, as special board of election inspectors.
In the same press briefing, Mayor said the 52 clustered precincts are found in 11 towns in Cebu, Marinduque, Sarangani, Antique, Northern Samar, Samar, Lanao del Sur and Sulu, which will hold the special elections today.
Of the 52 barangays, 45 are in Mindanao and will be holding special polls due to “security concerns,” namely all 26 barangays of Binidayan, Lanao del Sur; Barangays Daungdong, Kamawi Island, Likud, Niog-niog, Timuddas and Kayawan in Pata, Sulu; Barangays Gagguil, Gata-gata, Jinggan, Kamih, Pungud, Lihbug, Kabaw, Lubuk-lubuk, Pandakan, Tiptipon in Panglima Estino, also in Sulu; and Barangays Dilausan, Bangun and Dasumalon in Tamparan, Lanao del Sur.
Mayor cited the existence of threat groups — particularly in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao — as a primary security concern.
“Regardless, what is important is we can deploy sufficient forces. They should not be able to disrupt the elections,” Mayor said.
Meanwhile, due to misdelivered or insufficient number of ballots last May 9, special polls will also be held today for the affected voters in Barangay Gabi in Cordova, Cebu; Barangay Roxas in Lope de Vega, northern Samar; Barangay Nagpapacao in Matuguinao, western Samar; Barangay Alobo in Sta. Cruz, Marinduque; Barangay Malalag in Maitum, Sarangani; Barangay Mabuyong in Anini-y, Antique; and Barangay Insubuan in San Remigio, also in Antique.
Overall, 17,657 registered voters are affected or are covered by the special elections.
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