80,000 cops, soldiers ready for election duties- Año

Published May 8, 2022, 1:57 PM

by Chito Chavez

More than 80,000 soldiers and policemen are now ready to render election duties, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said Sunday, May 8.

“Talagang specifically para lang dito sa eleksyon na ito (May 9, 2022 polls) at lahat naman ng automated election system (AES) ay naihatid na. Lahat din ng official ballots ay naihatid sa mga bawat polling places (It is really specifically only for the elections and all the automated election system were delivered. Also all of the official ballots were delivered to every polling place),’’ Año said in a GMA News report.

On top of these tasks, Año noted that the police personnel are also prepared to be board of election (BOE) inspectors members in the event calls for it like a BOE member failing to arrive on election day.

Año also pointed out that there will also be about 2,000 reserve AFP personnel “kaya tuloy na tuloy yung eleksiyon (that is why the election will really push through).’’

The DILG chief added that there will also be civil disturbance management units on stand-by to thwart any unforeseen events like demonstrations or rallies on election day.

At sa paghahanda na to (election day duties) sinigurado ng ating PNP (personnel) na hindi magiging partisan ang pulis (In this preparation, our PNP has assured that its police officers will be non-partisan),’’ he added.

He disclosed that a total of 2,000 police commanders were transferred to other places since they have relatives running for public office in the May 2022 polls in their previous jurisdictions.

Año revealed that even the commanders who were assigned in some places for two years were given new posts in other areas after getting too familiar with influential personalities, specifically to those incumbent officials.

He explained that the move was done to prevent the incumbent politicians from using the police officials to sway the electorate in their favor.

“At syempre yung mga Comelec checkpoints para ipatupad yung gun ban violation ay nandyan rin ano, nakatalaga pa rin yan (police officers) kaya masasabi natin na reading ready na (And of course the police are deployed in the Comelec checkpoints to enforce the gun ban regulation, that is why we can say that we are very much ready),’’ the DILG chief stressed.

Año also lamented having ordered PNP officer-in-charge (OIC) Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. to ensure that every police officer is deployed in their assigned posts and being distanced from any partisan political activities.

He also clarified that beginning May 8 until the actual election day it is the duty of the deployed police officers to enforce the liquor ban and ensure that no all sorts of election campaign activity like the distribution of political materials is being done.

“Hindi mangingiling magaresto ang ating mga pulis kapagka may mga violators kaya winawarningan na natin ano, tapos na yung pangangampanya starting today (May 8) and at the same time din ano, yung mga mamimili ng boto talagang deretoso o huhulihin talaga yan (The police will have no second thoughts of arresting the violators that is why we are warning you that the campaign period has ended starting today and at the same time those buying votes will be directly arrested),’’ he noted.

Año appealed to the voters to report to proper authorities immediately any vote buying or vote selling activities in their communities.

“Kung may nakita tayo na kakaiba ireport kaagad natin. Wag kayong mangimi sa pagrereport (of election irregularity) at para maaksyunan natin ora mismo (If you see something suspicious, report it immediately. Do not hesitate to report it so that authorities can act on it as soon as possible),’’ he assured. (Chito A. Chavez)