MILITARY troops have been deployed near the camp of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Maguindanao.

Sixth ID Chief Major General Anthony Alcantara confirmed this Monday, saying they are securing the election machines and other materials, including the staff of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), in time for the May 10 polls.

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Colonel Herbert Yambing, chief of Joint Security Control Center (JSCC) in Maguindanao, said the reinforcement of military troops was done in coordination with the GRP/MILF Ceasefire Committee to avoid an armed conflict with the Moro rebels.

The government troopers in Maguindanao were deployed to ensure that the elections remain safe and secure.

Maguindanao has a total of 517 clustered precincts. Each precinct will be guarded with five to 10 soldiers or police personnel.

The military and police will be deployed at least 50 meters away from each polling precinct, except in areas controlled by the Comelec where the authorities will serve as election inspectors.

There are unconfirmed rumors that an armed conflict is set to erupt before the May elections, leaving residents apprehensive. (Edgardi Fuerzas)