By Aaron Recuenco
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will be deploying at least 30,000 soldiers to perform election duties for the midterm polls on May 13.
Col. Noel Detoyato, military information officer, said the military election deployment will serve as an augmentation for the Philippine National Police which will be at the forefront of poll duties.
“We will be deploying around 30,000 to 40,000. They will be deployed in areas that need extra security,” said Detoyato.
It was recalled that there are almost 1,000 areas listed in the election hot spots and some of them were classified under Red areas.
It is in these Red areas where soldiers are expected to be deployed due to the presence of threat groups like the New People’s Army, Moro extremist groups and a large band of partisan armed groups.
Aside from securing poll precincts, Detoyato said the military was also tasked to transport election materials in areas with serious security issues.
But he said that despite the deployment for election duties, the counter-insurgency operations, particularly against the communist rebels and other threat groups, will continue.
“Our counter-insurgency operations, all other security operations will not be stopped, there will be ongoing operations even if there is an ongoing election,” said Detoyato.
In order to ensure that soldiers can also exercise their right to suffrage, Detoyato said some of the military personnel were allowed to avail of the absentee voting.
As of yesterday, more than 1,000 soldiers have already cast their votes in two military camps in Maguindanao and Nueva Ecija.