By Freddie Lazaro
BANGUED, Abra – Authorities are eyeing a safe, accurate, and violence-free polls in Abra on May 13, 2019.
During a meeting attended by representatives from the Army’s 24th Infantry Battalion, the Commission on Elections, and the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday, strategic solutions were mapped out to avert election related problems before, during, and after the elections.
The stakeholders noted the potential problems that could arise in the 27 towns in the province especially where historic intense political rivalries had broken out in the past.
Acting provincial election supervisor Atty. Vanessa Mico-Roncal thanked the police, the military, and all government agencies for their sacrifices to secure the elections. With these efforts, she said, “we exercise our freedom to vote without fear.”
The Philippine Army vowed its full support in bringing about safe and credible elections in the province.
“Your Army is all ready to support the PNP in all its undertakings to secure the conduct of the May 13, 2019 elections,” Brigadier General Lenard Agustin, Commanding General of the 7th Infantry Division said.
Brigadier General Henry Robinson Jr., commander of the Army’s 702nd Infantry Brigade, promised to deliver unbiased service to the people it serves specially during the elections.
Earlier, Lieutenant Colonel Jearie Boy Faminial, commander of the Army’s 24th Infantry, promised that soldiers will be neutral during the elections.
“Abra Shield,” a unique public safety force composed of the 1501st Regional Mobile First Battalion, 22nd Special Action Company, PNP-Special Action Force and Provincial Mobile Force Company was activated to implement the gun ban and to intensify the anti-crime operations against loose firearms and private armed groups.
Aside from checkpoints, policemen had been on foot and mobile patrols all over the province.