GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/03 May) – Some 9,370 police and Army personnel have been deployed in parts of Region 12 in line with the upcoming May 13 local and national midterm elections.
Brig. Gen. Eliseo Tam Rasco, regional director of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-12, said Friday these personnel were assigned to mainly render security and special duties, among them as backup Electoral Board members, during the polls.
Citing data from the PRO-12's regional election monitoring action center, he said a total of 6,212 policemen assigned in city, municipal and provincial police units and 312 others from national and administrative support units have assumed their poll duties starting Friday, May 3.
He said Army units operating in Region 12 have also mobilized a total of 2,846 troopers to help secure the conduct of the elections.
The regional police held on Friday morning a mass and ceremonial send-off for the assigned police and Army personnel at the regional headquarters in Barangay Tambler here.
Rasco said the deployment of the security forces was part of the joint comprehensive security plan that they adopted to ensure the smooth, orderly and peace conduct of the elections in the region.
PRO-12 has operational jurisdiction over the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato and Sarangani, and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
"This is to further intensify our security and safety preparations," the police official told reporters.
He said they have "reserved" at least 200 policemen who are ready to take over as EBs in case some teachers will back out from their poll duties.
Rasco said these policemen underwent two sets of qualification trainings, the first in January and the second on May 1, facilitated by the Commission on Elections-Region 12.
"We assigned more policemen as reserve force for the EB duties to ensure (higher) success rate for the elections," he added. (MindaNews)