AROUND 8,000 security forces coming from different law enforcement units will be deployed in the whole Davao Region to ensure zero poll-related incidents in the coming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections on Monday, May 14.
Law enforcement agencies including the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) among others were officially deployed yesterday during the sendoff ceremony at Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 ground, Camp Quintin Merecido, Buhangin, Davao City.
In his message, PRO-Davao regional director Police Chief Superintendent Manuel Gaerlan advised the uniformed personnel to closely coordinate with one another to effectively deliver their mission for an honest, credible and safe election and ensure the safety of the voters.
"We hope to achieve zero incidents up to the last canvassing of votes; up to the delivery of all election results, and until all security and safety personnel shall be pulled out from their respective places of operations where they perform their duties in accordance with our laws and constitution," he said.
He added, "It is very important that all units and the personnel of the different agencies would coordinate on the ground, maintain communication not only with your headquarters but also maintain lateral coordination among all units."
Based on their data, for the PRO 11 alone, the number of personnel deployed for SKBE 2018 starting May 11 to May 16 is pegged at 2,387. There would be 415 policemen to be designated in EWAS while 1,971 are assigned to monitor those not listed under Ewas.
There are a total of 1,162 barangays in Davao Region and 251 of these are under election watch list areas (Ewas). There are also 1,438 voting centers and 328 of which are under EWAS.
Gaerlan likewise reminded the personnel to remain non-partisan and should not be swayed by politicians' bribery just to get their support. He also told them to do their duties religiously so that the people will maintain their trust and confidence in the uniformed personnel.
"Let me remind all personnel that our duties, our mandate under the constitution, all uniformed personnel shall remain apolitical and stay neutral and concentrate on our peace and security mission," he said.
Gaerlan also reiterated the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte during their joint AFP and PNP command conference to arrest all violators of law if evidence warrants regardless of their political affiliation.
"With this I hope all of you will continue protecting our people, continue upholding the sanctity of the ballot and continue protecting those who will select our barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan leaders," he said.
Meanwhile, 10th Infantry Division (ID) commander Major General Noel Clement cited the importance of the role of the uniformed personnel for the success of BSKE.
"Napaka-importanteng ating gaganaping mission dahlia ang ating mga taong bayan ay dapat mabigyan natin ng pagkakataon upang maipatupad ang kanilang katungkulan sa bayan na makapaghalal ng kanilang mga pinuno na barangay captain o SK leaders (Our mission is very important because our fellowmen should be given an opportunity to elect their chosen barangay captain or SK leaders)," Clement said.