Duterte signs order ‘deputizing’ law enforcers for May polls

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has signed a memorandum order deputizing the law enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the government, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), for the May 9, 2022 national and local elections.

Memorandum Order No. 59, signed by Duterte on Dec. 31, 2021, was released to reporters on Wednesday.

The memo concurred with Resolution No. 10744 (s. 2021) of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to deputize law enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the government, including the AFP, in connection with the May 2022 polls.

Under the memo, the foregoing law enforcement agencies and other concerned agencies are directed to coordinate and cooperate with the Comelec in the performance of their duties and functions.

Section 2 (4), Article IX-C of the Constitution empowers the Comelec to deputize, with the concurrence of the President, law enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of government, including the AFP, for the exclusive purpose of ensuring free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections.

Duterte, in several speeches, has vowed to spend the remaining months of his term ensuring peaceful conduct of the upcoming polls.

“I step down in June 2022. The work of our imperfect democracy will certainly continue. My administration will ensure an honest, peaceful, credible, and free elections in May,” he said in his intervention at the United States’ (US) Summit for Democracy convened by US President Joseph “Joe” Biden Jr. on Dec. 10, 2021.

Duterte said it would be his “highest honor” to turn over the reins of power to his successor knowing that he did his best to serve the country and people.

In a public address on Dec. 13, 2021, he said his administration will stand “neutral” during the upcoming elections.

“This early, I’d like to just – magbigay lang ng payo (I will just give advice) that when it comes to the elections, government, the administration will stand neutral. Neither for or against kami, kalaban o kasama sa partido (We will neither be for or against, opponents or allies in the party), we will participate in the exercise of that right,” he said.

Malacañang earlier assured that the country’s national vaccination drive will not be hampered and politicized despite the upcoming elections.

“We will make sure that vaccination and our Covid response is not politicized and that everybody stays and remains neutral especially sa pamamahagi natin ng vaccines, dapat walang pinipili iyan (in administering vaccines, they should not favor anyone). And we will make sure that the targets are met,” Acting Presidential Spokesperson, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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