The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it has already prepared for the conduct of special polls in 14 barangays in Lanao del Sur where a failure of election were declared due to security reasons.
Maj. Gen. Valeriano de Leon, director of the PNP Directorate for Operations and deputy Task Force commander of the Special Task Force National and Local Elections, said they are now continuously coordinating with the Commission on Elections on all the security aspects for the special elections in 14 barangays in the towns of Binidayan, Butig and Tuburan.
More than 8,000 voters have been disenfranchised in 14 barangays in Lanao del Sur after the Comelec declared a failure of election due to some security issues that include damage on vote-counting machines.
The Comelec earlier set May 15 as the special election day in some of these barangays.
“The voters in these areas were already deprived of their right to vote on election day, we will not allow this to happen again,” said De Leon.
De Leon assured that there will be augmentation and standby forces that will assist the local police force in ensuring the peaceful conduct of the special elections.
Comelec officials earlier said there is a need to conduct special elections in the areas since the disenfranchised votes could still affect the election for local positions.
“These are already small areas so I am confident that we will be able to secure the conduct of special elections there,” said De Leon.
De Leon said they are now coordinating with the Comelec and their counterparts in the Armed Forces of the Philippines in laying down the security measures from the casting of votes to canvassing and transmission of election results.
“I am warning some groups and individuals who want to influence the results of the special elections in these areas to behave. The PNP is ready to use the full force of the law to run after them in order to ensure that the local residents will not be deprived of their right to vote,” said De Leon.