Monday, March 28, 2022

EastMinCom ensures peaceful, orderly polls come May 2022

NSFA, Panacan, Davao City – The Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) under the leadership of LtGen. Greg T. Almerol has ensured peaceful and orderly National and Local Elections (NLE) on May 9, 2022, after mapping out its security measures in support of other law enforcement agencies in the Eastern Mindanao area.

EastMinCom's role during the elections is in adherence to Memorandum No. 59 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on December 31, 2021, concurring the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Resolution No. 10744 (s. 2021) to deputize law enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the government, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

LtGen. Almerol assured the public that the EastMinCom units are working jointly with the COMELEC and Philippine National Police (PNP) to provide free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections.

He cited that the establishment of Joint Security Control Centers (JSCCs) and Election Monitoring Action Center (EMAC) at all levels of Command are being strictly implemented as part of their security mechanism. This includes the deployment of troops for election duty, conduct of joint checkpoints, and visibility patrol in the area.

“EastMinCom is in close coordination with the PNP and COMELEC in the performance of our duties and functions. We are fully supportive of the Comprehensive and Integrated Security Plan being implemented by COMELEC with AFP and PNP Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Council (JPSCC) in our areas of responsibility," LtGen. Almerol said.

"We assure the general public of the safe and secure conduct of NLE in Eastern Mindanao. We are currently intensifying random checkpoints to prevent any untoward incident before and during the election period,” LtGen. Almerol added.

LtGen. Almerol bared that all available resources within EastMinCom control such as land, sea, and air assets are on high alert status and will be deployed if necessary, especially during the transportation of election materials in the different polling centers.

Earlier, the AFP, PNP, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), together with COMELEC, signed a resolution and commitment through the Joint Letter Directive (JLD) No. 01-2022, which aims to enhance the coordination among signatory agencies and to show their solidarity in fulfilling their roles during the election season.

“We will adhere to our mandate to remain neutral in the coming May 2022 elections and will remain apolitical and non-partisan as we will not take orders meant to give undue advantage to any candidate,” LtGen. Almerol emphasized.

Meanwhile, the EastMinCom Commander said that they are closely monitoring any group that could sabotage the elections and intensifying military presence in hotspot areas identified by COMELEC and other areas with security concerns as the local campaign period began.

He also vowed to prevent the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) and Local Terrorist Group (LTG) presence in the polling areas and reminded the public to be vigilant of the CTG and LTG's possible atrocities.

He also urged the candidates to resist the CTG's extortion activities in the guise of "permits" as this may be considered a violation of the Republic Act 11479 or the "Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020."

“We will be addressing security threats posed by the CTG and LTGs who may disrupt elections through intimidation, harassment, vote-buying, and through their permit-to-win, and permit-to-campaign schemes. I have already directed all unit Commanders under the EastMinCom to be extra vigilant in their respective areas and strictly monitor the extortion activities of any terrorist groups,” LtGen. Almerol assured.

He also called for the people to exercise their rights and responsibilities whilst the EastMinCom assures their safety and security.

“Go out and vote come election time. EastMinCom will ensure that everyone will be allowed to exercise their freedom to elect their leaders without force and coercion,” LtGen. Almerol urged.###

Source: Public Information Office, Eastern Mindanao Command, AFP

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