MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has deployed additional personnel in 10 areas in the Bangsamoro region that have been placed under the Commission on Election's (Comelec) control, its spokesperson said Tuesday.
“Nag-request na po ang Comelec ng dagdag na pulis diyan. Kaya nag-deploy na po tayo diyan, Ma’am, ng ating police personnel coming from the Special Action Force and Mobile Force Battalion para i-augment po iyong ating local troops doon,” PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said in a televised briefing.
The Comelec earlier placed the towns of Buluan, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Datu Piang, Mangudadatu, Pandag and Sultan Kudarat in the Province of Maguindanao, the city of Marawi and the towns of Maguing, Malabang and Tubaran in Lanao del Sur under Comelec control due to increased risk of poll-related violence.
“Maliban po dito sa 10 bayan po na ito, ang ating focus of deployment po talaga [ay] iyong 106 towns and 14 cities na napailalim sa ‘Red’ category po,” said Fajardo.
The PNP is still waiting for Comelec to declare more areas under their control due to intense political rivalry and the presence of private armed groups.
“Doon po sa mga election areas of concern ay may mga na-upgrade po na category dahil nga po may mga namu-monitor po tayong mga intense political rivalry at presence po ng 'ika nga ay ilang mga armed groups that requires the upgrading po ng classification,” Fajardo said.
“But we are still waiting for the official declaration po ng Comelec kung ang mga lugar po ba na ito ay mapapalagay din sa areas of concern or lalung-lalo na under Comelec control.”
President Rodrigo Duterte had promised a clean and honest elections on May 9, noting that the police and military were prepared to enforce the law.