Security preparations for May 13 polls ‘all set’: PNP

MANILA More than a week before the campaign period wraps up, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said security measures are all set as 160,000 police personnel will be deployed for the May 13 mid-term elections.

Col. Bernard Banac, PNP spokesperson, said the police force will remain on full alert status which took effect before the beginning of the Holy Week in April.

The number of police personnel was initially pegged at 143,000 but was eventually raised to further boost the peace and order management before, during and even after the Election Day.

The PNP remains in full alert and increased the deployment of cops to 160,000 personnel as we assure the public that focused operation will be more active and intensified campaign against PAGS criminal gangs, wanted persons, gun for hire groups, and loose firearms and violation of Comelec (Commission on Elections) gun ban through service of warrant of arrest and implementation of search warrants, checkpoints operations, police patrol response, 'Oplan Sita' and 'Oplan Galugad' as well as HVTs (high value targets) in illegal drugs, Banac told reporters in a press conference on Thursday.

Despite the increase of police deployment, Banac reiterated the PNP is yet to monitor any threats for the upcoming elections.

"We have not monitored any threats on the elections so far. We want to ensure no untoward incident will take place," Banac said.

PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde earlier reminded police officers to stay neutral and non-partisan in the conduct of elections.

He said the only role of police officers in the upcoming elections is to ensure peace and security, especially in election hotspots.

For his part, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, said the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) is also ready to assist the more than 44,000 persons deprived of Liberty (PDLs) in the city, district, and municipal jails in the country exercise to right of suffrage on May 13.

Malaya also said the DILG is one with Commission on Election (Comelec) in encouraging Filipinos to go out and exercise their right to vote.

Indeed, change is within our hands. Nasa kamay na po ng mga mamamayang Pilipino ang pagpili ng mga kandidato (It is up for the Filipinos to choose candidates) (whom) they believe will usher the nation to inclusive change to achieve (our ambition of a prosperous and peaceful life for everyone). Huwag natin sayangin ang pagkakataong (ito) at lalong huwag po tayong pumayag sa vote-buying at vote-selling na ginagawa ng mga hindi matitinong kandidato. (Let's not waste this chance and let's not allow vote-buying and vote-selling perpetrated by deceitful candidates), Malaya said. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency