AFP, PNP send off troops for poll duty

MANILA Less than a week before the mid-term elections, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) together with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) formally sent off troops who will secure the polls at the Lapu-Lapu Grandstand in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Tuesday morning.

Col. Noel Detoyato, AFP public affairs office chief, said the Comelec spearheaded the ceremony in collaboration with the military and PNP which are the deputized agencies that will perform various tasks to ensure the peaceful and successful elections.

He added a total of 809 personnel and 28 vehicles from the AFP; 778 personnel and 23 vehicles from the PNP; and representatives from other stakeholders such as Department of Education and Department of Health were present in the ceremony.

Detoyato clarified that aside from the ceremony, many troops have already been pre-deployed in preparation for the elections.

A total of 98,000 personnel from the AFP, 149,830 from the PNP, and over one million officers and personnel from other agencies, stakeholders and volunteer groups were committed to the Comelec represented by Commissioner Luie Tito Guia.

The send-off ceremony is a fitting testimony of our firm aspiration for a peaceful and successful conduct of the National and Local Elections next week. This also signifies that we are all prepared and ready to be deployed in the different areas where our services and assistance are very much needed, AFP chief-of-staff, Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr said.

Madrigal's remarks were echoed by PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde.

"While we expect security threats to continue and lawless elements to attempt to disrupt the elections in some areas, I must say we are fully prepared to face and address challenges that may come our way. We certainly have learned our lessons well from past election periods and we now draw from these lessons to avoid the same mistakes, improve our operations and achieve a truly peaceful and fair conduct of the elections," Albayalde said.

Despite this, the PNP chief said he expects participating police officers to perform their tasks with the highest degree of professionalism, dedication, integrity and courage. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency