MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) formalized Wednesday the deputization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) to ensure the "free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible conduct of the May 9, 2022 national and local elections."
In a resolution, the poll body enumerated the following duties and functions of soldiers and police officers as its deputized agents:
- Provide security to polling places, polling centers/voting centers, canvassing centers, and other facilities housing election paraphernalia, forms and supplies
- Provide security to Comelec personnel, its deputies and other individuals performing election-related functions
- Make available land, air and water assets, communication systems and other equipment
- Look into the existence of armed groups organized to commit, committing, or attempting to commit acts of terrorism, or threats to intimidate or coerce any person to vote for or against any candidate, and suppress these threats
- Assist the Comelec in implementing election laws, rules and regulations, particularly those pertaining to the prohibitions on body guards, use of armored vehicles, and unauthorized bearing of firearms and other deadly weapons in public places
- Provide security escorts to candidates, as authorized by the commission
- Conduct a periodic assessment of the peace and order condition in critical areas and recommend measures that may be adopted by the commission
- Comply with and implement directives and resolutions of the Comelec “which shall take precedence over and above the orders and directives issued by any other office or agency of the government, except the Supreme Court and those issued in habeas corpus cases"
- Submit periodic reports pertaining to the implementation of the deputization resolution
The Comelec reminded the AFP and PNP on the prohibition on assignment changes of personnel, except upon written approval from the commission.
The resolution will take effect a week after its publication in two news dailies of in-country general circulation.
Last month, the PNP said it has yet to identify the election hotspots for Halalan 2022, but added that they are already verifying an initial list.