AFP to deploy 35K troops to augment poll security

MANILA The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will be deploying around 35,000 troops to support the Philippine National Police (PNP) in ensuring that the coming May 13 mid-term elections are peaceful and orderly.

This, according to AFP spokesperson, Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, in a media briefing Monday.

He said the military will be supporting the PNP which is estimated to be deploying around 143,000 police personnel tasked to secure the coming polls.

"Your AFP will be on a support role with more than 35,000 members. Other deployment beyond this number will be determined by the situation on the ground base on the recommendations of the area commanders of the AFP, regional directors of the PNP, and of course, the Comelec," Arevalo said.

The military will also play the lead security role in areas known to be with heavy communist rebel presence, he added.

He expressed confidence that the coming elections will be peaceful attributed to the intensive preparations by the military, police and the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

"Apart from some isolated incidents, generally, the AFP can say that the situation on the ground and peaceful and quiet," he added.

Arevalo is also confident that this situation will continue until the May 13 polls have been successfully concluded.

"Given the arrangements, given the planning and the execution of the plans that we have long crafted together with the PNP and the Comelec, we are going to have a peaceful orderly and credible elections (this coming) May 13," he added.

Asked whether the military will be declaring a red" alert status for the coming polls, Arevalo said the AFP will announce the necessary alert footing within the coming days.

"We are going to declare the necessary alert status as we come closer to election day or on the election day (itself)," said. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency