PNP to deploy more cops in Mindanao poll hot spots

The Philippine National Police (PNP) will be deploying additional 15 to 25 percent of its strength to several towns and cities in Mindanao which are in the list of election hot spots.

Police Maj. Gen. Valeriano de Leon, head of the PNP Directorate for Operations and concurrent commander of the police's national and local election task force, said the move is to ensure that any move to sow violence or influence the result of the elections would not be given opportunity.

"This is to make sure that we will have enough police personnel to cover areas where any incident ay happen," said de Leon.

He said the bomb attack on a passenger bus in Parang, Maguindanao also became a main factor of the deployment.

Among the areas that will receive additional police deployment are the towns of Buluan, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Datu Piang, Pandag and Sultan Kudarat in Maguindanao.

"We have been preparing for any move to disrupt the elections and as of now, we are ready.

He attributed the PNP readiness to early election security preparations which occurred as early as May last year with the order to intensify the operations against private armed groups and loose guns.

The PNP revealed on Monday that at least 20 private armed goons surrendered, killed or arrested, most of them were from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.