Over 13K cops deployed to secure polls in Central Luzon

A total of 13,160 police personnel in Central Luzon have been deployed around the region to ensure peaceful and orderly Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) on Oct. 30. Brig. Gen. Jose Hidalgo Jr., director of the Police Regional Office-Central Luzon (PRO-3), said on Tuesday the deployment of personnel will help address election-related incidents and security problems that might take place before, during and after the balloting process. A send-off ceremony, along with the handover of resources and forces, was held Monday at Camp Olivas, this city and was attended by members of the Philippine National Police as well as the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Fire Protection and force multipliers. Hidalgo said security personnel from these other security organizations will also help in safeguarding the delivery of ballots to the towns and cities in the region's seven provinces -Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija and Aurora. 'The men and women of the PRO-3, equipped with essential resources, hereby reaffirmed our unwavering commitment to the principles that will guide our actions throughout the electoral process. Our mission is to safeguard the democratic process and we will do so with honor and dedication,' Hidalgo said in a statement. To maximize deployment, he said police personnel assigned to desk duties and educational pursuits have also been reassigned to polling stations. 'This strategic move will significantly increase the number of individuals responsible for safeguarding the integrity and safety of the election day proceedings," he added. Hidalgo also reminded the troops to remain apolitical at all times and to avoid participating in any partisan political activity during the elections. 'Let us vow to contribute to an electoral process that is fair, transparent and free from any form of coercion, harassment and manipulation. Together, we can build trust and confidence in the electoral process ultimately strengthening our barangays and nurturing our democratic process. Let us work collectively towards a brighter and better future of our barangays and our nation,' he added. The PRO-3 chief also encouraged the public to report and share relevant and timely information regarding any suspicious activities they may observe during the election process. Meanwhile, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Regional Director Temie Lambino said the poll body is fully committed to ensuring transparent and fair elections. 'We will not falter because we are prepared. We will not falter because we are committed. We will not falter because we were born to protect and secure this beloved nation's democracy,' he said.

Source: Philippines News Agency